Breakfast is again sparsely populated, not least because I oversleep myself and don’t wake until 8.10am. I had told the 4 who were ‘AWOL’ that they needed to meet me in breakfast at 7.30am, after the staff had spoken about our options and then slept on things.
Well, I had well and truly slept on it-so much so that I didn’t wake until after 8am. They arrive at my door just as I am leaving and I invite them inside. They are very contrite. We had studied the CCTV pictures and could see that they hadn’t left the site or done anything untoward and had just met and chatted with a friend. However, at the time we didn’t know that and they now understand the difficult and stressful position that we had been placed in.
There is no need to contact parents and we will consider whether we should restrict them from being ‘entertained’ by the Mater Maria students on Monday afternoon.
We meet at 9.45am and as we are going to different activities we split into separate buses. Bus one has 36 on board and they are going kayaking on Lake Narrabeen. En route, the bus driver tells us that Narrabeen had been made famous in a song by the Beach Boys.
The second bus is going straight to The Rocks area in Sydney which is next to Circular Quay. There is a Sunday morning open market that is worth a visit.
I travel to Narrabeen, kayaking is an excellent experience, with a nice windless day the lake is calm and great for kayaking. In the centre of the lake there is a large island. The instructor says they can kayak over to it, but do not get out of the kayak as there are oysters on the shore. They are very sharp and can cut your feet.
He advises that they paddle around to the far side of the island to the bridge and then return back.
The instructor gives them safety guidance after which he asks ‘Any questions?’
Shanaye Grant ” Are there any crocodiles in the lake?”
“No crocodiles, but be careful you do not fall out as there are two great white sharks in the lake.”
“Gulp”- the colour drains from Shanaye’s face.
“No”, he said, “I am only joking, there is nothing in the lake that can cause you harm”.
Sam Hughes asked “Is the lake tidal?”
The instructors’ shoulders slumped as he replied “No, it is a lake”.
Trystan Williams is first back nearly an hour later and the rest arrive back in he next 15 minutes. All have got quite wet. We attempt to dry off and change, although it mostly has to be done on the bus as there are no areas to do so.
We board the coaches and travel to Sydney to meet up with the rest of the party in Circular Quay. All have time for lunch and a bit of retail therapy. Some of the group decide to go and explore the city area, whilst the others are taken by Miss Rushworth, Miss Smitham, Mr Lewis, Mr Long and Mr Thomas to the pylon lookout on the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It is a climb of 200 steps and gives them a fantastic view over Sydney Harbour.
We meet at 2:30pm, a small group of 10 decide to stay in the city and continue shopping and sightseeing. Amy Baldwin is keen to make the 15 minute walk up Pitt Street to reach the clothes shop……..she obviously does not have enough already.
The majority, 46 travel to Brook Vale to watch the Manly Sea Eagles take on Newcastle Knights in the Australian rugby league.
Both teams are having a tough season, Manly lie 11th and Newcastle are bottom of the league.
We arrive in good time for the 4pm kick off, but it is delayed by 15 minutes to allow the crowd of 11,200 to get in.
When we enter the ground the stadium is filling up- lots of people sit on the grass bank that is on the far side of the stadium. The sun is shining and it is a beautiful afternoon.
In the first half the home side dominate and are 26-0 at half time. They fail to press home the advantage in the 2nd half and Newcastle score 3 tries to 2 from the hosts and the final score is 36-16.
We return to the Collaroy Centre for 6:30pm and enjoy beef stroganoff and rice.
The group of 10 who stayed in the city with Miss Rushworth and Miss Smitham are due to be picked up at 5pm. After arriving at the bus, they are told that the battery on the bus is flat…… We believe the driver must have been keeping himself entertained by listening to the radio for 6 hours whilst waiting for us to finish.
The group are fantastically patient and wait for an engineer to arrive. Luckily he arrives within 30 minutes just as it was getting dark. After a jump start we are on our way and arrive back at 6pm, just in time for dinner.
We meet at 7:30 and are given the details of tomorrow, our 4th series of fixtures at Mater Maria.
We decide that the group would welcome some free time. They can use that time to pack their cases and do any washing and ironing they need to do.
We finish with Mr Thomas organising the Donkey of the Day vote.
The first nomination came for one of our drivers. When he arrived in the morning he came to Mr Thomas and Miss Smitham and said, “Hi, I’ve got to take you to the TBC, where’s that?” Neither Mr Thomas or Miss Smitham could help. Thankfully, someone else realised it was “to be confirmed”
Looking out of the coach window Joe Bright caused a few sniggers when he asked “Where’s the Sydney harbour bridge?” We were driving over it at the time.
Sam Hughes had her geographical knowledge called into question when she asked the instructor if “the lake is tidal?”
Joe was awarded 3 votes and Sam received 8. The remaining 50 votes went to Shanaye Grant. Initially she asked, “Are there any crocodiles in the lake?” but that was well and truly topped when she asked “Is Argentina in Spain?” Thankfully, she’s in r Sorley’s class and he can carry the can for that one.
All are in their rooms by 11pm and will need to be up by 7:30am as we are leaving Collaroy and transferred back to the Menzies for the night. Before arriving at the Menzies we are to have our 4th match day against Mater Maria.
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Really enjoy reading about the tour’s adventures in Australia . It’s a far cry from the school trips I used to go on when I was in Gowerton school in 19***.