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From frantic Sydney to laid back Bateman’s Bay

February 13, 2016

Apart from drinks and dinner with friends in Sydney, one highlight has to be a trip the MCA at Circular Keys. This year, one of Britain’s favourite artists, someone who is fast becoming a national treasure – Grayson Perry – has an exhibition here, so we have to go and see. The last one I saw was back in 2003 at Tate Britain, when he won the Turner Prize. That was confined to an exhibition of his many decorative pots, but this was something else. From his early drawings and sketched out ideas, to the more familiar pots, there were also many bronze sculptures, (For those who know his work, his beloved Alan Measles features heavily) and the most amazingly detailed and vibrant tapestries, each with their own narrative. The collection was well laid out, and enhanced by there being few visitors midweek (goodness knows where the hundreds of tourists from the huge ocean liner go each day, they don’t know what they are missing here) so we could get really close to everything and take our time. Sadly I couldn’t return every day to have another look so I bought the book to read when we return to the UK. Next to the MCA is a fabulous pop up bar – the aptly named Gin Garden, where everything ‘gin’ is available with the lovely view of the harbour bridge, the opera house and of course the gigantic ocean liner which shields the duo when it docks daily, roll on 7pm when it leaves and the famous view is restored!
Another ‘must do’ is to get on one of the green and gold ferries to go across the harbour – we chose to go to Darling Harbour this way rather than traipse through the hot sweaty streets. Sadly this is the only opportunity we have – but next time…

Bateman’s Bay is a little slice of paradise after the noise of the city. Our hotel overlooks a lake, and is full of bird life – King Parrots, Ibis, Moorhens, Fantails, and Cormorants, and some I can’t identify. A short drive into the town and we find the boat yard and fish shop (lots of hopeful Pelicans here!) where we book a trip up the Clyde River for a leisurely three hour round trip. The wildlife evades us as it’s so hot, save for a lonesome Pelican at Nelligen. Nelligen is largely shut, apart from a tiny store where we buy ice creams before the trip home. The sound of the boat engine is soporific and it’s hard to keep our eyes open. Later in the afternoon we discover an almost deserted ‘Surfside beach’ where laze for a while. A snooze later and we venture back into town for pizza and a beer before an early night and the next day’s trip to Canberra to meet up with friends. Such is the life of a new retiree, roaming from beach to sofa to and back again…

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