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Monday 22 December 2014


Happy Mardi Gras: it's been pissing down!

Posted in: Events
By Hannah Spyksma - 2nd March 2013

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Jess and Hannah
Writer Hannah Spyksma and her partner Jessica are in Australia to have their Mardi Gras cherries popped. Hannah brings you updates about the festival and their Sydney sojourn.

G'day to you all from Sydney! Before I start recounting my travel tales I have an important message for any Mardi Gras goers today: Make sure you find your space early - once Oxford St fills up people will be directed to Flinders St and by then - who knows what kind of view you'll end up with. The parade, with no less than 9786 performers, starts on the corner of Liverpool and Oxford St at 7pm with Dykes on Bikes. The rest of the 115 floats follow on at 7.45pm. This truly spectacular event is not something you want to miss because of poor planning, so I leave you with the words of the Parade Producer Brad Wright: "We're expecting a couple of hundred thousand people - we urge you to plan ahead." And if this fails, he says, "just be patient, smile, and happy Mardi Gras!"

That (somewhat) public service announcement was brought to you in the pouring rain from the Mardi Gras media briefing in downtown Sydney yesterday morning. I somewhat foolishly tried to walk (the half an hour trip) there from our hostel in Kings Cross. In the pouring rain. And yes, within five minutes of leaving The Funk House Backpackers I had successfully managed to get myself and my girlfriend soaking wet. Talk about poor planning, I did not prepare for Sydney to be cold, blustery and raining and after months of sunshine in New Zealand, this weather is a bit of a shock to the system.

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As soon as we stepped off the plane my days of internet searching and carefully planning an agenda for our six day trip to Sydney went down the drain along with all the water Auckland needs at the moment. Drag queen races in the sand, surfing at Bondi Beach, and sightseeing around Darling Harbour were all replaced yesterday with frantic dashes between shelters and impromptu shopping searches for warm, dry clothes. But hey, what's a plan if it's not broken!? We still had fun jumping in puddles and exploring the inner city lane ways, and besides - one of the great things about traveling is that the best experiences often happen unexpectedly. So no harm done, I got to consult my map a kazillion times which made the geography nerd in me very happy and today we're all set up - come rain, hail, or shine, to attend the Pride Parade.

Tomorrow's update will include pictures of the parade, that I promise you, and my Mardi Gras cherry will be truly popped. Can't wait. For now, I'm off to explore the suburbs that have earned the titles of Sydney's bohemian, hipster, and alternative scenes, then find a decent after party (any suggestions, tweet me: @hannahspyksma). Fingers crossed it doesn't rain again...

Hannah Spyksma - 2nd March 2013

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