Oz is full of surprises

Breathtaking beach backdrop, still in sight of Sydney Harbour Bridge!

Unusual car park visitor - we were walking through and noticed an echinada snacking on ants.


This blog is temporarily about homeschooling and travel.

“Are these kids homeschooled?” challenged the security guard at Brisbane airport. There’s a different school term in Oz so I was about to get a tad defensive – I mean Lola and Nell have partially been, but they don’t have to be doing education all the time, especially at an airport. I tried to say yes and no, and eventually yes.

The reward for all of us was unexpected. “You can really tell,” said the woman as she scanned my bags, purse etc while keeping one beady eye on my daughters… “kids who are homeschooled are always more self confident and intelligent…”

I thanked her graciously, but I reckon she just caught Lola and Nell on a very lucky moment. We’ve had a lot of squabbles about who sleeps with which pillow too. And Nell’s not keen on being called a worm…

But today has been pretty much perfect as Pete shows us around Sydney. It may not be the capital of Australia, but it certainly feels like it should be.

Mission today was to explore Manly Beach and the North Head. To do this you catch a ferry which takes you across the harbour. You can see jellyfish at Circular Quay, imagine all sorts as you pass Sydney Opera House, occasionally see a lost whale and count the bays with shark nets.

We took a 3 hour walk – possibly moving rather slowly – around the headland which is full of flowers. It’s spring here. Saw surfers, rocks, blossom and almost no cars.

LOLA “I thought Manly was really nice. I thought that beach was amazing – Collins – it was so pretty with a waterfall, stream, gallahs (big white parroty birds) and the promise of fairy penguins, yachts in the water and almost no people. I think Sydney is really cool. It’s a lot bigger and less dusty than Honiara, and there are a lot more shops. However Honiara is amazing. I’m really looking forward to going back to London. Cities are so different, even when they seem similar took, like Brisbane and Sydney.”

NELL “I loved seeing an echidna (like a hedgehog) eating ants near the beach. It really liked eating them! I think Sydney is really nice and I am looking forward to going to the opera house tomorrow.”

Tomorrow Lola and I have been invited to kayak around Sydney Harbour by Patrick, who has the best stories about travelling around the Solomons in the ’70s and ’80s. What an incredible treat for us both.

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