yani on tour - day three

chinese friendship gardenThe theme for Yani on Tour - Day Three is the Chinese Garden of Friendship... and seriously, I could have spent ALL day in there!

Day Three started off with something of a bang (pun completely intended) after I arranged a very early morning bootay call... 6am early in fact... The whole concept of an early morning hookup is weird (but certainly not the WEIRDEST thing I've ever done) and it doesn't help when he says 6am (and you wake up some time after 5 and can't get really get back to sleep because you're afraid you'll oversleep so you just get up) and then doesn't turn up until nearly 6:45 am. But all in all it was VERY, VERY worth it.

Raja (as we'll refer to him from here on in) is half English and half Indian and although really seriously sexy in real life, he takes a surprisingly crap photo. And on top of that he also visits Adelaide occasionally for work. So maybe I need to tie him down and take some decent photos for him (hmmm Raja tied down, that's an interesting thought)...

So needless to say I was VERY happy when I opened the door. Which was good because I hate being kept waiting, but he more than made up for it. And he also seemed to have a thing about me having a hot ass (which I'm pretty sure I don't), but it was obviously floating his boat (very, very obviously in fact), so I didn't argue.

The only mild hiccup came when Ma called my room just to check how ready I was (not ready at all in fact... but luckily I'm pretty good at multitasking) and to let me know that she was awake... but even that wasn't enough to kill the mood thankfully.

Eventually I had to send him on his well hung, pieced nippled, tattooed, Calvin Klein clad way and got myself organised while scarfing half of the mango bread and banana bread we bought yesterday... which was still beautifully moist... and yummy. All in all it was a very, very, very good way to start the day.

Today was a much more laid back kind of day... less walking and more relying on various forms of transportation. I was kicking myself all day though because I forgot to charge the battery on my camera the night before (or even during the morning, since I had so much time on my hands), and it was only after we left the hotel that I realised I only had about a third of the battery left... so I was a little more frugal with the camera overall... but it did last for most of the day which was good.

Anyway, just before 9am we hopped on the big red Sydney Explorer bus and let it wend it's somewhat illogical way through the crazed early morning traffic in the general direction of the Sydney Aquarium (again, with a half price coupon firmly in hand courtesy of Tom... you really are a lifesaver *grin*).

I still wish that we'd gone to the Melbourne Aquarium when we were there... if only so that I would have some frame of reference about how good the Sydney Aquarium actually was. I mean it was okay... even if the long, long, long slope down to the underwater walkways did get a little bit much after a while... and we were sharing the experience with about three different school groups (and speaking of which... were there NO children actually in school over the time we were in Sydney... we saw SO many school groups out on excursions it wasn't even funny). The shark tank was groovy though... lots and lots and lots and lots of sharks and stingrays and whatnot... the only downside was my lack of camera (although I did take some shots on my mobile that I really need to rescue) because I didn't want to waste the battery before we got to the Chinese Gardens. Ma got some pretty good shots though.

After we'd seen as much Aquarium as there was to see we wandered down Cockle Bay Wharf towards the Chinese Gardens, stopping off at Starbucks on the way (mmmm Starbucks... although they have crappy banana bread, especially compared with the stuff I had earlier). We kept following the various signposts (thank god for tourist friendly signage) until we finally got to the Chinese Gardens of Friendship.

For the record, I LOVE the Chinese Gardens of Friendship... like I said before I could easily have spent ALL day in there... what with all the pagodas and the carp and just the general restfulness of the whole place... love, love, love, love (okay, the little dress-up booth where you could rent an "authentic" Chinese outfit was a bit of a worry... but other than that... love!). And that's probably were I went the craziest with my camera... if I'd run out of battery right after we walked out of there I would have been a happy camper, and it would have been worth it. We stopped off at the Tea House and had a little bit of stuff to eat (actually that was kind of the theme for the day, we didn't really have any big meals anywhere, we just kept having little bits and pieces, at least until dinner time)... some steamed Dim Sims and a green iced tea for me, which all seemed appropriate.

Our next stop was the Powerhouse Museum (thanks again to Tom for the coupon)... and sadly, that was actually the low point of the day. It was all just a bit blah... I'm sure if you'd come along for a specific reason it might have been interesting, but between the couple of school groups (see, again with the school groups) and the interactive displays that either didn't work or else I couldn't work out HOW they worked, it was all a bit of a yawn. Or maybe we were just reaching saturation point by that stage, I don't know...

After we left the Powerhouse we got back on the big red bus again (and repeated a few stops), but ended up back in Circular Quay were we decided to take advantage of another of the coupons Tom gave me, for an "inner harbour ferry ride"... the only problem being that we didn't actually know where that meant we could go... so after some humorous interaction with a rather cute and Irish ticket seller we ended up taking the ferry out to Mossman.

Which then meant that we'd officially seen the Opera House from every possibly angle... fortunately we got one of the green and yellow ferries, although it was one of the big ones, not one of the little insane ones (and neither of us remembered to look what it was called)... but it was a pleasant trip, we got to take a look at few of the bays along the coastline (and see how very packed with buildings they all are on the Sydney side of the water), and just enjoy the ride.

When we got back to the Quay we had planned to just jump on the blue Explorer bus (the one that goes to Bondi)... not to go to Bondi (although we had thought about it) but because its third stop was near our hotel, rather than it being the ninth stop for the red bus. But alas fate wasn't on our side and we'd missed the blue bus by a matter of minutes, so we ended up finally completing the loop on the red bus (we'd covered stops 9 to 24 first thing, then 17 to 27 and back to 1 after the Powerhouse, and finally 1 to 9 on the way back to the hotel)... which also meant that we got to drive across the Harbour Bridge, which was an experience in itself.

After we got off the bus we stopped off at some French patisserie at the Cross end of Macleay Street (and ended up being mostly disappointed with our choices... also, for future reference, marzipan... I'm not a fan) before heading back to the hotel to change, unwind a bit and then make some sort of decision about dinner.

Partially because we'd walked past it any number of times and partially because Andrew recommended it last night we ended up going to a Thai place, The Opium Den, just up the road from the hotel. In theory I'm not a fan of Thai... but to be honest it was all really, really nice. The service was great, all really quick (but again it was pretty early and they weren't super busy when we sat down), and the food was really tasty. We had some Goong Spring Rolls (which were something of a surprise because they were essentially big prawns and a piece of chicken in crispy pastry rather than the type of spring roll I'm used to), then Green Chicken Curry (which was really good, although a little bit sloppy maybe), some steamed vegetables with oyster sauce (always good) and coconut rice (which, to be honest, against everything else we were having, was a little bit too rich, and I wish we'd gone with just steamed rice instead).

After dinner we had a bit of a wander again, then swung back to the hotel so I could grab my big black camera bag and my mini travel tripod, then we headed out to the same "lookout" near the McElhone stairs to take a few night shots of the city skyline... and so I could use up the film in my SLR camera.

Then we staggered back up the hill, made a few random suggestions about what we were going to do with the little bit of the final morning we had, and then I wandered back to my room to watch some random teevee and do most of my packing.

Only half a day left now *sob*...

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