The Super Whites The ordinary life of a Super Mum

The Super Whites
Bridge climb milestone baby sister montage

Liv and I had the perfect day for our bridge climb. Ron and Amy dropped us at the Ferry at 7am. We were both quiet, cold, a little apprehensive but figured if our Mum could climb the bridge then we should be able to. The sun was rising as we came up to the Bridge on the riverside and for the first time during her trip to Sydney, Liv felt quite overawed by Sydney. Its a city best seen at the water or on the water and going into circular quay, under the bridge and past the opera house is spectacular.

Our climb group was great, we watched the group ahead of us go into the prep area and the ages and languages varied a lot. Our crowd was all young and although we were a mix of nationalities, we all spoke English. Our guide was funny and engaging and I was enjoying myself before we even set off. The first part of the climb is through the steel pylons that make up the underneath of the bridge. You walk along two narrow planks with gaps in the middle and you can see through down to the ground metres below. I started to feel nervous and quite anxious and our guide was walking us quite quickly through to get to the base of the bridge to begin the actual ascent.
I was trying hard to be brave for Liv who was struggling a bit, the concept of being attached and unable to turn around or go back was quite daunting and then we had to walk out on what they call “the catwalk” which is a 20 metre stretch of metal meshwork that hangs under the bridge and over the water. Perversly our guide chose to stop us on this flimsy piece of metal and have a little chat with us over the military style headsets we wore that transmitted his voice to our ears via a vibrating piece on the cheekbone. We moved on and had to duck under beams, climb over struts and then climb some very steep ladders which brought us up between lanes of traffic speeding across the bridge.
Finally after what felt like hours (no concept of time as no watches are allowed) we arrived at the base of the ascent on the arch of the bridge. From here on up the walk was easy, slow and steady up little steps on a solid piece of metal a few metres wide. You can’t look right over the edge, you can’t fall through, in fact I felt completely secure and had no sensation of vertigo at all because I couldn’t lean out over the edge. The view is almost indescribable. Its mesmerising to be able to see as far as the horizon curves and to watch the boat traffic in and out of the quay far below yet feel very still and quiet up on that iconic structure with hardly a breath of wind.
I felt exhilarated to be climbing the bridge, I felt incredibly happy to be doing it with my sister and sharing the memories because I did feel a little sad that I wouldn’t be able to take any photos. Its a good lesson to be forced to enjoy something in the actual moment rather than through a viewfinder and in retrospect when going through the images. We stopped at the top for a couple of photos and then all of a sudden we were climbing back down again.
Getting down took half the time and I kept stopping and trying to take in the view and the space and the distance before we were back at the centre, unhooking ourselves and disengaging from the radios and headsets. Afterwards Liv and I both felt jumpy and excited and fidgety, clearly still experiencing the adrenalin rush. We went to the Australian Hotel for pizza and shandys and then took a walk along the water round to the opera house. We manage to catch the fast ferry home and Ron and Amy came to pick us up, back at the house we both crashed out, completely exhausted and suffering adrenalin hangovers! Later we revived and Liv and I finished our special day out by going to a movie and sharing a large bucket of popcorn.
It was a day I will treasure for a very long time. The views from the bridge are seared into the fabric of my mind and I still miss my sister a great deal, especially when looking at the photos. We had the best fun.
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