Sydney - Marjoleins birthday
We left the caravan park in Narrabeen at 10am but stopped just outside to finish cleaning the camper. The drive to the Maui depot in Mascot was short but required nerves and concentration due to the many choices of lane that had to be made, in particular to avoid using the Sydney Harbour Tunnel, which was a toll road with electronic payment only. Derek couldn't enjoy the potentially spectacular view from the bridge because of having to think about which lane to take for payment at the south end. Despite this we made a wrong choice of lane after the toll booths and ended up driving along George Street, the absolute downtown! However we kept our cool and eventually found the Maui depot.
Unfortunately the drop-off was a long drawn-out affair due to our two accidents, for both of which paperwork had to be done. Even though the broken window was absolutely not our fault we are still responsible for the costs under the terms of the insurance. That will probably only cost a couple of hundred dollars but the slight damage to the side of the camper due to our incident with the wall will probably cost more, since (according to the Maui representative) the whole side panel will have to be resprayed at a special workshop for large vehicles. So we can probably wave goodbye to most of the $2500 excess... Add to that the fact that the Australian dollar has dropped in value by 10% since we paid that deposit, so even if we hadn't had any incidents we would still have lost $250 just on the exchange rate!
Next we had to wait almost an hour for the taxi that was ordered for us, and ended up flagging one down in the street. The taxi driver was very friendly with all sorts of tips for our time in Sydney. After a short rest at the Quality Hotel Cambridge in Surry Hills we walked into town, stopping to buy a new power adapter at the Apple Store on George Street (couldn't imagine how we drove down it earlier in the day!) It felt great to be back in the bustle of a big city after all those increasingly cold and empty holiday parks in NSW. Sydney immediately made a great impression on us. Ate dinner at Wagamama (Saskia's favourite!) on Bridge Street to celebrate Marjolein's birthday, and drown our sorrows over the camper woes.