Saturday, February 14

Day 170-Sydney

I will not deny that the last few days have been a wee depressing. I awake each morning, not so well rested, since I am in dollar saving mode and spending the night in shared dorm rooms. It has been raining here on the southeast coast ever since I left the Blue Mountains, and though it is sporadic and light, the grey skies hampers my enthusiam. My new shoes hurt abit as I break them in and that takes the joy out of walking. On top of that, it is Valentines Day, and I am so very far from being in a participant in that event, I can't remember the last holiday that I spent in the company of someone I know. Its all beginning to wear on me a bit.

Despite the torments of my inner psyche, I must make note of what a lovely city Sydney is. Though it has been years since I have been to Seattle, I consider them to be sister cities, both surrounding the ocean bay, broken by hills into discreet and pleasant neighborhoods, both home to liberal thought and alternative lifestyles. I have enjoyed the day walking the harbour, delighting in the unique architecture of the Harbour Bridge and of course that building from an alien planet, the Sydney Opera House. Wending my way back through the excellent botanical gardens, awash in the pleasing odors of rain, wisteria, and rose, I stopped now and then to take in the sight of the futuristic skyscrapers lording over the hundred year old fig trees, gums of every sort, and wollemi pines If ever I was inclined to put down a root and attempt to become ex-pat, for a number of reasons, it would be here.

But I am not putting down a root, instead tomorrow I board a plane for yet another step eastward. On to the otherworldly landscape of New Zealand, where I will enjoy the freedom and solitude of travel by rental car, stopping when and where I wish, basking in sunshine, warm temperatures and sylvan quietude. After the last few days spent in the hostels, surrounded by hordes of 20something backpackers, I cannot get enough of that.

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