Australia – Last days in Perth and trip back to Sydney

The project had been on the whole successful and as a treat we were all take out to see some Japanese Taiko drummers who happened to be at His Majesty’s Theatre on the Thursday. The show was at 19:30 and we had a table booked for 16 at a restaurant called The Stables near by. The food was excellent we shared three starters of Sashimi, Goats cheese balls and Duck leg confit. Fo rmain I had a Salmon dish which was excellent.

Although we had plenty of time we almost got locked out of the theatre, arriving just before the lights went down. I did not really know what to expect as how many ways are there to hit a drum? I was about to be corrected, they did set pieces and geez were they good at at it, and the combined sound of many drums is with different stick weights is surprisingly versatile.

The show was about 2 hours including the interval, we then split into three groups those who where staying the south of Perth, local and 4 of us who were staying at the Quality Ambassador. We were on a mission to track down a pale ale from the Cheeky Monkey brewery, we had tried it a previous night. It is a long story regardin how we came to find it but it involved, not going to a Chinese for a curry, a long walk, and a very hot Lhaksa. We headed back to the hotel but stopped off at a multi bar restaurant building. We tried to get our chosen beer at the “Beer corner” but they didn’t have it, so we went down stairs to to the Asian Fusion restaurant, they had the beer we were looking for.

We stopped for a couple and had a great laugh chewing the cud and celbrating the success of the project. Then we headed back to the hotel where we arrived slightly later than anticipated. We went straight to our rooms and some of us met for breakfast at 07:00 and others skipped breakfast for an extra 30 hour in bed.

We were only at the office till just before 12 the airport was close, however we took a wrong turning, and ended up at the wrong terminal and had to double back. For some reason I could not check my bag in, so S took me to the check in desk with his Qantas Gold card. Unfortunatley it was too late, I would have to get the next flight. Luckily it was only an hour after the original,but they wanted $150 to change flight. The 15:15 left on time and I even managed to get my centre seat changed for a window seat.

I landed at 10 and got to my hotel at 23:30 it had been a long day.

Australia – Double Header Weekend at Work

As it was the cutover weeked for the project I was working on there would be not a lot of leisure time as we would be working the Saturday and Sunday. The weeked coincided with a double header weekend the final of the Ozzie rules football was on the Saturday and the Ozzie rugby league final was on the Sunday.

We went for a leisurely 08:00 start on the Saturday after early starts all week, and we were in the office by 09:00. The plan was to do all the cutover stuff, such as making sure all the transactional stuff which was partially processed was put on the system whilst normal users were not, so that the postings wold be done in way that was not the same as for normal processing.

The AFL final was being listened to or streamed to mobiles by some of us, one person in particular was a Brisbane fan, they were the under dogs but there was high hopes as they had pulled something out of the bag as the season completed, winning crucial matches when it counted. They started off slightly behind but towards the end they had a commanding lead, and eventually won by 48 points. Someone had arranged for a bottle of champagne, and we all had a glass to celebrate.

We worked until 19:00 so it was a longer day than we anticipated. We went back to the hotel and did a quick turnaround and headed out to a pub called The Grovesnor for some dinner. I had a light meal grill Barramundi on crushed potatoes and salad, which was nice, a couple of schonners of a local ale washed it al down. I was in bed by 21:00 we had another early start on Sunday.

We had breakfast at 07:00 and left for the office at 07:30, when we arrived we had a five minute wait for a key holder to let us in. It was a to be a ground hog day, we we mostly doing data entry tasks to get open balances for customers, vendors and stock, although some of it could be uploaded, there was upfront Excel work to get it all in the right format.

The day dragged on a bit, I busied myself getting reporting to see the new transactions. By 16:30 we were still in the office, and the Rugby League Final was to start at 17:00ish. Someone managed to get sign up for a weekly free pass trial, and managed to get the game running on a laptop. We would at least be able to keep track of the game.

In the end Storm won and the Tigers lost it was the wrong result for the people at work, as a couple came from the East Coast. It was getting late in the day sowe called it a day at 19:00 it had been a long day, and there was still Monday morning to face when the users come in and use the system.

Australia – John Forrest National park Eagle View Walk Trail

I was up relatively early, and left the hotel at 0800, my destination was the John Forrest Nature Park, to walk the Eagle View Walk Trail. It is only a short 30 minute drive out of Perth, but I didn’t go direct I took the less travelled road as you see more stuff. In Midland I came across signs for a market, so I stopped hoping to get something to take with me for lunch. An English guy selling bread supplied me with a long sour dough garlic and herb roll, and a cinamen twirl. I grabbed a coffee from what must be the biggest coffee shop I have ever seen, a vast hall with food down one side and a coffee serving counter island in the middle, it reminded me of a transport cafe.

The park was easy to find as it was well sign posted, a 1km tarmac track lead to a picnic area and parking. The entrance fee was $13 per car, so cheaper if you are with friends. I parked up and finished my coffee off and then went to the wardens hut to sign the book to register my walk.

There was a slight detour at the start of the walk, due to a new bridge installation, and once detoured the track headed up hill for a couple of km’s. The sun was out but I expected rain and the cumulus clouds were building and it looked a bit grey in the west where the weather comes from. There were lots of large boulders and rocky it crops, on one I spied a parrot, with a yellow splash on its neck, it was an Australian Ring Necked Parrot. The spring flowers were really starting to show there was plenty of yellow red and blue ones, I hadn’t a clue what their names were. I was quite lucky on the bird id front I spotted the distinctive Red Tailed Black Cocatoo, as well as Rufous Whistler and Shining Cuckoo.

At about the 2km to go mark I felt I had walked far enough which is perfect as I like to go just a little bit further than that. As I got back to the picnic area where the walked started would you believe it, two kangaroos hopped past, I had just spent 5 hours walking through the forest and hadn’t seen any, only the odd print in the sandy track.

It was around 1400 which meant I would have time to get a haircut, I don’t have a comb and although I got it cut before I left the UK it sometimes looked like it needed a comb. I headed back towards Perth but stopped at a shopping centre and did a Google map search for haircut open on Sunday’s Samurai Japanese barbers was only 4 minutes drive away. I found it it was one of three shops in a row on a main road the other two were shut and so did the barbers look. I pushed on the door and to my surprise it was open, a short (aren’t they all) stout Japanese guy with a pork pie hat at first said he did not have a slot but I explained I just wanted the clippers on it he agreed. I must say he paid the most attention to detail I have ever experienced from a barber. Apart from trimming my nose, and ear hairs he trimmed my eye brows and did a wet shave on my neck. Finally he washed my hair and then checked that there were no stray longer hairs missed by the clippers. For all that he only charged $20, great value.

I went to the Italian around the block from the hotel and had squid for dinner, then chilled out before going to the airport to pick up A who was flying in from Sydney and staying for the next two weeks.

Australia – A car tour south of Perth

I had a walk planned for Sunday not far from Perth city, and I wanted to make the most of my unplanned weekend on the area, so I decided to head south on the car to see what I could find.

Highway 2 is the main road that heads south, I decided to head out on that road, as far as Bunbury then take my time on the way back. I stopped for petrol and a coffee about 30 minutes out, it is surprising how quickly it becomes rural, some of the roads leading off the dual carriageway were just dirt tracks. I took a detour about an hour out near a lake, and in a field close by were a troop of Kangaroo, lazing about as they do. I didn’t quite get to Bunbury I came across a shopping centre with a post office, I needed some stamps for some postcards, although I was not on holiday I thought I should make an effort.

I had driven far enough and chose to head in land to see what I could find. It became very rural very quickly all I passed were villages ans communities most often at cross roads. On the main roads there was the odd cafe or garage, as well as small businesses feed merchants featured, I was in cattle country, the fields were flat and lush green. Some fields had watering apparatus, where water lay the indigenous scrubby trees remained, no point in grubbing them out cattle won’t graze on water logged marsh.

At a place called Harvey I stopped at an information centre, to find out what was in the surrounding area. I opted to go and look at the Harvey dam, from which there were some good views but there was no real scope for taking a hike anywhere, so I took some pictures and moved on to Clifton Lake where I read there are Thrombolytes, which are primitive living organisms which create limestone jumps on the lake bed as they extract calcium from the lake water.

I took a smallish road back to the coast where the lake is, I stopped a couple of times to take photos as the light was really good. The area around Clifton Lake is a globally significant area for migrating birds. I passed the lake to have a look at the sea then headed back to where the Thrombolytes are. The site is at the end of a wooden walkway over the lake a few hundred metres from the car park, again I grabbed some puctures, but hung around watching birds in the reeds, and a lizard sunning itself on the sun warmed wood.

Next I needed to stretch my legs and I remembered I had passed a parking area near a circular walk about 5 km’s long. The walk was quite Holly and the terrain very rocky made of limestone. I kept seeing what looked like prints from Jurassic park, and it took me a while to figure out what they were, at the time I decided they were Kangaroo tracks, but later after some research I decided they must have been Emu tracks they were just like the pictures and Emus gave been spotted in the area. At the point where the track looped back I heard something in the bushes that was quite big I like to think it was the Emu I had been stalking. The path goes on a one way detour up high at one point and I took the detour and had some rolls and Tasmanian blue cheese whilst enjoying the view.

I took the coast road back through Rockingham, which seemed to be fully of heavy industry, and Fremantle which I had not seen from the fishing port end. There was a Ferris wheel and lots of sea front restaurant chains.

It had been a good road trip and I think I got a good flavour of the South Perth area including the farming landscape. For dinner I went to the Balti Indian restaurant, and retired early to bed I had a hike planned for Sunday.

Australia – Return to Perth

Following a project conference call on Thursday, and changes to our original plans, we decided I would be better for me to be where the action was in Perth a week earlier than anticipated. Hotel arrangements were changrd, flights adjusted, and I was set to fly back to Perth on the Saturday. We tried for a Sunday flight but due to flight cancellations caused by strong winds during the week, flights were at a premium, and Saturday was the only practical option, which was a shame because I had planned to meet up with a school friend who was passing through Sydney on holiday.

I planned on an early night, and luckily the false fire alarm was just before I was about to retire. The fire brigade turned up and everything, they switched off the alarm and we all returned to our rooms. The alarm was very effective, it made voice anouncements, and it closed all the fire doors, however there was no evidence of staff checking that everyone was accounted for. I was in bed early enough, and got up at 06:30 so that I as not rushing, I had a hire car to fill up and return, and the airport was unfamiliar.

The aircraft was a Boeing 737-800 I could not see any spare seats. I had a window seat and enjoyed just staring out and trying to spot vehicles on the dirt tracks, which stood out from the trees and other vegetation. Soon after take off I thought this looks a lot like the Blue Mountains, and then when I looked directly down I saw the Three Sisters at Katoomba which I had visited a previous weekend.

There are plenty of entertainment choices and I opted to watch an episode of Coast Australia, followed by the film Hidden Figures. The flight time would be 5:05, but strangely the return journey is only just over 4 hours, I’m guessing that the prevailing winds at altitude account for the sigificamt difference. A from work picked me up from the airport, he lives in Sydney but decided that flying back to Sydney just to do washing and return, 10 hours in a plane, was a waste of time.

I checked into the hotel and we agreed to take a stroll and I suggested the Perth Mint which I had spotted a few weeks back. The entrance for a tour and a look at the museum was $18. It was worth the effort, we got a bit of history, a multi-media experience, a look at the world’s largest coin, 1012kg, the chance to lift a gold bar (very dense), and a demonstration pouring of a gold bar.

We took a wander down to the water front and then went back to the hotel, and met up in reception for an evening meal. We walked up the road to an Indian restaurant I had fish curry which was nice and coconutty, and just about the right heat for me.

Australia – Bouddi National Park

After some internet research the night before I decided to head north of Sydney to a peninsula just south of the Central Coast, to have a look at the Bouddi National Park. I had found a walk that takes in forest and sea views and beaches. The plan was to park at Little Beach parking hem walk to Killcare surf club then take a more direct route back.

I left Sydney at abut 8:30 and was parked up at 10:00. The journey was mainly motorway, which gave me a chance to think about how they build roads. There is a lot of rock removal, at times the road was carved through tens of metres of rock, on some sections they had left a strip in the middle to serve as a central reservation. The most spectacular points were where there was a turn off in a cut through it was like the canyon I has in had another canyon going away to the left. I have come to the conclusion that Australia is just a big rock with a thin layer of dry sandy soil topped off with trees.

The path started to descend from the car park and then left the Little beach path and headed very steeply up hill in a tight path through the forest, this was to be the theme of the day. At the top of the hill I was on a wide track with low bushes. I spied the odd bird but most were the familiar ones. After a kilometer the path headed steadily down hill for quite a while, then as I could hear the sea it started to descend very steeply till it reached the bottom of the valley. A small cover where the sea smashed against large boulders was revealed. I sat a watched the waves for a while before tackling the up on the other side of the valley.

In total I think I counted 5 down then up sections all equally as long. One of the highlights was Maitland bay, where the coastal path is on the beach rather than high up on the cliff, the final section of path is a very well made steep set of steps made of brick shaped lumps of rock. My timing wasn’t perfect as the tide was in, and the waves were reaching the bottom of the rocks for a couple of sections. I had passed a couple on the steps so I assumed that had made it past the rocks. I had to get my timing right, I read somewhere that every seventh wave is a big one so I waited for a big one then made my way in a few legs across the beach, and managed it without getting wet feet. My perfect timing inspired a couple who had been waiting the other side to give it ago. At the end of the beach the path headed up to the top of the cliff again.

Before tackling the steep up, I stopped off at the end of the beach and watched while a couple flew their DJI drone. The path was again, like the day before, really well marked and when there was a sheer drop railing and wooden walkways made the going safe. At the top one cliff there was a large area of rock some of it washed away to reveal almost square sections, like terracotta tiles. The people flying the drone on the beach turned up and flew it from the top of the cliff from a look out I was sitting at. We chatted and he showed me the features which really make getting great footage easy. For example you can ask it to circle about and keep the camera on you, or fly up high, or fly away then come back, all you have to chose is how high or haw far then press a button and it does it all autonomously.

Eventually the the path duped me on to the final beach, an I realised that I would have to take a more direct route back to the car. Google said it was about an hour and a half back to the car via the road, not ideal but I could not face the cliff path again I had already walked 7 miles. The route took me through a housing estate with little traffic for a while, where I spotted quite a few birds. It was getting a bit hot so I had to go easy on the water I had, but at a small information shack by the road side a volunteer let me use the staff kitchen to fill up my bottle. The walk back to the car was about an hour and a half, some sections quite steep but not as bad at the coastal path. In all I had walked 11 miles.

The drive back was quite busy and I could see smoke from bush fire turning the sun red. I stopped off at the local supermarket for supplies and a tuna steak and chips from the amazing fishmongers, so I could get an early night after a weekend exertion.

 

 

 

Australia – Circular walk from Garrawarra Farm to Otford and back

Walk from Garrawarra Farm to Otford
Walk from Garrawarra Farm to Otford

Having done extensive research I settled on a walk along the coast south of Sydney, in the Royal National Park, it is a circular walk starting at Otford Rail Station, to Garrawarra Farm carpark. One way is up high and the other is down near the sea, I opted to start at Garrawarra and go close to the aea, so I could get a coffee and cake at Otford before walking the high road which is slightly shorter and does not involve steep down and up sections.

I left the hotel just beforeI08:00, and took the M7/5, and A5/6, the drive was just around the 90 minute mark. I nearly missed the car park road because it is not a road but rather a track, that leads to the car park, it was 1.5km long and quite rutted, but the hire car made it ok. I was surprised at the size of he car park at the end, there was room for a couple of hundred cars, but there were only about 20 parked up. Parking was $12 which covered the park entrance fee.

Walk from Garrawarra Farm to Otford
Walk from Garrawarra Farm to Otford

The track was well sign posted and led me through the forest, and was downhill and quite steep, very rocky and covered in roots. I could see the sea before I saw it, but when I did the view was fantastic. I could see the bright exit of the forest and once out there was a great vista with Burning Palm beach at the bottom. Interestingly there were lots of shacks and a life guard hut down there, however there was no road in. I passed a guy with a large water container on his back.

I had a wander down on the beach, and dipped my toes into the Pacific Ocean, and grabbed a few shots before heading up and over the outcrop. I had hoped to get a look at Figure of Eight pool but the tide was wrong, and there was no way to get to them with the sea up against the cliff bottom. Given the remoteness of the walk it was surprisingly busy, I passed people once or twice a kilometre.

The path eventually gained height very quickly for quite a while which made sense given I had walked a long way down hill to get to the beach, I would definitely take the flatter path back to the car. I came across a few more people as I got closer to Otford, including a kind couple, with camera gear who patiently figured out the names of the birds I had seen from my vague descriptions.

The path dumped me on a road, and I checked the map there was a coffee shop about 500m down the road, The Otford Pantry provided a cake and coffee and a water bottle fill. The couple I had met earlier were also in the café. I took my time earlier my snail, a literal translation of the French pastry Escargot, it was lovely and doughy, with just enough raisins and crème patttisier.

Suitably rests I headed back the way I certainly until the track split and I took the high road, i.e. one that does not descend the reascend, as I had already done that. I passed quite a few large plants which are just a bit taller than me and consist of broad long leaves growing out from the ground and bending away from the center, like a large climb of grass. Some has a long shoot at least, and often more, the height of the plant it self, about 2m high. The shoot has a large complex dark red flower at the top.

The walk back to the car park undulated just a bit. It was interesting to see the usual plants. At one point I saw a large ground bird with an interesting curly tail, it was scratching the ground looking for food. I got close enough for a look, I think it might be the bird on the NSW wildlife reserves logo. It was only 15:00 when I got to tg car so it drove down to take a look at Bundeena a village at the end of the peninsula I was on. It was a sleepy little place with a ferry quay and a golden sandy curving beach, with houses with beach front locations. I wandered around and got some pictures while the sun was low on the sky.

The drive back was interesting because I took the route that took me across town rather than round. I got off track a few times but satnav soon put me right again. Helen called at one point it was great to catch up a by voice rather than text a as we had been for the last few days. Iropped the car off at the hotel then headed over to the nice Italian called Il Lago, I had tagliatelle with chilli, tomato and crab, it was delicious. I spent the rest of the evening developing my photos and trying to figure out where to go on Sunday.

 

Australia – The Blue Mountains

The never ending steps
The never ending steps

As I had a hire car I thought I would go for a drive into the country, my destination, Katoomba, where I would be able to take a walk in the Blue Mountains. Google said an hour and 15 but it took about an hour and 30. I blame all the traffic lights, there are roundabouts but they all seem to be new, looks like Oz is warming up the English tradition of putting them everywhere. I stopped and n the center of Katoomba to grab a coffee and cake, but they had no cake so I settled for toast with peanut butter, which was an excellent choice.

I drove to the falls parking area but there was not information point, so I headed to the three sisters viewing, where I got a map for $6. my choice of walk was the Federal Pass track to the scenic railway where I hoped o get a ticket up, I don’t I could not then there was a lot of steps to get me up to the top of the cliff again.

In the Blue Mountain Forest
In the Blue Mountain Forest

The 900 odd steps that make up the Giant Stairway, are very narrow and very steep, and by the time I got to the bottom my calves were shaking a little, even more reason to hope that I could get a ticket up again. The path undulates all the way with plenty of steps, the path was mostly in the shade f the cliff or the trees. It made a change to be out of the sun after spending the day at Sydney Harbour. When I got to the train station I was in two minds but eventually opted for the train as it would allow for more sight seeing.

The train track is extremely steep and varies in gradient the seats can be adjusted accordingly. At the top I had some lunch and a coffee on the terrace overlooking the valley. The walk back to the car would take me along the cliff top path which had great views. The wind was getting up a bit and it even looked like rain, and there were a few drops, but they amounted to nothing. As I got onto the cliff path a very strong gale of a wind started, at points the wind was funneled by the rock and made it hard t walk at other times the trees and cliff protected me from the wind.

The Three Sisters
The Three Sisters

Back at the car I decided to go back to base via a Radio museum which took another route back to Sydney, the road was very up and down and we crossed two mountains on the way including Mount Wilson. I got to the museum only 30 minutes before it closed so I did not go in, but I would remember t for another weekend time permitting.

I stopped off at the local Coles shopping center and got dinner from the excellent fishmongers which also coked and offers the fish with chips and/or salad. I had grilled tuna chips and salad and it turned out to be far too much for me, and at $16.90 a bargain.

Australia – Sydney Harbour sights

Cane building a crane
Cane building a crane

My alarm didn’t go off because the alarm app had adjusted the time the alarm went off i.e. it had changed it from 07:00 to 09:00, I must remember that in future. I had no breakfast so I headed over the road to a shopping centre, for a coffee and pastry. I found the bus stop but quickly realised buses these days don’t take cash, so I went back to the shops to buy one from the newsagents. I got a free card and loaded it with $20 and I would see how long that lasted.

I did not have long to wait, the T62 stopped and we traveled the short distance through Seven Hills, to the stop at Joseph Banks where the 607X stopped and would take me on the M2 all the way to the city center. I oriented myself and decided to walk around to Circular Wharf, my walk was interrupted by a crane being assembled so I stopped and watched for 10 minutes. They were lifting some heavy bits which included the cab up to to top of a building.

Sydney Circular Quay
Sydney Circular Quay

I was watching the crane from a train station so I used that to go one stop round. I got off right at the wharf where it was all happening all sorts of people about, to see the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House as was I. I got my pictures and headed for the Botanical Park where it was a bit less busy. The park was a gem and plenty of flowers were blooming. I grabbed a bird leaflet from the information hut, by the time I leave Oz I will have a complete bird list made up of leaflets. It will save carrying a thick volume about full of more birds I am unlikely to see that those I would.

Sydney Opera House
Sydney Opera House

I decided to get a boat part way back my residence, it would be a similar journey time but more interesting. I got the 15:07 boat to Parramatta it stopped off at various points and at the last wharf there is a single bus that goes north to where I was staying. The sun has swung round by that time and the mist/haze earlier had cleared, the opera House was in the sun and the bridge clearer. It was quite cold from my prime seat at the front outside but worth ensuring for the sights.

I thought I had missed the bus at Parramatta but it was late and I had started walking. I ended up walking a couple of miles till the next but was due. I had to change to another bus for a last three stops and the bus stop was beneath some large trees full of roosting Sulphur-Crested Cockatoos. I nipped onto the Cokes supermarket then had something to eat at Il Largo, an Italian. I had one of the specials, squid in a gremolata sauce with pasta.

Australia – Week one on the office

Perth skyline from McCallum Park
Perth skyline from McCallum Park

I was up with my alarm at 07:00, so I could leave my parking space by 08:00. My mission was to find the factory close to the airport. The traffic was OK for a rush hour I guess I was going again the flow out of the City. Once I had crossed the Swan River it was a straight road and I was at the factory before 08:20. It was good to put a face to people I new from emails and conference calls.

The day went well, and allowed me to settle in, and get a factory tour to better understand how the produce was manufactured. The day went quite quickly, we finished a final conference call at about 16:30 then we all left the office at 17:00. I went for a drive out towards the Perth hill near Kalamunda. On the way I saw quite a few road trains as I was on a freeway for a while. The sun was very low in the sky at one point, and although it made for a great sunset, it was a pain to drive towards. I was back at the apartment just after 18:00 to secure a free parking space till the morning.

Sydney Skyline
Sydney Skyline

Day 2 was a pretty normal working day, working on the ERP project and installing Lansweeper on some of the local machines. Lunch can be a bit of an issue the local food establishment does sandwiches which are all meat related in some way, my only choice is a smoked salmon sandwich. I tried a couple of veggie salads, which were OK but the portion was massive. I did a detour in the way home, and managed to add Black Swan to the bird list, I also got a close up view of a White Ibis wandering around the industrial estate at work.

Day three ways again run of the mill at work, on the journey there I spotted a Comorant however there are several Australian version and I’m not sure which one it was. On the way home I took a detour to ensure I got back to the apartment after 18:00, and I’m glad I was there was a great sunset and I happened upon a park near the swan River with a great view of the sun setting with the Perth skyline as a back drop.

Another routine work day, for day three, but I was starting to get dragged into tasks not related to ERP, which is to be expected, as there is not any dedicated IT staff on site. I left just after 17:00 so to kill time for parking after 18:00 I headed to a road called Zig Zag Scenic Drive, however when I got there I was at the wrong end of a one one road. To get to the right end would have meant it was probably dark by that time. It did look a lot like what I imagine the bush to look like though. On the way back I spotted two Wallabies. I had Thai for dinner, $10.50 and BYO.

My flight to Sydney was at 12:20 so I was only in the office for a couple of hours, on the Friday. I took some photos of the factory for marketing as I had made them a promise to do so. I left the office just under 2 hours before the flight, but even though had a hire car to return, and baggage to check I still had plenty of time. Qantas have a self-service check-in and bag drop, there is no choice. Basically you use a kiosk tell it who you are and where you are going and it prints your baggage label, then you use the scales, my bag was 21kg just under the 23kg limit.

Treetop walkway
Treetop walkway

The security queue was short, and the departure lounge was not packed. I bought a book and some water then wandered around the terminal. There was a press conference going on in one corner, TV crews were there apparently something to do with domestic flights. We boarded at about 12:00, the flight was quite packed, but I got my meal early as I had requested a veggie meal, worth remembering. The in flight entertainment included the film Gran Tourino, so I watched that.

We arrived before scheduled and it did not take long to find my luggage, and collect the hire car a Toyota Camry automatic, which is bigger than I am used to, but it was an automatic. No satnav meant I had to use my phone, I managed to miss the first turning as the traffic was very congested at the airport. I ended up going anticlockwise round the city, and ended up driving over the famous harbour bridge albeit in the dark. I was glad to get to the Adina apartments and dump my bags. I didn’t venture out to eat instead I opted for Barramundi chips and salad at the complex cafe, which was excellent. I grabbed another beer and headed up to my room, there was a two hour difference from Perth so I would be I wanted an early night.