We arrive in Sydney from Christchurch to find it is the upcoming Mardi Gras weekend, and room are unavailable under $150 10Km outside the city. The parade proves very entertaining for about a quarter of a million people. Originally started in the 80's a s a reaction to police mishandling of a legal parade it has grown to become an annual event honoring human rights and more specifically the gay community. Most of the parade participants are straights supporting the rainbow people. Often the crowd gets well into the act as we can see here on the 10 ft tv screen shows the camera's view\ of a balcony beauty 1o stories up baring her brests in celebration. - Oh those Aussies !
We decide to try a longstanding temptation - a youth hostel - or in this case a backpacker hostel . It is right smack in city center and a very cheap - $65 with breakfast (toast, peanut butter, jelly and milk).
The kids (18 - 25) are friendly and fun to be around until we experience their super loud rooftop parties that last until 4 AM !! We survive without AC, the shared baths and open windows to the all night concert in the 85 degree Australian night.
The "Australian Backpackers" hosts a weekly barbecue on the roof so Betty and I volunteer to help and as the management disappears we find Betty putting the "snags on the barbie" - as they say. It was fun and the kids demolished the 5 kilos of sausages (snags).
Here in Sydney we first notice the fruit
bats (Flying Foxes). These huge bats hang in the trees
in the botanical park and migrate nightly by the tens of thousands to the
country fruit orchards. They have wingspans up to 3 feet and weigh up to 4
pounds. They are very noisy and as you might guess, great producers of bat poop!
Here is a picture of one in a tree fern 1 meter off the ground (normally they never leave the tree tops) outside the library in Cairns suffering from a broken wing and so soon to belong to the ages.
Bondi Beach right in the city is a popular place for thousands to enjoy the heat sand and surf.