Monday, 17th September

We did not get up quite so early. It does not take us long to lapse! Another sunny day.

The lovely Helen dropped off our washing to enable us to pack (we were flying to Sydney later in the day) and then came back for us at about 11.00.

She then carried us off to her sister’s house where her brother in law had cooked us an amazing ‘brunch of Peking duck, pancakes plum sauce and all!! It was delicious. We hopefully earned our keep a bit by adding to their knowledge of the via Francigena – the Canterbury to Rome walk – which they are coming to Europe to do, in reverse (!) next year. It was good fun for us to revisit the memory of the walk which was a true landmark in our relationship..

Their apartment HD’s a wonderful and in fact looked over the Mendl Beach where we had been the night before!

Eventually it was time to get the the airport and we reluctantly said our goodbyes, with many thanks and promises to join them at the end of their walk next year. Wonderful people.

Helen took us to the airport (she will join us in Sydney for my party there in October) and it was a very slick move to the departure lounge. Before long Darwin was disappearing below us and we were en route to Sydney which was to be our base for nearly a month

As promised and as efficient as ever, Justine was there to meet us (lovely to see her again!). She of course took in her stride the vision of two still rather dusty travellers carrying what definitely looks like a coffin in Keith’s new bag, between us. This was easily swallowed up in the car and we were off to Wightman Towers at Collaroy Plateau.

It was dark and busy. The most traffic we have seen since we left the M.25.

We arrived at the Wightman’s to a lovely welcome. The girls have grown, the cats are still looking robustly healthy and Tony as delightfully ‘hang dog’ as ever. It felt like coming home! It was so good to be with them again.

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