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Beyond the Pale - A 'pale' is a fencepost. The English Pale was a boundary in Ireland marking out the part of Ireland under direct English rule circa 1450 (which included Dublin and environs). Those that lived 'beyond the pale', outside of English rule, were considered out of control and uncivilised. You decide...

Friday, November 3, 2000

Fragments from the Australia Diaries 2000 (part 23) - Port Stephens

Who's drivin' this thing...

ROAD TRIP CONTINUES

Next up, the high speed boat which we picked up on a whim at the harbour of Port Stephens. It was superb!
We all piled on board, Lian and Katrina in their itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polka dot bikinis, Sharon in a rain mac, the guy had recommended we should wear them as it gets very wet. I thought that was a load of old cobblers, and hoped in the boat in my jeans with my purse, watch and marlboro lights (esssssentials). The guy started off slowly, to get out of the harbour, I assumed this was the height of it and was well unimpressed, I gave the girls my best world-weary 'this is SUCH a waaaaaaste of valuable time' look. 

Next thing you know, we are tearing though the water top speed, doing 360’s and emergency stops. It was like being on a rollercoaster down Niagara Falls. We were saturated beyond belief, absolutely submerged in water. We all got into high states of girly hysteria and were singing, screaming and roaring laughing. It was such good craic. When we finished, Sharon took off her mac to show that it had been a great idea altogether, approx 2 to 3 inches of her left shoulder had remained bone dry. I, of course, was the foolish one, I looked like someone from a Levi’s ad (? Am I in love with myself or what). I was ringing wet from head to foot, my jeans plastered to me, my watch had stopped working, my purse was in tatters and my smokes were for the bin.

To recover, we chilled out for a while, relaxing is sooo under-rated. 

Time to head back, I was in rare form and we were car boogying, to the great amusement of fellow drivers. Suddenly we came to a screeching halt and flipped into a spinning Uey..."did we just see a go-karting sign? Let's check it out!" 

I was atrooooocious, my chest still hurt from previous accidents, I was terrified I would hurt myself more, so I was Driving Miss Daisy. Myself and Lian had never done it before and thought it was a bit of craic. Sharon and Katrina were old pros and were rippin it up on the circuit. I think they might have preferred more aggressive competition. Not sure if my 10 mph, 'don't touch my buggie, I'll scream' tactic really put the fear of God in them. 
  

Days of Thunder behind us, we rocked and rolled our way into Sydney, the car throbbing. We decided to take advantage of the car hire, Katrina brought us all around Sydney checking out the stunning views (yes, that's right, she brought us to mirror shop after mirror shop...haha). We stopped in the always gorgeous Watson’s Bay for a bevvie. 



The table we took had a foolish man sitting at the end of it. He started off with the whole are you Irish thing, which was grand, we were nice and polite, then he started waffling on about what exactly was the relationship between the British and Irish and did the English commit genocide and all this. We didn’t rise to his bait and just kept short answers. He then went on about how the British had come to Australia and wiped out thousands, and then he said sarcastically “I suppose that’s no potato famine”. We refrained from bursting into the Wild Colonial Boy and pointing out that 1 million people died during the famine, instead we decided to ignore him...and order plates of chips. 

The sun was just setting (BE-U-tiful).

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