After a brutal 17 hour flight direct to Sydney from Santiago (we did manage to get a Lord of the Rings in – it seemed fitting) we couldn’t of asked for a better welcome than we got from Iain and Kristy who were waiting for us in arrivals, complete with banner and balloons! It was an overwhelming moment, especially considering we hadn’t seen these guys in ages! We jumped in the car and made our way to the Leitch residence. Iain and Siy met at O2 and to be honest it was love at first sight. The rest is history…
The warm welcomes continued as we met Jenny and George, Kristy’s parents. These guys oppitimise laid back Australians and made us feel incredibly welcome. It was great to see Kristys sister, Amy who Siy had met when she lived in London. Being able to put our feet up and feel like part of the family was something we both really appreciated and really missed. Iain fired up the barbie, dished out the ciders and then, like two sleep deprived zombies we staggered to bed.
Day 2 we did the sites. Kristy was at work so Iain played tour guide and did a sterling job. It was great to see an amazing city with the insight of someone who lives there. Opera house – tick. Next, food! We’d heard good things about the food in OZ and it didn’t disappoint. Still feeling a little jet lagged we enjoyed an amazing evening of not doing much at all except cooking a lasagne as a thank you for having us meal. It went down well and we spent the rest of the evening on the sofa. Perfect!
The next day we headed to the coast. Iain and Kristy spoiled us rotten and treated us to a paddle boarding session where we explored an amazing beach. The treats continued as they’d arranged an amazing beach side bungalow for the night. We headed to the supermarket and picked up some amazing steaks and sausages which Iain cooked like a BAUS. It’s at this point that we were introduced to Monopoly Deal and our lives were changed forever. Ask us for a game, we will be more than happy to get our cards out! The morning after we headed to some of the best beaches we’d ever been on. Picture postcard perfection – truly living up to the Austrailian dream we’d seen so many times on television.
On the way back to Sydney we stopped off to check out some amazing wildlife at . We laughed at the stoned Koalas (no, seriously they were all off their nut on eucalyptus) saw some adorable red pandas and fed some ‘roos and wallabies.
During our time in Sydney, Iain and K were in the process of buying a house and we were lucky enough to go with Iain to the estate agents where he officially signed for the house! It was a lovely moment to be part of and reminded us how special it was to be visiting our mates on the other side of the world.
On the Sunday we jumped on the boat at Sydney harbour and headed to Manly beach for one of THE best brunches we’ve ever had. The coffee, food and location were on point and we could really see why Iain had made the move!
That afternoon Siy and Iain had a lads afternoon out and watched UFC in a bar in central with one of Iain’s mates. Sinking beers (well, ciders) and watching fights. Lads, lads, lads! Emma and K went for fancy hot choc and hit the shops and we met up later. We then headed to meet Lizzie, a friend of Iain and Siys from the O2 days. Liz was feeling a little hazy after enjoying Madagra the night before. It was great to catch up and laugh over a few beers.
On our last day we nipped to the post office and very tentivaly posted a box of South American treasures back to the UK. We sent them via boat and spent the next few weeks imagining them bobbing across the sea on the way to Norwich. After a nervous few months we can confirm they arrived! We said our goodbyes to super hosts Jenny, George and K. They’d really made us feel like part of the family and after a hectic 3 months in South America spending time in a loving, lively family home was just what we needed. Next stop, Melbourne!