Brenna’s Free day in Sydney

Free day, oh free day, what to do with free day.  After sitting through five lectures the day before I was ready to do something outdoors.  We had seen a lot of the city the past couple of days and were on a schedule that took u pretty much most of our day so I was ready to get out and not have to be on any sort of schedule at all.  A lot of people decided they wanted to go surfing but for some reason that wasn’t appealing to me so I decided to took for things to do that didn’t involve me being lead by a guide.  Lauren and I looked through many brochures at the hotel when I stumbled upon one that said we could rent bikes for the day at Manly Beach.  We gathered a few others that weren’t going surfing and hadn’t made plans (Lauren, Rachel, and Tessa).  We decided to take the free city bus down to the harbor where we had to take the ferry to Manly Beach.  Worst. Decision. Ever.  The bus driver drove like a maniac!  With all the stop and go and the amount of people on the the bus I thought I came close to hurling at least 5 times.  When we finally arrived at the harbor we all took a second to recollect ourselves then off to the ferry!  The place we did our bike rentals ended up being pretty close to where the ferry dropped us off so we didn’t have trouble finding it at all.  The guy who helped us get all of our gear ready made small talk about how neat it was that us Americans were in Australia.  He handed up maps of different trails and bike paths of the beach and off we went!  The first two hills that we had to climb were brutal … all I could think about was what did we get ourselves into?!?!?  Luckily those hills were the only tough ones we had to deal with and when we finally made it to one of the first stops of our trip it was the place where they filmed The Great Gatsby! After that was an overlook on the north side of the Sydney Harbor.  That was one of the most beautiful places I had seen in Sydney!  We sat on a grassy area and soaked in the scenery.  There was nothing like this in the states that I had seen.  After that we stopped at a place where you could do whale watching and even though we didn’t see anything we talked to a local woman who said that she did whale watching as a hobby and tried to come out one or two days of the week.  This was so interesting to me because one again, there’s nothing like this in the states that I had seen before.  To end our bike ride we rode down to the beach side of Manly and rode along the strip to grab a late lunch and see the ocean.  We ran into others from our group that were playing soccer on the beach.  We stretched out our beach towels and shared our favorite parts of the trip so far and even made friends with a bird.  We named him Sherman and he was very protective of us!  Whenever another bird started coming towards us he would puff out his feathers and start running towards them!  We were able to watch the sunset on the beach at Manly and make it back to the fairy in time to head back to Sydney.  I am so happy that we decided to spend our free day roaming around in a place that was so foreign to us.  Not only did we learn about a new place but we also were able to bond and learn more about each other.  I love making new friends! (:

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