Archive for September, 2017

Red Rock – Day 5

Posted: September 6, 2017 in Travel

Today is John Candy day as in Planes, Trains and Automobiles. If you forget the trains of course. This 2 out of 3 thing is becoming a habit eh . But first a morning to check out this town and see what it is like . Why it’s like Alice I guess

Another glorious morning of course with a slight chill in air and crystal clear blue skies . Very fine cooked breakfast to kick off after a good nights sleep. Then a casual walk along the raging Todd River and into town to see the highlights . Ok singular – Anzac Hill. Easy climb after yesterday’s ordeal. Great view and another amazing mountain range as backdrop.

Then went for a pleasant walk through mall and checked out some drinking establishments and quirky stores. Even bought an RM Williams jacket on sale that wasn’t gortex!

Back home to pack and then out to airport for one more Qantas Club load up for the 2 hrs before flight 🙂 certainly is a crowded lounge at midday . Arrive in Adelaide just before 4 pm and then fun starts with a hire car

On a side note while people watching in lounge was unlucky enough to have a middle aged slob sit next to me # firstworldproblems. By slob I mean he simply had disgusting habits . Apart from constant talking on phone always had two drinks on go – whiskey and beer – with burps or gurgles accompanying. We moved luckily but continued observing hoping against hope he would catch a different plane to us . Nope. His grossest act though was every 10 mins while refilling his whiskey he would walk past food table , blow his nose and wipe with hand/ tissue and then put hand in pretzel or chip bowl and take a handful before sitting down again. About 5 times. I really believe a lot of sickness spread on flights is through disgusting behaviour like this. CLP and I on bigger planes – 737 – with 3/3 config in Economy take two aisle seats . After seat luck on bus yesterday thought what chance this grub will sit next to me! He was on our flight. Last call and of course he was last to board as needed one last drink. He approached down the aisle on wobbly feet towards 19 C…… and stopped at 17 D. Whew. And then discovered both CLP and I had two spare seats next to us after all boarded. Knobber knobber . Life is strange at times eh . So it was a great flight in the end and unlike on the Qantas link plane the Q streaming on the 737 worked a treat . Now what chance the car rental pick up works as smoothly ?

Great flight. Smooth process with car – got a bigger model then requested , not ideal actually – and drove the 45 mins out to lodgings in Hahndorf for next 4 nights . I think I have earnt that first beer at The German Arms

Don’t mention the war !

About a 10-15 min walk to Main Street which is fine if not raining . Beers were good but the schnitzels were all quantity no quality. No wonder the Germans are fat .

Tomorrow can sleep in at last as an easy day of touring wineries planned

Yeah right.

Red Rock – Day 4

Posted: September 5, 2017 in Travel

Today is Priscilla day . As in ” Cock in a Frock on a Rock ” Well, as the Meat would say 2 out of 3 ain’t bad . Frock still at the cleaners after last B&S Ball.

So a 4:30 am start to head out to Kings Canyon and eventually Alice Springs a mere 15 hrs later. First up though was a 3 hr coach drive to Kings Station for a hot cooked breakfast a station hand would eat. Why are all so skinny then ? It was a full bus but once again all worked smoothly on and off . After breakky about another 30 min drive to Kings Canyon and the first big decision of the day . Do we go with the fit and foolhardy and do the arduous 3 hr walk around the rim or go with the pussies for the one hour walk through a dry creek bed . Given I can do the latter any Wednesday I play golf in Maryhole we opted for the former . Who can pass up the double of seeing Priscilla’s Crack and a Rim Job. As I had heard the longer a rim job goes the more pain involved

Another glorious morning as set out on the 500 step climb to start proceedings. The view of course is amazing as are the rock formations but after the first hour it does start to look a tad similar . Luckily then we climbed down to Garden of Eden for an apple. The next 20 mins are a blur but am missing a rib. It was a lovely water hole. Sadly then we had to climb back up and continue along the rim. For another 90 mins. Anyhoo did it at own pace and as always my body struggles more coming down then going up. Much like my weight on holidays I guess. So back at car park and ankle and knees were gone

Back on the bus for short trip to Kings Canyon Resort for a light lunch. By now my throats was drier than a dingoes donger so…..

Back on bus for the old switcheroo. 3 AAT King buses converged at a T section in middle of nowhere and we got off our bus onto another one for remaining 350 k to Alive Springs. With 2 screaming kids in front the whole way. What else could go wrong – stay tuned. Now in these parts there had been no reception all day but as we approached the Centre of Australia – Erldunda – we were assured we would have signal. And we did . Quick break before back on bus and yep 5 k out of town signal dropped from 4 bars to no bar. Mind you it’s a feeling I am familiar with sadly….

Then back on bus for last 200 k into Alice. Of course in NT the speed limit is 130 k so we were motoring along like a train. Straight road, same scenery klm after klm – very interesting mind you. It was a full bus and about 6 hotel drop offs and when told we were second thought another knob kiss at last. Then the train ran off the track! 10 mins out from Alice the bus blew a radiator hose. Driver said another bus would come out and transfer us over in about 30 mins. But he thought he would try filling up radiator anyway . So we headed off amazingly but after a few k he said ” nope light back on, will go to one hotel on,y and meet bus there ” oh no, so close one out . Then he added that it would actually be the Double Tree Hilton which was ours ! We had been bumped up. So we limped in , got out and checked in while looking back to see all the bags being unloaded from bus! Those years at Sunday School paid off.

On closing must say AAT King are a great company if coaches are your thing. They are not mine . I have mixed with enough GU in last three days to last all year. Only mixing I see in future are red and white

As in wine …

Red Rock – Day 3

Posted: September 4, 2017 in Travel

Today is Marty McFly day . First up back to the future on a Segway for Uluru sunrise and then later in day back to the past for a Camel ride at sunset looking for Jesus. Between now and then need to find two more wise men. Not an easy task.

Early start so good chance to try out the thermonuclear Kathmandu jacket I bought on special for $300! Well it’s gortex .

Ok think I left 3 layers back at the store. It was 3 degrees outside but I was cold still. Onto bus and only a group of 5 so things were looking up. Good drive out to the “other side” well in time for sunrise so a quick light breakfast to start with. After that it was basically 3 hrs of wonder. As in I wonder how I can limit the photos I post out of the 1000 I took. As said before it is a photographers delight here with the rich colours .

Then it was time to board the Segway and as an old hand was sent to the back of posse. First time ever had to put on pads !

Very informative guide and some great creation stories at various points. Also clear signs for “sacred sites” stretches – no photography! Including a big cross through camera sign for Japanese . Nope, didn’t work. Took about 2 hrs to do whole circuit . The climbing area was closed due to high winds. Just close it period folks. After Segway a quick walk back to the water hole and some cave drawings and then back on bus for 30 min trip home. Another amazing morning and still have some humps ahead . As said many times a Segway is great fun and a perfect way to travel a good distance in a short time while still taking in the view and snapping away like a hungry crocodile.

Back home for a light lunch and some time by pool. Water was still freezing at midday after cold night but sun was glorious . Relaxing few hours ahead while contemplating packing for 4 am start tomorrow

Well Camels are certainly amazing animals and riding one is an interesting experience. Another well run tour but maybe by now the magic of the rock at Sunset has lost some shine? Kata Clysmic (patent pending) actually looks more stunning for moi. The tour was quite expensive for what you got especially “bush tucker” at the end. Damper bread and pretzels basically . Some free beers and wine of course but time limited. Still it was a worthwhile adventure and bucket list certainly has a few more holes in it now. The tour was full too which maybe didn’t help as slow at the start and end of but ok once you get over the hump in the middle . I’m here all week , try the veal

Will be sad to leave Uluru area tomorrow and especially the magic weather . The Sails in the Desert is an excellent resort – not cheap but very well organised.

Our camel was named Connor for those interested.

Red Rock – Day 2

Posted: September 3, 2017 in Travel

Ok, officially a tad seedy . Must be the desert air. Not a good nights sleep for a number of reasons. Pillows too soft, room too warm, a dingo nibbling my toes. Yada yada yada. As I approach my 60 th year it is reassuring to know I am not getting any wiser . Will try to show more control today – starting with breakfast buffet ! Hope they don’t serve champagne ! But first a lovely FaceTime with Harry and Brody for Fathers Day

Quiet morning today ahead of tour to Kata Tjuta this afternoon. That’s Olgas for you simple folk. Cooler morning with a breeze but a simply glorious day. Photographers must love this place , the colours are so vibrant. Saves them bringing their own  tripod I guess. Ya with me . Checked out local gallery – sadly open – and then up to a nearby lookout for a different perspective. As in further away

Time to check out pool. Or at least pool area . Not sure my Olgas could handle the water in this temperature .

Update : of course they can. Had pool to ourselves on a glorious morning. The water was cold indeed. Certainly colder than the beer in our plastic glasses #firstworldproblems.

Small group of 8 for ” a 3 hr cruise” this afternoon to Kata Tjuta. Even so you always know there is that one knobhead who has to ask questions all the way . It is an amazing rock formation as you approach on yet another crystal clear afternoon. We did the 1.3 k walk to Wappa Gorge and while impressive after a while it becomes a bit humdrum as a visual spectacle . And a hard walk on very rough ground for my poor ankle . Still, a very worthwhile experience

So another full day done and red dusted . The early mornings start tomorrow with our Segway pick up at 6 am. We even added a Sunset Camel ride later for tomorrow for some reason.  Hope I get a pretty one. At this rate my bucket list is shrinking daily. Meanwhile .

 

Duck !

A long day beckons so an early start . Against all instinct we are driving down early to Brisvagas for an early morning flight. What could go wrong. Using BAP again for the fortnight which adds a little to budget but a whole lot of convenience as well. A couple of flights , a couple of lounges and then end up in final destination to see one of the great natural wonders of the world at sunset . Well, I will need a shower after this long day ! Probably some other stuff to see too around that time in the dead red centre of Aussie Land. A rock, a dingo or two and some other wildlife – depending how many beers on board . After a windy warm day today the chill sets in next few nights . Darool Darool

Good run down and arrived with plenty of time for snouts in trough. Then my world ended

Oh well. 2 hrs of coffee and prunes before 3 hrs flying. What could go wrong ? Again. Left about 15 mins late and didn’t make up in the air as a strong headwind. Good flight though but was 3 hrs. Very passable snack on board. Q Streaming wi fi is a great idea but only if it works. After 5 mins gave up on black screen . Great scenery at times. Amazing land. Arrived a tick before midday which was perfect . The bar in QC club opens at midday ! Crowded as expected but found a couple of seats for the hour before next flight . This could get dangerous. As usual wifi is crap here . Much like the choice of Reds but hey no problemo. Think we will catch up next week

So after travelling with Qantas for 25 yrs got my first call to the “service desk” ? Upgrade to business class ?? ” ya clown, there are only 20 seats on the plane!” ” But can you move to exit row and stop drinking now”? Hmm…..extra leg room versus liver attack. Yep ok. Sun doesn’t set until midnight around here and still have 3 course bush tucker menu with ” accompanying alcohol” to come. Sweet

Up in the air , small drink of water and then landed 😉 The first visions of Uluru were rather stunning. Can’t do justice out of a window. Plenty of opportunities ahead . Warm day indeed. Shuttle bus and smooth check in had us walking the town square in no time. A quick beer as you do and then back to get ready for A Night at Field if Light

Well, what a stunning and memorable experience . Spidey senses were pinging when saw 3 bus loads of GU lined up for night but it all went smoothly and plenty of access for good photos – ability not withstanding. If I did nothing else right this holiday i did this night by lining up a great group of 8 people to have dinner with, all strangers of course. I know boring old frats when I see them so avoided them. Beautiful location, great food, limitless supply of grog and informative talks. I would say the light changes at sunset on rock were not life altering but still memorable as was the look towards Olgas. Field of Light was impressive and can’t do justice with photos sadly. Home and in bed by 10:30 on a great , if somewhat long day