Despite the fact that someone had misplaced Pinches Austrailan visa (not her fault, she has silly norwegian characters in her name), we landed at the Sydney International Airport late one friday morning. Since we had no hostel booked and only vague plans to meet a friend here, we headed straight to the nearest bouldering gym for a long overdue training session.
After a little while Chase showed up! He also wanted to do some bouldering, so we ended up doing a five-hour session in total. Not that it was unwelcome, but flying really takes a toll on your body. With Chase's help we managed to get all our luggage safely on the train to his flat. After a nice dinner, both Pinches and Crimps collapsed on the make-do beds in the living room. Boy were we tired!
In the morning we went to explore Sydney for a bit with a promise of some outdoor bouldering in the evening. The exploration turned into a lazy couple of hours on Manly beach before meeting up with Chase to check out Sunnyside! Pinches drove the car and freaked everybody out by fretting about the left-side driving, automatic car and just driving in general. Luckily no-one got injured and we made it safely to the cave. Chase showed us some of the classics, making the moves on "Combat Wombat" look like a walk in the park. When we tried, we quickly realized that our bouldering-shape was not on top. Crimps did make some really good progress though, and looked strong at the end of the session.
Third day on we still didn't feel satisfied with the amount of bouldering, so we decided to go to "Nomad" bouldering gym after tips from Jack (who we met in Yangshuo) and Chase. On the way there we got some new piercing jewellery for Pinches as her old one broke. Nomad was pretty epic, just check out some of the boulders below!
In the evening, Pinches noticed she'd gotten some bug bites, but didn't think much about it.
On the last day in Sydney, we decided to take it easy, pack our stuff and take the train to Blue Mountains. The plan was to meet Chase on the train on the way there, but before we got that far, Pinches started feeling really sick. The bug bites had swollen up, and she felt dizzy and nauseous. Thinking that she maybe had an allergic reaction, she decided to go to the closest doctor's office to get it checked out. After she fainted at the counter, the doctor there wasn't really of much help and basically just sent her to the emergency room in the hospital, saying "We've got these spiders in Australia. You need to go to the Hospital".
Turned out she was right all along. There was no spiders, only allergies (and low potassium). Antihistamines, painkillers and a big dose of potassium supplements later she was feeling just fine, if very tired. Because it had gotten quite late, no-one was really up for a three hour train ride. We spent another night in Sydney and another day on the beach with Chase before we finally made it on the train to the blueies.
On the way there it was Crimps' turn feeling sick. We set up camp near Mt.Piddington for easy access to Boronia Point and the surrounding crags, but decided against climbing the first day because Crimps looked like death and Pinches didn't mind spending time relaxing in nature.
The following days Crimps only got worse, so we decided to cut the trip short after climbing the sharp sandstone at Boronia Point for two days. After booking a Hostel in Glebe, we slowly got everything packed and reluctantly returned to the City.
Crimps got a stern look with instructions to rest and sleep as much as possible, while Pinches went bouldering and exploring the attractions of Sydney. She did the Bondi to Coogee walk, the Royal Botanical Gardens and the Sydney Opera House.
Now we're finally settled down at our quiet campsite in Stayplton in the Grampians. It was a little rough getting here too, but more on that later.
From a coffee shop in Horsham (outside the Grampians), Australia.