Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Sydney and the looong anticipated break from the campertrailer.

Absolutely exhausted after our Coburg Peninsula adventure, we trundled out of Arnhem Land and Kakadu, ready for some creature comforts. We’d been in our campertrailer for almost three months solid now, and the idea of a toilet you could reach without going outside, television and (gasp) room to move was making us all a bit weak in the knees. So it was with extreme excitement that we packed up the campertrailer, stored it at the Hidden Valley Caravan Park in Darwin and cabbed it to the airport, Sydney bound.

Whilst I’ll admit that my fortunate life is filled with indulgences, I would have to say one of our greatest ones is membership to the Qantas Club and its airport lounges. The Uyshuis sighed a collective and privileged sigh of relief, as we walked through those glass doors, out of the heat of the Northern Territory, away from the crowded airport waiting area and into the airconditioned comfort of food, drinks, magazines, wifi, and a general sense of luxury. Did I mention I love an airport lounge?

Anyhoo, the four hour flight to Sydney was unremarkable save for a “My ears huuuuuurt!!” moment from Marguerite, and we stepped out into the relative cool air of Sydney. And its cigarette smoke and exhaust fumes. Aaaaah, city living how I’ve missed you!
Our digs in Glebe.

Fiela’s nephew, Christian, was getting married on the Saturday, and the mother of the groom (Fiela’s sister) Karen was travelling to Sydney from South Africa for the week with her other son, Stefan. We’d decided to travel down from Darwin, not only to attend the wedding but to see Fiela’s family, whose visits to Australia (and ours to South Africa) are far too infrequent. I’d like at this point to thank my little jetsetting brother Andrew, who, when I couldn’t find accommodation for us all that wouldn’t absolutely break us financially, stepped up with a few invaluable tips. Namely, Andy put me onto a website called Airbnb.com, a host whereby private landlords can rent out their properties for short periods of time. Having no real concept of where anything is in Sydney, he found us a couple of properties in our price range in some excellent locations. I’d recommend Airbnb.com to anyone looking for holiday accommodation, especially since each property and ‘landlord’ has its own review page where you can check to make sure you’re not paying a few hundred dollars a night for a couple of beds in a meth lab, and it’s very economical. Be aware that these properties may be the landlord’s actual home which they vacate for your stay. If that makes you feel a bit icky, then check carefully when you book. For us it was great- little things like a basket of toys and children’s books, a heap of DVDs to watch, and olive oil should you need a bit to cook with, rather than buying an entire bottle (all with our host’s approval of course).

Beautiful roses in the garden.

Our host, Kathy, had left extremely comprehensive information on where to eat nearby in Glebe, interesting walks and how and where to catch public transport. And the house was amazing! I’m sure it wasn’t only that the entirety of our usual living space fit into the kitchen: it really was a delightful three bedroom house, with gorgeous furnishings and gardens, a few hundred metres in one direction to Glebe Point Road and a few hundred metres in the other to the light rail system, beautiful walks and parks.

Can you see the drool? The Uyshuisers have checked out in front of ABC4Kids.
We arrived and that first night in Sydney was fantastic. The house was an extremely pleasant surprise, and catching up on the gossip with Karen and Stefan over drinks was fantastic! Marguerite decided she would ‘camp’ on Tannie Karen’s floor and Caesar was tucked into his portacot in a faraway corner of our enormous bedroom. I walked from the shower (right next door!) across carpet (not grass!!), the Northern Territory dirt having been scrubbed off my feet only minutes prior, back to the bedroom, turned on the electric blanket on our huge bed and luxuriated in the Sheridan (white!!!) sheets, revelling in the knowledge that this would be a sleep uninterrupted by weather extremes, campers farting in the next site over or, best of all, mosquitoes.

Attempting to escape for some Sydney city sights!

Watch out Sydney- the UysHuis has arrived!

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