Thursday, 15 December 2011

Chapter 39: Graduation Weekend Day 1

Kipwil could hardly sleep....she was flying out to Sydney in the early morning with Mermaid Mel and they had a huge list of things to do!  She tossed and turned, worried she'd forgotten to pack something and finally dozed off five minutes before the alarm went off.

As soon as Kipwil heard the radio, she leapt out of bed and raced to the shower.  Excitement in her was so strong, she was surprised there weren't little sparks coming off her.  Hubba Hubba, on the other hand, was less excited and looked a little sad.

' I love you.  I'm going to miss you." he said sadly.  Kipwil hugged him hard.

“ I’m going to miss you too.” She said, “ but it won’t be long.”

They drove to pick up Mermaid Mel, who had by special magical powers transformed her gorgeous shimmery fish tail into lovely legs.  Hubba Hubba, packed her bags into the car with Kipwil’s and away they went!
The flight to Sydney was uneventful, and in the shuttle bus to the Hotel, Kipwil watched all the different people go by.  It’s definitely a different town,  Kipwil thought, as she saw a man walk by in a red glitter bowler hat and tracksuit pants.

Kipwil had arranged to meet another friend in Sydney.  Her name was Ruby.  Ruby was petite but she was strong, both in mind AND in body.  Ruby was one of the people Kipwil knew who inspired her to keep going.
Ruby whizzed up to the Hotel where Kipwil and Mermaid Mel were staying in a sexy little Fiat.

“ Hello ladies!” she cried smiling, flinging open the door.” Shall we swim?”

Ruby negotiated the roads until they arrived at one of the most beautiful scenes Kipwil had ever seen.
There at her feet was a wide sandy white beach, dotted with umbrellas, lifeguard flags and people of all nationalities. Up above here was a clear blue sky with a warming sun burning away lazily.  Kipwil could hear the surf rolling on the rocks and could smell the salt water in the air. They had arrived at Bondi Beach.  

Mermaid Mel had wanted to swim in an ocean pool and Ruby had brought them to Icebergs at Bondi for a swim.  While Kipwil and Ruby changed into their togs in the changeroom, Mermaid Mel, through secret means, transformed her legs into her beautiful swishy tail again and was off in the water first.

Kipwil approached the water cautiously.  She was unused to swimming in salt water and this pool looked deep and big…..and it was FREEZING!  She took a deep gulp and pushed herself in.

The water was so cold it stole her breath away.  Kipwil tried to swim properly but found her body numbing and unresponsive to the commands to breathe, so she swam with her head out of the water . They did several laps before even Mermaid Mel had to admit defeat against the numbing cold of the water.  But what an experience!!!!  Swimming right beside the ocean, the waves crashing over every now and then was something Kipwil had never experienced before.  She could sit with her arms on the edge and look down across at Bondi beach itself….a perfect view.

Ruby had the brilliant idea of eating at the restaurant above the pool.  The girls quickly got dressed and found themselves up on a balcony in the sun, sipping beers and watching the ocean and the swimmers in the ocean pool below. Perfect view from the pool?  This one was better!!!! 

They enjoyed a gorgeous lunch of chicken and salad or lamb kebabs and salad before it was sadly time to go.

Back at the Hotel, Mermaid Mel and Kipwil tidied themselves up a little before heading out again.  They had another adventure tonight….climbing the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge.

They arrived at the Bridge in plenty of time and met their guide Ben.  Kipwil also got to meet 10 other women who had been in 12 WBT land with her, she had seen them often on the communication screen but now it was in the flesh!  They all soon became good friends and it wasn’t long before the group was ushered into a dressing room.

Here, the group were given all in one jumpsuits to wear, with various tags hanging off it. They changed quickly and moved on to the next room to get the rest of their equipment.  A safety cable was latched on to the tag at their hip, as well as a pouch with a sweatshirt in it.  Kipwil had a special cable for her glasses attached to a tag at the back of her, a beanie attached also and sound equipment so they could hear the guide talking to them during the walk.  They had a practise run on how to walk with the safety cable and how to safely climb the ladders and then…..they were off.

The first part of the climb was easy, walking along metal paths attached to the underside of the bridge.  Ben joked with them all and told them lots of little trivia facts about the harbour and the bridge.  Everyone chatted as they walked and Kipwil could hardly wait to get right into it.  At last they reached the first of four ladders to take them up.

Once up, the path was in the open air and much wider and easier.  The climb itself, while appearing steep from the ground was not as steep as Kipwil had originally thought and the view….breathtaking.  Mermaid Mel and Kipwil entertained themselves as they climbed by waving at the party boats passing underneath and watching the sun set behind the bridge.  They spent some time at the top of the bridge, learning about the history, having pictures taken, watching the life on the harbour move from day to night, from business to party!  The dusk was beautiful and the moon, in her time, rose round and full, perfectly positioned between the two sides of the bridge. It was magical watching the lights of Sydney flare up in the dark and see what was once an expanse of concrete and building turn into a carnival of lights, everywhere you could see.

All too soon it was time to go down but there was one more surprise in store.

Beside the bridge was an old pub.  It was having a blast of a time judging from the music Kipwil and Mermaid Mel could hear as they approached.  They were amazed to see, once the pub came into view, there were hundreds of Santa Claus’ outside the pub, inside the pub, hanging off balconies, arriving in taxis. The group paused a moment to see the sight and Kipwil laughed.

Mermaid Mel said “LISTEN!  Do you want to dance?”

Michael Jackson’s music was playing…..don’t blame it on the sunshine, don’t blame it on the moonlight….. and Mermaid Mel and Kipwil grooved along to cheers from the Santa Claus’ and laughter from the climbing group.

And then… was over.  With aching legs Kipwil and Mermaid Mel made their way back to the Hotel and collapsed into bed.

 My legs are so sore…and I still have the graduation workout tomorrow! Kipwil thought sleepily and then her head was filled with dreams of moonrises and Santa dancers all swimming at Bondi beach.

Will Kipwil’s legs be alright for the workout tomorrow?  What will happen at the party?  Stay tuned for more pics!

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