November 1, 2008
During the last few days of our cruise we were quite sad, but really ready to be on to our next adventure. If we would have had enough money I am sure that we would have extended our stay on the Dawn Princess and sailed around Australia for the next 28 days. During the last two days of our cruise we truly felt at home on the ship. I don’t necessarily think we were so comfortable because of the duration of our cruise; I think we were comfortable because we lived what we like to call “Alaska Days”. On our Second to last day sailing, we did a bit of scenic cruising through Fjord Land in New Zealand. This was so much like being in Alaska, very majestic. The mountains and waterfalls towered over our ship and really put into perspective how small we are. Ash and I got up early- 9ish, and we bundled up- sweatshirts, hats, and mittens. From the deck we just sat on the lounge chairs sipping our coffee watching the mountains drift by. We didn’t appreciate how funny this might seem to non-Alaskans, until we looked around and noticed our fellow passengers were taking snap shots of us with our coffee and mittens.
On our last day we packed and took our time saying good-bye to our temporary home and ship friends. After packing we decided we needed to break, so we traveled up seven flights of stairs to the open deck and sipped Alaskan Summer Ale. Three beers is always a great idea. We revealed our quirkiness to a new bartender beginning up our last night with loads of giggles. Our friends informed us of some things they observed of us. The three that stick out most to me are the following.
Impression of Ash , “Hahaha, my name is Ashley, and in five minutes I will be Yelling.” (He was our bartender.)
About our dancing and overall demeanor, “It is refreshing to see people having fun, and not being concerned with what others are thinking.”
Our role on the ship, “You are the queens of the Ship.”
All are funny to think about, because all these things we knew, but it is interesting that others observe this as well. I forget that in my people watching we are probably being watched as well.
It’s strange to think that we have been in Sydney for a week. We have walked about and seen the Opera House, the Botanical Gardens, the Red Light District, China Town, Paddington and the Beach. We have three more days here to finish up all of our sightseeing, but I am certain we have seen Sydney to best of our ability and to the best of our budget. So far the highlight of our trip has been a three-day camping/hiking trip to the Blue Mountains. Luckily we have our camping gear with us because we love to be outside. We only ran into minimal people on the trail, and minimal difficulties camping.
We walked from Mount Victoria, through the Blue Gum Forrest, Down Govetts Leap Brook, to Bridal Veil Falls (said like Buddy the Elf). We both climbed under one of the waterfalls and Ash braved the second on her own; it is an awesome thing to bathe under a waterfall. After our first day hiking we camped near a river so we decided to bathe and wash/rinse our clothes out. This was great because the water is much warmer than Alaska’s 34* water. Basically we were in a canyon for 2 days and had to hike out. It is so different hiking out of a canyon, because the hike up is seriously 90*. Luckily someone had been there before us and had etched out these handy-dandy stairs (the stair-master’s got nothing on us, but my quads are a bit soar). The canyon at its highest is probably 2500’ but it is so impressive we you look straight up and only see a wall of rock. We had great weather and very little rain during the night. The only slight scare we had was we ran out of water. Don’t worry it ends well. At the end of the summer we bought a Steripen, so eventually we found some relatively clean water and sterilized it. So far we haven’t had any digestion problems, so I think the water was clean. It couldn’t have been planned better, so thank you for your prayers we are safe.