Day 11: Back to the land of proper beer

Ow ow yiggity yow. That was the sound our legs made the day after that hike. I guess we didn’t stretch enough to prepare for the 2000+ steps we faced. Either way, Nellie’s knees and my calves were entirely unhappy with us. So it made walking a bit of a ginger exercise.

We ate breakfast and caught a train back to Sydney (more crazy people on this train; pro tip for traveling to the Blue Mountains: take earplugs) needing to find a way to kill most of a day until we could meet up with the brother. We stashed our bags at a storage company and took the train down to Circular Quay once again. We spent an hour or so at the tiny Museum of Sydney, then killed a few hours back at Harts Pub. My brother was nice enough to come pick us up, collect our bags and take us to The Local Taphouse, reportedly one of the best beer bars in Sydney. Our beers were, indeed, all quite tasty, as was my excellent pizza (note: it was only while typing all these blog posts that I realized just how much wood-fired pizza I’d been eating on this trip) and everyone else’s food. Top marks to The Local.

We left there and had a drink at some basement bar, Downtown at the Commons, and then zoomed home on the train. We went no further as the next day brought work for the brother and a harbour cruise for us, and it wouldn’t do to be hung over for either.

Day 2: In which the upside-down eating and drinking continues unabated

Our first full day in Sydney. We woke up early, but slept very well overall, and had lots of energy to attach the day. My brother had taken the day off work to show us around and get us situated.

First stop was the Bourke Street Bakery, one of a few in and around Sydney. It’s this amazing bakery nearby where we got croissants and sourdough and probably the best mocha I’ve ever tasted. We took a loaf of fig sourdough home with us for dinner that night. If it were within walking distance we’d have gone back every morning.

After stuffing ourselves we (and by “we” I mean my brother, as any attempt by me to drive on the left side of the road would result in all of us dying) drove east through Newtown and Surry Hills and Paddington, down through Centennial Park (behold: black swans!) and Randwick and into Coogee. Coogee’s was the first of three eastern beaches we saw, and was decidedly not-busy, since it was a cool, cloudy Tuesday. Nellie opted to stick her feet in the surf (Tasman Sea: check) before we jetted off for more.

Next was the less-crowded, but much prettier, Bronte beach (seen above). We got some good pictures there, far better than what we got at over-crowded and touristy Bondi. From there we drove up to Watsons Bay and walked around the park at South Head, all the while enjoying the great views of the north and middle heads, the harbour and the city.

We decided that was enough driving and jumped in the car to head home. We stopped at The Local Taphouse to sample their beer, but it didn’t open until 4. We drove home, defeated, stopping on the way to fill up at some place in Newtown. Boo. We parked the car and watched as a bird promptly (and, some say, purposefully) shat on it.

My brother was kind enough to take us downtown on a train to show us the ropes, so we made our way down to Circular Quay. We walked directly over to the Opera Bar, a perfect venue from which to enjoy a beer whilst taking in views of the Quay, the Harbour Bridge, the harbour itself, and of course the Opera House.

From there we walked up through the Rocks to a pub that somehow escaped my beer-hunting gaze: Harts Pub. It was a fantastic spot, replete with tasty beer, and we sat and drank and laughed our asses off about who-knows-what until it was time to head home for dinner. Dinner, by the way, was a tasty curry whipped up by the brother, which was followed immediately by a great big crash into bed.