Monday, 1 January 2007

2007 off with a bang!

Happy New Year everyone! I would have texted except the network died for 2 hours at midnight because everyone was trying to text at the same time. What an awesome day! I set off around 10am and headed north of the river and west - beyond Lunar Park. North Sydney was lovely with a true community feel and a fabulous green grocers - about 10 times the size of a UK store with every fruit and veg you can imagine. Popped by a bottle shop and picked up some Smirnoff Double Black in cans (like Smirnoff Ice but a double shot) then headed past Lunar Park and along the coast.

I came across a really beautiful grassy area with an absolutely stunning view of the bridge and decided to camp out there. When I arrived at 12 there were a few people with tents up already; by 12 pm there were 10,000 people on site. Needless to say I was not on my own but I guarded my square of sarong space with my life so, come the fireworks, I had a spectacular view. There was an all day bbq, a bar and a measly 15 toilets for women. Thankfully, it turns out that aussie birds are more brash than the average brit chick so many of them squatted behind the portaloos and raided the men's loos.

A group of English guys were seated in front of me and I got chatting to them on and off throughout the day although they weren't really my type of peep - they considered Vang Vieng, the druggie tourist trap of Laos, their favourite part of their trip so far...enough said! They were entertaining after consuming VB upon VB (Victoria Bitter) for 12 hours though - out came the footy chants to a suprisingly subdued Aussie response of 4 -nil, 4 - nil, 4- ni (something to do with The Ashes I believe :) ). Thankfully, it was all taken in good spirit so no fights kicked off!

I was sat next to a lovely lady called Kerrie and her son, Craig, who were really sweet and kept offering me food (a light relief after a couple of warm festering cheese sandwiches that had sat for hours in the heat of my bag). The 9 hour wait until the first set of fireworks went by surprisingly quickly!

Even the fireworks at 9 (so that children can watch them and go home early) were spectacular by English standards, but the fireworks at midnight were positively breathtaking! If you haven't done so already, you MUST go to Sydney for New Year once in your life. The fireworks are out of this world. Words can't do justice to the experience. Fireworks go off simultaneously in four areas of the bay. You don't know where to look. They even had fireworks come off the top of all the main skyscrapers in the city. It was positively awe-inspiring and definitely worth the 12 wait, numb bum cheeks and lengthy toilet queues. The atmosphere was electric.Then, after 15 minutes, it was all over

After 12 hours in the sun, I was pretty shattered so I decided to head back to the hostel. After only three cans of Smirnoff DB I was completely sober, which made for an interesting walk home as everyone staggered around in drunken messes. I even had my first eye-opening event of the year. Walking along the waterfront towards Lunar Park I walked past a grassy area with not a bush in sight and there - literally 2 metres from me - a couple were having sex. Yup no bush, not even a tuft of grass to hide the man's luminous white bottom glowing in the moon (and lamp) light. I averted my eyes and continued on, only to come to a barrier and be told to turn round and take another route to the bridge. By this time a couple of guys who were walking behind me had come across Bonking Couple and, finding it all very amusing, had decided to take a photo of the event. As the flash went off, I have never seen a man move so fast. Within a split second he was cowering in a bush trying to preserve what was left of his dignity, whilst his missus was left, legs akimbo, in said grassy area with two blokes laughing their socks off at her. It was all rather entertaining and a New Year's Eve Bonking Couple will remember for some time I imagine! The rest of my trip home was rather less eventful and I was back in my prisonesque hostel room by 2pm

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