We have an early morning call at 7.00am and are down at breakfast by 7.30am. Again it’s a fantastic spread with a wide variety of options to choose from. My room mates Mr Thomas and Ioan are not too impressed that I opt for 3 bowls of fruit salad and yoghurt!! There’s me eating healthily and all they can do is think of themselves.
Everyone is packed and our cases are down in the foyer by 8.30am. What a surprise, the bus is 15 minutes late!! It arrives and driver, Ron duly loads up and groups 1,2 and 3, after a short tour of the city are to head off to Bondi. Whilst we are travelling, both Ron and I are regularly phoning the coach company to check on the progress of the second coach. It takes an hour to get through and when we eventually do so we are passed from one office to another.
Eventually, they tell us that Ron’s coach, which was a 61 seater was intended for the whole group. We will have to go back to the hotel to pick up the others.
We are not best pleased. Ron assures me that he was told the evening before that they were sending two coaches and then shows me his job sheet which states 2 coaches to stay with the group.
I complain to the bus company and the manager confirms that they have made a mistake, but doesn’t apologise. Anyway, it’s no good agonising over things, we need to move forward. We return to the hotel, just about manage to cram the luggage into the hold, load the group and set off for Bondi at 10.15am-an hour and 45 minutes late.
Before we had left the hotel, I had checked that all room bills had been settled appropriately. They had apart from room 130. They had watched a film which had not been paid for. The room contained Aled Simons, Sean Collins and Jack Soproniuk. They were all seated on the bus and when I challenged them about it they initially looked a little sheepish but then ‘remembered’ and Sean duly paid the $20 charge. I go back to reception and pay for the film. I ask them if there have been any other issues with our group. “Not at all, they’ve been fantastic, last week, we had a group in who caused havoc so it reassures us when we get groups like this.” Again it is nice to hear and reassures me.
Back to ‘filmgate’ there was no information on the content of the video, but I’m certain that it would have been age appropriate.
We arrive at Bondi Beach at 11.15am and have until 2.00pm here. We have gone from the ridiculous to the sublime. After the fiasco with the buses, we are now in a stunning environment. Three years ago I had come to Bondi and been very unimpressed. The waves were insignificant it was overcast and cold, the beach was pretty uninviting and the shopping area looked tardy. Today was the complete antithesis of that. The beach was inviting, the waves were powerful and decked out with surfers. The cloudless sky meant it was warm and bright and the shopping complex appeared vibrant. Many spend time on the beach and some go to the water for a paddle. Time is spent shopping and lunch is taken in the plethora of restaurants on the front. It was a thoroughly relaxing and enjoyable few hours.
We board our coach and head for our next accommodation, the Colloroy centre. En route, Mr Thomas organises the Donkey of the Day vote. Again there is no shortage of contenders.
Kieran Charles had called some to question his sanity when he had stated that a small bird they saw that was similar to a crow was a hawk.
Cameron Lewis had asked whether the sea was warmer because it was centrally heated?
Tom Ham turned a few heads when he said “The reason why desserts are so expensive because 20 years ago they were illegal!!!!” No-one understood what he was on about-no change there then.
Steffan Tyrrell impressed Mr Mason when it was reported back that he had gone into a shoe shop and asked “What is the average price of shoes here?” not everyone takes their geography coursework on tour.
Jack Soproniuk continues to make people smile. He’d lost his bank card yesterday-the last place he remembers having it was in the girls’ bedroom!!!! Obviously his mum knows what he is like because she had hidden a replacement in his case to ensure he didn’t have a cash flow problem.
Whilst at the jet boating, the ‘skipper’ of the boat went through the safety drill, after he had finished, Jack asked him “Do we take the life jacket off if we are in the water?”
I don’t think a career in life saving will be Jack’s calling.
Sean Collins was nominated for mistakenly pressing ‘OK’ on the handset during the ‘filmgate’ affair.
Of these, Jack received one vote, Keiran, Tom and Sean got two votes each. The remaining 54 votes went to Joe ‘Casanova’ Bright. Whilst on the beach at Bondi, the lads had been playing with an Aussie rules ball. There was a group of young girls sitting nearby and when the ball was thrown amongst them Joe sauntered over to get it back. While he was there he starting chatting the girls up. One of them asked Joe,
“How old are you?”
“17” said Joe. “How old are you?”
“12” came their reply.
Joe sauntered away much more quickly than he had sauntered over.
After we returned to the bus, we set off on our journey to the Collaroy centre on the picturesque northern beaches. En route we dropped off Mr Thomas who was taking David Carpanini to see Professor Roe. His prognosis is very positive, the X-ray shows that the knee cap had gone back into place and that all was required was rest for a few weeks and then he could start pre-season training as normal. A sports physiotherapist, Alanna Antcliff advises David on how to strengthen it and straps it up to give it support.
The treatment David has received has been outstanding and we are very grateful to all concerned for their time and effort.
The total cost of treatment was $410 which we expect to be able to claim back from insurance.
Another casualty is Holly Breeze-Jones whose big toe has been giving her problems for several days. Miss Rushworth and Mr Long took her to the Doctor who said it was infected. They then took her to pharmacy where medication was given. We should be able to reclaim that via insurance.
We arrive at the Collaroy centre and it is certainly a lot different to the relative opulence we have become accustomed to. We are in dorms of 8. The boys have to collect their own pillow case and sheets and make their own beds!!! After meals they have to put their plates back and wipe their table down.
On the plus side, the surrounding environment, in terms of vegetation and wildlife is spectacular and we are a five minute walk from Collaroy beach. I walked down to the beach to check on its safety. The waves are spectacular and similar to Bondi and the sea contains at least 50 people who are surfing at 6.00pm. As one packs up for the night, I ask him if there are lifeguards on duty. “Not during the winter.” he said. “How safe is it to swim in the sea here?” It’s probably the safest of the north Sydney beaches and there’s a natural rock pool on one side which is completely safe.
I make my way back and arrive just at the lads have finished playing a game of football. The year 11s took on the seniors. The seniors cam out on top 4-2.
Evening meal was a set menu of Lasagne and salad which I found tasty and most students polished it off. After evening meal the centre organised some games of tag etc. In the Auditorium which were finished by 9pm. We had coffee and quiche for supper and all were in bed by 11pm.
Tomorrow, breakfast is at 7.30am and we give them the option of coming for breakfast or sleeping in and coming to the meeting before we leave at 9.45am. We shall see what the morning brings.
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