Bridge Climb   Leave a comment

Saturday, 15th September, 2012

Knock one off the ‘Bucket List’!

After trying all year, mainly because nobody would come with me, I’ll finally managed to do the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb. Up early this morning, maybe it was the excitement and after a bit of cajoling, everybody was out the door and on the way to the harbour bridge in good time for our 11 o’Clock start. We left Gail and my mother to go shopping outside the train station down at Circular Quay and made our way up behind The Rocks to the Bridge Climb offices. Inside we were allocated to our group and led into a room where we were told what would be happening over the next four hours or so. During this time we filled out the indemnity form and took the dreaded breathalyser, which I’m glad to say I passed with flying colours. Then it was time to get kitted out, firstly into a special Bridge Climb boiler suit (yours for $99), which some us managed to put on back-to-front (No names, but it wasn’t Kerry, Ciara or me!).  From there it was up to the gantry where they had setup a mock-up of some of the stairs and gangways that we would use during the climb itself. Firstly, we were shown how to use the safety harness we’d all been fitted with and then it was our turn to go up and down the rig. Once this had been completed, we moved on to grab a hat, gloves and a large pouch which contained a fleece jacket as, we were told, it could get cold up on the top of the bridge. At the next station we had a radio set and headphones fitted. This was to enable our group leader to communicate with us whilst we were up on the bridge. All this kit was clipped onto hooks on the back of the boiler suits we had donned at the start. If we wore glasses (or wanted to take sunglasses), we had to clip them on to a piece of string which was clipped onto the boiler suit. As you can guess, this was to prevent anything falling from the bridge onto the roadway/train tracks/footpaths below. Of course this meant that we couldn’t take our own cameras up with us!

We sorted out our running order in the connecting tunnel between the Bridge Climb offices and the bridge itself, as once we were hooked up to the safety line there would be no swapping places or going back. Firstly there was Granddad, then Ciara, Kerry and me bringing up the rear and we were off. The first part saw us traverse across a large expanse of the bridge which is actually suspended below the roadway/train tracks. Some of this was pretty tricky, especially if you’re my size and I don’t think a hard hat would have been out of place on this section. The second part was taken up climbing up through the massive support column on the south side of the bridge and then all of a sudden we were on the bridge itself, walking up on the top of one of the two spans that carry the platform below. We stopped several times so that our guide could point out some of the sights, as well as tell us about how the bridge was constructed/maintained. We also stopped for the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge photo opportunity before completing the climb at the top of the bridge with a group photo. Whilst coming down we had to stop several times to wait for various groups in front of us, however, this give us the perfect opportunity to take in the sights of the harbour and its surrounds. Once we had negotiated the last of the gangways back to base we stripped off and handed back everything we’d been given (We did get to keep the hat!), signed the visitors’ book and went to collect our pictures. As part of the overall cost of the climb, we had included a USB stick which would contain eight pictures, but as the guide had taken so many great pictures it took us ages to whittle them all down to the eight we would include on the stick.

Once we were outside, I realised that was starving (can’t remember if I had any breakfast this morning!), so we took ourselves off to The Australian pub which was located just round the corner from the Bridge Climb. Here we ordered a Pizza each and a round of drinks. Whilst we were eating this we found out that Gail and mum had returned to the apartment after pounding the shopping malls of Pitt and George Streets for several hours. To be honest we were all pretty knackered ourselves, so once we had finished the pizzas we took ourselves home as well.

This evening, Gail and I had a couple of beers in the Golden Sheaf (The Sheaf as everybody seems to know it as) which turns out to be a massive pub on the main road through Double Bay and was packed with, what seemed like thousands, of young people enjoying the evening spring sun in the beer garden out the back.

Enjoy the pictures and if you’re ever in Sydney, the Bridge Climb is a must!

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Posted September 15, 2012 by yermandownunder in Out and about, Travels

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yermandownunder

A Blog about Mario's life down under!

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