Happy 60th Cynthea xxx
We planned to go into the city for the day, Cynthea’s must do in Sydney is to at least see the Harbour Bridge. We just miss the shuttle bus to the ferry wharf, but there will be another in 15 minutes… or not. The bus arrives, but is not in service as the driver is off on his break, so it is drop off only. Bugger. We get the next bus, but the weather has not been pleasant. Still warm enough for us, but the Aussies are rugged up against the “cold”. Heavy grey clouds threaten rain, and there is a forecast 60% chance it will be wet. And it is blowing like buggery too. Not looking that flash for a river trip, so we bin off that idea. We have been given Opal travel cards to get around, preloaded with money they can get us anywhere around the city, buses, trains, ferries, usually at a discounted cost. We top up those that we have been given.
We decide that the forecast is much better for tomorrow, so will take the trip down river then, only light cloud and a 10% chance of rain. We wander around the arcade and head over to the mall, and plan to catch the shuttle to Rhodes, spending the day indoors at the shopping centre. It is huge, and there is an Ikea planted at the end of it. We wander around the food hall, but cannot decide what to get, so settle for a banana from the fruit market while we make up our minds. We are at Ikea and a bottomless coffee is only $2.50, woo hoo, game on. Three extra-shot lattes later…
For those that have never been to Ikea, it is a bit of a maze, and they pretty much force you past every item in the shop, and it is a MASSIVE shop, to get to an elusive exit. This one is a bit different to those experienced overseas in that there are shortcuts, but even so it is easy to get lost. Heaven forbid if there should be an emergency. Tony knew the lift would take him directly downstairs and out into the mall, but the stairs were “just there” so he took those… and found he was on the wrong side of lifts, so no quick and easy way out. Back up the stairs, down in the lift, and out… didn’t even bother stopping to look at what was for sale, let alone the prices of goods.
We catch the bus back to Wentworth Point and stop off at Coles, as usually browsing the reduced to clear bins for tonight’s tea. Then take the shuttle home. It is still blowing, but the predicted rain was nowhere to be seen.
We catch the bus back to Wentworth Point and stop off at Coles, as usual browsing the reduced to clear bins for tonight’s tea. Then take the shuttle home. It is still blowing, but the predicted rain was nowhere to be seen.
April 02 – Tuesday.
Looks like the weather forecast has changed, still a bit cooler with the Aussies rugged up, and still overcast, but there is a tiny patch of blue sky, albeit without much sunshine. At least the wind has dropped. We just miss the shuttle, again, and bugger me if the next one is not in service, again. There is no timetable for these shuttles, but for a free service it is pretty good. A half hour wait isn’t that bad, is it…?
We get to the ferry wharf just as the rivercat arrives, good timing. Not so with the weather, as it is starting to rain. We brave the rain for the first part of the journey, but are forced inside as it gets heavier. The trip takes 50 minutes to Circular Quay, and costs about A$7.90.
We are pleased that the rain stays away while we are in the city. We walk around Circular Quay and the Rocks, and then down to the Opera House. We eat our packed lunch in the Royal Botanical Gardens, and marvel at the root system on the trees there (Moreton Bay figs). Tony’s camera has not fixed itself, so he googles the nearest camera shop, about 1.7km away. Cynthea decides to rest up on a park bench while he goes off in search of the shop. A disappointing store, obviously not a fan of Canon products, but if you are going to bullshit a customer just be careful because this customer knew the answers to the questions he was asking. Tony didn’t stay too long there, he asked about a specific product they had listed online, without actually giving the model details. He was told there was nothing like that on he market, so he left. No hard sell, but there was an attempt to steer the purchase in the direction of something that was over budget. On the way back to meet Cynthea, Tony cashed in the Lotto ticket from the night before, A$25, woo hoo, tonights’ tea paid for.
Back at Circular Quay we try to figure the train system to Cabramatta to visit Cynthea’s sister, and just as the train arrives Cynthea gets through to her on the phone. Val thinks it is a bit late for us to visit as it will be too late getting back to Wentworth, so we decide to see her later in the week, and instead head back to Rhodes. We have to change at Central, and that means a dash to another platform. As we get to the top of the stairs, our train pulls away. Bugger… Thankfully there will be another very soon. A cheap trip, A$3.08 on the Opal card.
We arrive at Rhodes to see that it has been very wet this end of town while we were in the city. A quick stop at the supermarket for tonight’s tea and tomorrow’s lunch, then we head off to get the shuttle home. As we cross the road from the supermarket the shuttle leaves… sigh. Note to self, further flight bookings will have a three hour transit minimum given the track record so far!
3rd Apr – Wednesday
Promises of a better day, but it is overcast in the morning. Cynthea gets the map out to look at where to from Dubai. Tony wants to head over to Olympic Park, and sets off… but makes a wrong turn early on, it is nearly a kilometre before he twigs and decides to check. A bit of back tracking and he is soon at the common, entrance to the park area. He doesn’t notice the sign on the gate saying it is closed for the upcoming Easter Show. He climbs the big mound at the centre of the common, but the view is disappointing, he thought he would have been able to see more of the Olympic area from up there. The aim is to get to the ring walkway over the brickworks quarry, he makes it as far as the entrance to the walkway, but is stopped by a locked gate, and some fella on guard. Bugger. Nothing to do but turn back, time for lunch.
Sun is out, and so are heaps of critters along the paths, mainly lizards that scoot off into the undergrowth. Tony takes a short cut through some trees, lots of baby lizards in the leaves scooting off in all directions… then Tony thinks “what else is in here”. So gets back to the path and stays away from the edges.
After lunch we go for a swim in the pool at the apartments. The sun is off the pool, and it is a bit chilly, but not too bad once you get in. We are the only ones in, in fact we have yet to see anyone else use it. Cynthea is clearing flowers out of the pool, until she finds one with a big bug on it. It is orange in colour, and when it tries to dry its’ wings the wing cover lifts up and it looks like a smiley face. Shame the camera couldn’t get a decent photo. Will be replacing it in Canberra on Friday.
We take the shuttle to Rhodes and meet Adem and Rabia for tea. We have a meal at a dumpling place, but there is a bit of a language barrier. When we order we ask if the dish has seafood, and are told only one, so order the platter. Unfortunately when it arrives, it is all seafood bar two pieces. Tony is going hungry tonight, haha. Cynthea goes up to the counter and explains, they claim they told us it was all seafood, but happy provide another dish free of charge. Three plates of dumplings (pork based) arrive, far more food than we originally ordered, and it is a struggle to eat it all. Happiness filled.
04 Apr – Thursday
We are still no further on booking past Dubai, oh well we have a couple of weeks before leaving Australia to sort it (don’t want to be doing that once we get to Malaysia!).
Up early to see Sascha off to work, and say thanks for having us. Then back for a wee lay down… At lunch time we leave the apartment and catch the shuttle to Rhodes, then the train to Cabramatta (only a couple of bucks for the nearly one hour train trip). We are staying at Valerie’s the night. We had planned to drive to Canberra tomorrow with (niece) Verna, but she is unwell and won’t be going now.
It is a bit of a mission trying to work the travel website out, instead of giving us a couple of direct options, they give EVERY possible combination. The train we would like is sold out, leaving a VERY early start, or a late arrival into Canberra.
So we opt for a bus, we book the express bus from Central Station, $78 for two tickets. We will take an 8am train to Central in the morning, a journey of around 50 minutes at peak travel, happy happy, joy joy (yes, being sarcastic!).