Stay left! Traveling to Australia, we worried about driving on the left, but Brother-in-Law Bob was up to the task. The other three of us just yelled. “Stay left!” Most unnerving was the almost-constant beeping from our rental car. Took us a half-hour to figure it out: the lane-departure warning. In his effort to stay left, Bob was hugging the solid white line next to the mountain on a very curvy road. Our Australia driving was limited––Cairns to Port Douglas and back––and that was plenty. In Sydney, we walked. Miles and miles everyday––we loved walking. More than once, as we meandered along the city streets, my sister admonished me: “I think we are supposed to walk on the left.”
“Oh, I don’t think it matters,” I’d reply, thinking of making my way through airport or sidewalk crowds. From my experience, people seemed to walk all over the place. Then one day we took a local bus to the Eastern seaboard and did the famed Bronte to Bondi Beach walk.
Anita again reminded me about walking on the left, but I ignored her until I overheard two local women chatting behind us: “Well, they drive on the right side, don’t they?” They’re talking about us. I realized my sister was right. After that overheard tidbit of conversation, we gave it a good try but continued to drift over for photos of surfers and scenery because we were walking north with the coastline to our right. Maybe next time we will walk with the water on our left, north to south, Bondi to Bronte. Still, it’s a beautiful walk, in either direction.
Now that we’re home, and have walked again in Canadian and US cities and airports, I realize that we do tend to walk on the right, given a choice. But in Australia and New Zealand, stay left!
Travel date: May 2018