Australia, Day 35

Day 35, Wednesday, March 10 2010

Brado’s backpackers is quite a nice place to be. The place itself is still pretty run down, but as Brad, Laurence and his crew only took over the place some 5 weeks ago, they are only just finding out what has to be done. I am deeply impressed by the friendliness of the place. Brad and Laurence used to be tour guides and now have decided to have a backpackers of their own. Because they are tour guides, Brad supposedly got Beaver his job, have firstly lots of experience on how bad accommodations can be, but also they have decided to keep the touring up by offering really wonderful tours of the city.

One of these tours we did today. This was a tour which took us down to the city, and into the Royal Botanical Gardens. Sadly the weather had changed and we were once again under cloudy skies with a few drizzles and some rain during the day. Nevertheless the view was really beautiful. Our walk took us down to Wolloomooloo Bay. On the way there, we came down a flight of stairs, where Brad, or Forest for which he is better known, told us about the TV show Underbelly. Underbelly was written on the grounds of the true stories which brought about the murder of 32 people. These murders were all conducted in cocaine related situations. The first season of Underbelly told the story of cocaine in Melbourne during the 1990’s. Two more seasons had been shot which told the beginning of how cocaine came to Australia and this originated in Sydney during the 1970’s and thus certain scenes were shot at theses stairs.

We carried on walking along edges of the botanical garden which looked out onto the harbour. The walk carried on, and we then came to the spot where Mrs McQuaries Chair is situated. This chair was once cast out of the rock there by Gouvernour McQuarry because his wife used to walk along the shore and enjoy the view at this place.

Our walk then carried on through the gardens and we ended up on the east bank of Farm Cove, giving us a splendid view of the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Had the weather not spoiled the view, then we would have had a postcard view of the two beautiful attractions.

We carried on walking and then sat under a larger tree, where Forest then told us a gread deal of how Australia came to be found in a extraordinary secretive mission by Captain Cook in 1770 and then colonized in 1788. He told us how the English landed with a fleet of 11 ships and how they then first told the aborigines to piss off, but because they could not, they began the slaughtering and thus the destruction of a race of people who have survived against all odds in the harshest environments on the planet. A race which has managed, over about 100’000 years, give or take a few, to have survived the deadliest fauna and flora in the world. No race has managed to live as long, not even to have started as long ago. One of the cruelest acts was to not classify them as humans until 1965, before which they were classed as part of the australian fauna and flora!

It is sad to hear all these things, and always reminds me of all the other races which had to undergo similar destruction: native North Americans, native Africans or the native South Americans, the descendants of the Mayas! Nevertheless it was mesmerizing to listen Forest speak and it was really nice to feel the empathy which he has towards the Aborigines.

After a long time of speak, we broke the talking and headed off as first the weather was about to collapse on top of us and we were going to be late for lunch. Lunch was held in Sydneys oldest pub and it is filled with information and pictures of the discovery of Australia and the start of the colonization with the arrival of the fleet of 11 ships.

After lunch we headed off to the Harbour Bridge. We walked up the old stairs which takes one up to the pedestrian lane on the bridgt. It was quite a view from there, but we then carried on to the top of one of the four corner pillars. The pillar is a small museum of the building of the bridge and at the top one could enjoy a wonderful view over Sydney.

The Sydney Harbour Bridge marked the end of our tour of the city and everyone dispersed in different directions. The evening was easy going, and we soon turned in for the night as Iris would leave for Adelaide early the next day and I would leave for Tasmania around midday.