Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

SOS – Review

Posted: October 21, 2018 in Travel

Short sharp week that perfectly met our expectations

Flights

Decision to fly from Sunny Coast rather than Brisvegas worked very well. The QantasLink 717 is perfectly acceptable and when you can get two exit row seats for only $10 extra each it’s a very comfortable ride . I like the 2-3 seat arrangement rather than 3-3 etc. Secure undercover parking at SC airport is a bit of a furfy. Your car is under a sail only and susceptible to slanting rain/ hail etc. They really need a covered walkway from park to terminal as well. Qantas Club in Sydney is nothing special but was strangely quiet. Lunch time food uninspiring . The flight delay was annoying but these things happen. The short drive home from airport was much appreciated after long day

Public Transport

Excellent as in most cities. Opal card is same as all others . Airport Link is an excellent service. All buses, trains and ferries ran on time . There always seems to be a lot of roadwork in CBD but not an issue as such just a bit of pain walking around. Opal app has all info needed. Fairly easy wlaking city apart from crowds of course.

Hotel

The Grace was a good choice and at around $300 pn for a premium king corner room in CBD pretty good value. The blurb online is a misleading as the premium rooms are not necessarily on high floors as their website suggests . We had to haggle for 8th floor. Early entry at 10 am for $45 was worth it but could easily rip people off at times. The room service was superb and all staff helpful and friendly. Good number of lifts, never had to wait long. Suitable eating options on ground floor. Gym and pool is weak for size of hotel. Windows are double glazed so noise level perfectly fine although could hear traffic at times. Never kept you awake

Dining

We mostly ate at the top end of the chain and it was rather good. Rockpool was a standout and when include Bar and Grill as well as Spice Temple we ate there 3 of 5 days 🙂 The service was simply faultless. Great atmosphere and delicious food . Not cheap of course but well in line with level of dining . Sometimes you need to see how other half lives. Cirrus was also very good but for $160 seafood platter you would expect a finger bowl or damp towel. Their desserts were delightful

The cafe culture seems alive and well. Except on weekends in CBD! They simply close. All coffee was excellent and of course the thing you notice is a smaller cup gives you better coffee. Down at Nambour this morning and back to average coffee as cups,not mugs, simply too big. Breakfasts were all great with Special mention for the porridge we had at Barista Sister. All serving sizes were generous. We didn’t really do anything between breakfast and lavish meals but the one pizza we had from Vapiano was fine.

The Nightime Noodle market was an excellent venue with wide range of delights on offer. It was a bit muddy for walking around but these things happen

Attractions

The Harbour is a stunning backdrop simple as that . The performance at Opera House was very good of course but stage,sound,sets etc no better than Lyric Theatre in Brisvegas . It is the occasion I guess. Taronga Zoo was also good but nothing special as far as zoos go. Not bad value though. Always crowded with kids I imagine . Entry and Exit works very well. The Scupture by Sea exhibit was a work in progress still due to weather and thus a tad disappointing but in general would say the beaches are magnificent especially ones like Watsons Bay. Madame Tussauds was standard fare with good range of accurate dummies but a poor entry system for ticket holders . Good sets to access special functions.

In general we still prefer Melboring to Sydney as a city to spend time in although the gap is narrowing. Certainly the food and drink options are similar and of a high standard and good variety . Just something different about the CBD methinks and Sydney seems all business whereas Melboring CBD has a more welcoming feel. Always seems to be a lot of construction on in Sydney especially on the roads in CBD .

Naming a travel blog SOS was probably chancing fate

So when last we left our hero he was tucked up in bed all packed and ready to leave at 0630 in morning to catch train to Airport and hook into QC alcohol free before 09:50 flight home to Flashman Inc Headquarters , Sunshine Coast. This was going to be a sensible day for eating and drinking…..

3 am. Beep Beep. Message on phone. Qantas. “ Your flight has been changed , please review and accept changes now “ Ok. In foggy state accept the new time of 14:00 hrs and check status. All good

3:30 am Beep Beep. Same fucking message ! Thanks a lot assholes, just as getting back to sleep.

There are no quarantees when you travel of course but on top of Doctor cancellation yesterday was wondering when 3rd penny would drop. So we went out and had a light breakfast and a walk around and even got a walk up start in next years Fireman Calendar 🤠

So we headed off about 10:15 and of course when not in a hurry every train is on time and ready just as you walk up. The airport was surprisingly quite as well and even though of course our check in was not straight forward now and needed “customer assistant “ we were still knocking on Qantas Club door at 11 am a mere 2.5 hrs before boarding . What could go wrong

Of course it’s not all bad news, just mostly bad news . Being a Glass Should always be Full kinda guy the delay in our flight did mean would be in club when bar opens at midday

This could take some clever planning. This is also the day of one of the Qantas Drought Relief flights to Longreach with “ celebrities” . Thus for first 45 mins of stay in QC Darryl Braithwaite was screeching out Horses next door ! It was certainly live trust me although to be honest he should have been put down.

Ding Ding . Flight QF 1580 to Unknown Destination now leaving at 14:45. I love how they say “ We thank you for your understanding “ Almost as if we had a choice….

Help

We finally left. Turn back the clocks Grandpa we are entering Queensland

SOS Day 5 – Animal Attraction

Posted: October 19, 2018 in Travel

Last full day in Sydney which hopefully also means last day of being full! Weather looks good as predicted for visit to Taronga Zoo. Fog then fine. A leisurely walk down to Non Square Quay to catch the ferry across to be gate adjacent shortly after opening time of 0930. Some breakfast on the way and then it is time to

Another excellent breakfast and coffee at Barista Sister. CLP says the porridge was to die for. I was just glad didn’t have to put my teeth in to eat it.

Ferries, like all Sydney Public Transport, works well and on time. Arrived at Zoo just after opening so took the Sky Safari to top entrance. It was a Pithy I didn’t have my helmet with me 🤠 Map in hand we started the process with the main plan to avoid the hordes of school kiddies out of their cages. Of course not all animals necessarily want to be seen and disappointed especially not to see and Tigers and to a lesser degree the platypus. The weather was glorious now and so every now and then just stop to admire view from prime location

We have been to a few zoos in our time and would suggest Dubbo is better although no doubt Taronga does a lot of conservation work etc. We didnt join the great unwashed for any shows . The admission price of $40 is fine – especially when factor in Seniors discount of 10% – its just we were done in about 2.5 hrs which suits me of course.

Of course Ferries are not only great public transport but also a free “ tour” in themselves and the scenery on trip home was magnificent . Saw where Sco Mo hangs out , or have they changed PMs again this week ?

As we were finished a bit earlier than expected thought would see if could get table at Cafe Sydney given such glorious weather. Alas no and we kinda both looked at each other and thought at same time why not Rockpool again? Boring maybe but we remembered the great food and service and could get a table at short notice. The lovely reception lass remembered us and as our table not ready yet we retreated to the bar for a refreshing ale. The place was really busy and yet 10 mins later same lady came into bar to chat to us about our day ! We were seated by about 1:45 pm which was fine as just felt like some good steak. We even had the same waitress and the service was once more superb. We joked about trying the second birthday in same week trick and she said “ of course you can” . And then John Laws walked in and my day was made – a celebrity at last and someone who makes me look young. I even stopped and said hello on way out and shook his hand. He must feel like he is top of the bridge now with the better Half of Harkle. It’s always nice to enrich the lives of old folk I say .

Lunch was somewhat interrupted by phone call from Doctors Surgery saying Monday’s appointment on Sunshine Coast was cancelled and could I come back Wednesday or Thursday. Ah no sweetheart I can’t . And of course still have to wait around for MRI at Sunshine Coast at 1030 on Monday morning. Strangely after a couple of beers and wine the shoulder didn’t seem too bad. That is next week’s problem

So by now it was well past 3 pm so waddle back home and that could well be all we see of Sydney this time round. Not sure will feel like heading out again once the trakkies go on. Checked in for flights tomorrow morning so some packing to be done and then a leisurely trip out in morning. Could be busy with Invictus Games starting but most traffic heading in not out

Been a great short stay and have to say the food and drink scene matches Melboring now. Sydney does seem more of a business/serious/wanker place and this best demonstrated maybe by a small shoe shine set up in a little arcade with 3 workers on the go ! Now if I just had some small shoes to shine.

Harkle Sightings : 0. Whew
John Laws Sightings : 1. Yay

Later dudes

First some book keeping. Great night last night at Opera House for Evita. Not really my type of musical but the sets , dancing and singing were fine with little Tina a standout. Lovely night for the walk home to boot . That is my kultcha done for this holiday

We heard Harkle were going to the zoo today so thought we would join them. What’s that you say, they have gone to Dubbo Zoo? The lengths that Harry goes to trying to keep Meghan and me apart. Oh, well will check out the other endangered species then at Taronga. A leisurely walk first to Circular Quay for the ferry ride across and some breakfast on the way. Didn’t exactly bounce out of bed this morning after late night. Mind you not sure how many walks left in this ankle of mine

Up your Date 0800 . Ok weather forecast looking a bit grim so give Zoo a miss today and maybe go on Friday. As opposed to my ankle the rest of me is totally flexible. So rather than a kangaroo let’s do a switcheroo and bring special lunch for tomorrow ahead to today

Done, so time for breakfast . Of course dont need to go to a zoo to see animal behaviour. Give an asshole an umbrella for starters . I have never noticed so many ignorant clowns walking around head down looking at phone. Unbelievable. Anyhoo , lovely breakfast at Cross Eatery. Ok, at least a tad annoyed eatery . You know the sauce is hot when it comes with a dropper!

Given lunch at midday thought would hobble down to Darling Harbour for a couple of hours under somewhat grey skies. Nothing was really open so thought why not go to Madame Taussauds and meet some real dummies. Bought tickets online but then the old switcheroo and the $8 discount suddenly added $8 at checkout for GST. They certainly have a great range and all look good. A fun time was had by all of course

Of course having changed plans based on solid research Old Whiskers pulled the old switcheroo and we walked out into brilliant sunshine ! This was a late birthday celebration for CLP and at her age you can’t leave them too long after the day 🤠 I chose the Spice Temple of the Rockpool Group and went with the Ming Dynasty banquet with matching wine. Luckily they provide a Ming Vase to regift into afterwards #nevertoomuchseinfeld. It was superb. Downstairs from the Bar and Grill provides a completely different dining atmosphere. Had chosen the Degustation thinking small samples of a variety of foods. Duh wrong. Servings, as images show, were plentiful. The wines were all good and was interesting to see it seems the business lunch has not disappeared given the number of suits at tables in a packed arena

Walked back up into the real world and yep you guessed it. It was raining. Waited a bit for it to slow and then waddled home. CLP said she felt really spoilt and extra special so bought her back down to earth by sending her off to the laundary to do some washing. They need to remain grounded in reality or else a world of hurt awaits

So although only mid afternoon we are done for the day and will sign off now . Dinner looks like half an apple and two grapes . Perfect

Harkle Sightings : 0
Royal Dummies : 3

Our main crack at Kultcha is booked in for tonight , A Night at the Opera , although the only Groucho will be me having to dress up in the tailored trakkies

It is actually a Night at the Opera House for the musical Evita with little Tina Arena. The Opera House will be a busy place this morning with diehard monarchists advised to start lining the western promenade at 8 am for a glimpse of Harkle strutting around about 11 am after curing Chlamydia in Koalas earlier at Taronga Park Zoo. Clearly the only real plan today is to avoid the area until later tonight. Seriously, she got pregnant just because I was in the same city for 12 hrs. If we actually met there could be another royal divorce imminent.

A very nice coffee and light breakfast first at Atmos. I phere we may return

We then strolled down in general direction of Circular Quay. Kochie has been tipped off we were in town so naturally had our photo in every background. The Opera House area and surrounds were pretty quiet really with security already in place and all the media folk lined up and ready. Despite the forecast it was a very pleasant dry day so was stuck carrying around wet weather gear all morning. Once again a massive liner was ready to board

Despite a possible Harkle sighting in next 4 hrs we headed in opposite direction through The Rocks. In keeping with today’s British flavour I didn’t wash this morning and also dropped into Lord Nelson Beeratorium

Today’s lavish lunch was planned to be of the seafood variety so headed down to Cirrus. Had the seafood platter , some fries, a couple of vinos and rather amazing desserts. Right now if I sea any more food I may vomit . It was an excellent meal but once again you notice little touches missing at such an upscale eatery. A seafood platter with no finger bowl provided? Yeah it’s First world problems but does surprise when other aspects are so top notch . I had to wipe my hands on CLPs blouse.

Then a short waddle home for a couple of hours rest . The old ankle is swollen to a degree you wish applied to all appendages but like most things it does go down over time. Another walk tonight to Opera House to deal with as well. I may just stop and rest against this building

I will sign off for today and report on Evita in tomorrow’s debriefing. Speaking of debriefing , time to have a lie down in the au naturale state as the Lord intended. Luckily on the way home signed CLP up for a course which made her so happy she forgot she was wearing a dirty blouse. It’s the little things that keep relationships humming along

Harkle Sightings : 0 Yay

And so our short Sydney October Soujourn begins under cloudy skies. Not for the first time there is a significant weather event leading into holiday . The Dome in Maryhole lays scattered on the ground , a shambling wreck of its once great stature. No doubt they will quickly rebuild for the sweltering summer ahead

As mentioned previously decided to fly to Sydney directly from Maroochydore rather than Brisvegas. Miss out on Qantas Club partaking but is only a 30 min drive to and from. It’s an early start for an 0630 flight before we land in the harbour city in the world of daylight saving at a time later than the actual time in air would indicate . The Blues win one bloody Origin series and now think they can set world time . Just hope the curtains in our hotel room are not faded.

We made it through the rain ok and arrived an hour before departure so time for a quick coffee. The SC airport seems fine although some covered walkways from car park would be useful! No last minute upgrades but do have exit row seats so get to jump first . The bar isn’t open 😰 I know I am dynamite in the sack but why do I always get singled out for the explosive residue wand over the nether regions ?

Of course we found some months ago that the Royal visit coincided with our week in Sydney but too late by then . I refer to them as Harkle so that will be the theme this week # harklewatch. Thought they were arriving Tuesday but seems like it is today. However I doubt they will be arriving at Domestic Terminal or catching train to city! Previous experience tells us the domestic and international terminals are a cut lunch and a chopper ride apart so see no likelihood of paparazzi interference apart from my usual followers

Good run down and arrived on time but because we had a Sheila pilot took her 20 mins to park it 😏 Rainy here as well but at least had a sky bridge this time. Quick baggage pick up and the rather excellent Airlink train had us ringing the reception bell at 10 am at The Grace Hotel. We had enquired about early check in – for $45 – and told won’t know until day .

“ Not sure if we have room Sir. Let me check, could take a while “
“ We will pay the $45 “
“ Ah yes Sir we do have room just come available “ Room 416
“ Look Ling Lee we booked corner premium king which is supposed to be on high floor “
“ Ah ok u can have 816”

Charm , and facts, work all time . Great room , very quiet . Windows are double glazed which makes the handles on outside window simply a tease

Quickly unpacked my 3 pairs of trakkies and one singlet and headed out in light rain for a beer and a feed. On plane trip down had read article about beef degustation at Rockpool so thought why not. But I digress. Is that a Bavarian Bierhaus across the road ?? And it’s Oktober!

The pretzel was not only hard to reach but not very filling so time to get my rocks off in the Pool. It’s an amazing establishment but reception lady was a bit non plussed when I mentioned Beef Degustation but she did ask for my number . Anyhoo, when in Rome… Simply superb lunch and the service level is excellent at the Rockpool Bar and Grill. Yes it’s not cheap but then not really extravagantly priced either. It’s the little extras you notice and we were able to share each course even the steak. Hell, they had 6 different mustards to choose from ! There and then we decided that we would go with some fancy lunches this week and some crackers and cheese for dinners. Flash Tip #1 When at a posh restaurant always mention u r celebrating a birthday . Works every time

The Grace does have a small gym and lap pool and before we left we planned on visiting every day. Seriously . At present that is still the plan but do need for lunch to digest a while. Couple of hours back home to relax and then maybe head out for a beer and a visit to Night Noodle Market for light dinner

It’s been a great first day and even though weather is dusty think we may survive . We are pretty loose with plans while trying to avoid Harkle and Rain . We have a Night at the Opera tomorrow night and tickets for Taronga Park to be used one day this week.

So went up to the gym , rode the bike for a while and did a few laps. May even try out the pool tomorrow…..

Then once that momentary nonsense had passed it was back to solid ground. First up a Guinness at the requisite Irish Pub on every block including ours. Then a leisurely dry stroll to Hyde Park for the Night Noodle Markets. Great crowd considering the weather. A light dinner was perfect before the short stroll back and wait until the sun goes down at about 11 pm apparently

All in all an excellent first day in less than ideal weather. We may be dodging showers all week but there is a reason pubs have roofs

Harkle Sightings : 0

Ireland Fling 2018 – The Flashies

Posted: March 15, 2018 in Travel

The wait is over but the thrill remains. Like repeats of MAFS. You know I really hoped since I had been away shows like that may have ended but all in vain

Best Flight Any flight that lands is a good one really and any flight that crosses a lot of the blue stuff is long so you never really walk off any flight and say “Well that was fun” ‘ The comfort of the Qantas Club before hand always helps ease one into it and of course all flights at start of holidays are more relaxing than at end if for no other reason than the excess baggage you have to bring home. Then there is also your luggage! PE is still a good experience especially on the A 380 and the half empty return flights were more comfortable no doubt but then we were also sick on them, especially the last haul for CLP. Will go with first leg Melbourne to Dubai as still fresh and did get some sleep so 14 hrs only seemed like about 13hrs 45. Food still seemed tempting and I had slept ok the night before

Worst Flight Most flights have a bad experience associated with them whether it was check in, arrival, customs etc but the worse one was the BA flight from Dublin to London apart from the fact we actually got on it of course . BA was a pain to deal with on holidays and the check in was a nightmare. It was a slow load and stuck in far back corner by self. Heathrow is a nightmare to land at, get to actual gate and then literally a 30 minute wait for luggage. Would not like to have to connect to another flight there in anything under 3 hrs. Special gong goes to Qantas though for the “Domestic Transfer Gate” at Sydney -what chaos. In future if cant fly into and out of Brisbane you can shove me in an overhead compartment and call me stupid. Unless a really good price of course and booked at least 30 days after this last experience

Best Accommodation Obviously some accommodation is better than others because of price paid. The Lake House at Killarney was clearly the “best” hotel we stayed at but came at a price although still good value. The best accommodation on balance for moi though was Rosquil House in Kilkenny. At least I think it was Kilkenny, everything was white and wet. It had benefits of a B&B but with a spacious room. Great breakfast, helpful host, extra rooms to relax, walk to town etc

Worst Accommodation Really there was no bad accommodation but if had to pick one it would be Anach Cuin at Galway simply because it was a more typical B&B. Small room, noisy creaks etc However it is a bit unfair to single out as comes at a certain price point, hosts were wonderful as was breakfast. It was a fair hike out of town as well but that fact was never hidden, simply poor research. Narrow staircase to Ruprechts room as often is case also

Best 60th Birthday Experience

Waking Up

Seriously though it was a packed day of wonderful experiences – massage, hot tub, champers, dinner…….. last day of not being sick 😉 It also fell in the middle of our first real experience of what we considered “true” Ireland in Killarney. Good weather, great countryside , friendly people etc. The Lake House is a stunning hotel to stay at even if got some Jack Torrance vibes at times. It also saw the emergence of my alter ego Pat McGroin, the dapper Irish Gent

Best Meal Aqua at The Shard was a superb experience from service, location and food. In the scheme of things and being in London it was not overly expensive really. Dans Le Noir the night before was also a memorable experience but ruined a little by ignorant dinner companions

Best Drinking Experience The Guinness Skip The Line Connoisseur was rather good. Very small group in a beautiful bar and both of us healthy. The first Irish Coffee we had at Brazen Head was one of the best drinks had all holidays and could never repeat the experience. Even after spending 400 Euro to return to Dublin early and go back to same pub!

Best Tour The Ring of Kerry tour from Killarney was easy winner but that says more about the others actually. Personally would say ROK is a bit overrated. Not a brilliant day maybe but pretty good. A few great views but a lot of ho hum driving in between. Small group, good driver

Worst Tour Easy winner, Healys Connemara Day Tour from Galway. Easily the most poorly organised tour ever been on and no surprise no response from them afterwards . Of interest our lovely host Marty at Galway used to be a driver for them. No images can really explain the ineptitude

Best Public Transport We saw the best and worst of Irish Public transport. In general Irish Rail worked well as even when cancelled we always got a refund and the online booking process and seat allocation worked well. When running, on time. When trouble ahead they adjusted plans – eg drop us off at Kildare rather than Dublin

Worst Public Transport Buses in general but JJ Cavanagh in particular. Absolutely hopeless with communication or refunds. Bus Eireann not much better with accepting bookings for cancelled trips and no refunds

Best Fun in the Snow Probably first walk in Kilkenny. Found some snowmen and some quirk

No fun in the Snow Walking to fucking railway station in Cork at 5:30 am for a bloody hour. Am I still a little ticked off? Maybe…. Something to tell the Grandchildren one day “When I was young…” Mind you after that walk if not had already procreated the lineage may have been in jeopardy

Standing around at Kildare station for about 90 mins waiting for train comes a distant second

Worst Taxi Ride You know , we paid 220 Euro for a Taxi ride from Kilkenny to Dublin but still say the taxi ride from Brisbane Airport to Sandgate Road was worst. Expensive and a totally useless lazy driver. At least in Kilkenny we knew going in we were being bent over bonnet and chili on stick inserted

Best fun in the Sun Given only sun really seen was in Dubai an easy winner. Pool was crowded but also tried the beach at times and of course the pool bar

Best Fun at Sunset Once again, a few very pleasant evenings by the pool in Dubai. Pretty well guarantee a great sunset most nights . Throw in a beer and a hubbly bubbly and all good

Biggest surprise on Tour

I put on 3 kgs. Felt more like 5 easy

Actually The Miracle Garden in Dubai was stunning and good value and a must see if you visit

So ends Ireland Fling 2018. I have entertained you clowns for enough. Time to plan USA Feb 2019. As predicted the lure of NYC is already strong despite my hesitation to travel to snow again. The problem is spending 3 weeks on West Coast is a bit dull 😉

Well as a certain pig says

We had a very pleasant last night at pool and then the fun started . Got back to room with a bit of the wobbly boot on but still functioning like a normal 60 yr old. Opened the door to darkness. Now most seasoned travellers would know in most hotels without a tin roof you get two key cards and one is usually needed in the power slot for lights etc. We came, we saw, we conquered. I know what goes in which slot . Generally.

Our card was gone. So put the actual one u need to gain entry in slot and voila. Found a phone and rang the desk. “ The housekeeper must have removed it Sir. You will need to come down to reception and get a new one “ “ Say what Sweetheart “? Some over zealous sheet flattener stole my card so I have to come back and get it . What the fuck?? So trudged with my not happy face on – ok usual one, fair call – and was ready to tear Abdhul a new date so to speak when his basic response if I know my Arabic was “ What the fuck” So we bonded over this and I asked to make up for it could he send the first 71 virgins up at 10 minute intervals and save the good looking one for breakfast . His response was “ You Aussies” or could have been “Fatwa called”. Not sure

So went back to room now with 3 cards. If housekeeper comes back u know which slot the 3rd key is going in. All very odd really because room has been serviced within an inch of its life. You use the towel to wipe your hands or after a shower and hang it up fine. Come back two hours later and there is new folded one . 3 new towels a day I shit you not. I now have 4 pairs of slippers but still only 2 feet .

So on last morning we found out that breakfast didn’t start until 6:30 pm which is not great for early flights and pretty well in keeping with rather impersonal breakfast experience at this hotel. The pool area is great service, the rest not so much. We skipped breakfast and caught taxi a bit early as knew could hook in at Emirates Lounge at Dubai. It is a massive airport and have to take train from baggage drop to departure gates . Fairly easy check in and security especially as finally allowed to wear my trakkies on plane. CLP still being very sick had set the standard 👍 The Lounge is fine but we were smart and didnt over indulge – I planned on finally having a few sherberts on plane #IBF

We have a tightish connection in Sydney so glad plane left on time. Just wish staff wouldnt bullshit you . “We will push back in 10 mins.” 20 mins later still sipping flat “ Champers “ . “ We have 4 planes in front of us, leaving very soon” . I count at least 10 take off ahead off us, all strangely Emirates😏 Here is a suggestion, why not just say “ When we leave terra firma you will know trust me “ . Speaking of which for a big plane the A 380 does impressive take offs and landings . Just rumbles along slowly and then up . Landing is like an old man easing into the bath. You notice these things after landing on the BA A 320 for example. It hit the brakes hard and threw out 3 anchors and two parachutes by my reckoning landing at Heathrow.

In general the A 380shows its age but the PE is still impressive and more spacious than the 747 . Probably compare to the “ Dreamliner” next year for USA which does not get good reviews. QF2 to Sydney , like the first leg, is rather empty with less than half PE cabin full. Before first crowded leg you are bombarded by Qantas about bid for upgrade to BC. On this flight nothing despite fact many empty BC seats . Anyhoo, makes food service quicker not to mention that 3 rd Rumbo almost pours itself. Well,the wine on offer at lunch was that cheap Aussie crap . Fool me once …

Writing this 2 hrs into 14 hr flight all good . CLP sadly has been very sick last week but hopefully can grab some sleep now . Time for a movie . On a plane not an ocean liner how about Titanic to fill in a quick 3 hrs. The clinking ice in my Rumbo suddenly adds some atmosphere

About 20 mins late landing in Sudney which makes things just that bit tighter . Then you face the Qantas Domestic Transfer section at Sydney . What a bloody mess. It won’t be long of course before book that next flight OS amd will be with Qantas of course but right now they can go take a jump. Their “ online check in “ is a bloody joke. You flew me into the country three days ago . You have my API . What is the problem. I reckon out of last 10 flights have only been able to check in online twice. Anyhoo we made it just as plane was boarding with no confidence our bags would be so lucky. It’s a cut lunch as usual to actually get to your runway and leave the ground but a short flight and quick baggage claim had us on road by 10 am and then home at Sunshine Inc by 11:30. Unpacked the bag and left the washing for CLP to give her something to do and decided to drive home to Maryhole then. Not smartest move as very tired towards end and could have been calamitous especially in the rain . Home now and even mowed a bit of the jungle. Will be quiet couple of days resetting body clock and then out to Toowoomba on Saturday for family gathering to celebrate birthday

Until next time

I think it was Feb 24th in Killarney. Since then one or both of us has been sick or the weather lousy . Or both . So on this final day would be nice to just get a cleaning lady to come in. Oops wrong clip . Ok just a touch….

There was fair wind blowing early at the pool which of course meant the sky was cloudy with dust and Paradise was looking a touch dodgy. Pleasant relaxing time though before we head out for some lunch and those pesky last souvenirs. Yep ok ya got us, we have some AED to offload. Mind you when we started am sure we were getting better than 2.8 AED for our dollar.

Nice Sushi for lunch had us back in our afternoon routine of nap, pool, read, drink and eat at said pool ,sleep. If I had a pool at home then really my routine wouldnt change next week! Of course as last day will have to fit in some packing before drinking . Relatively early start to flight tomorrow . On line check in with Qantas is friggin useless so when factor in it’s a fair distance to airport and all that will be on road around 6:30 am for our 9:30 flight home .

Paradise arrived at about 2:30 pm. The wind had stopped, the sun was out and musical chairs had opened up. It’s a crowded time and you need to ask Abdul for the “ next available two lounge chairs please” while you pretend you are going to buy something from the menu . No sooner had the bean bags been sorted then a spot opened up at the pool bar . Serendipity .

The next two hours passed easily before time to head back to room and pack for tomorrow . Then we will head down to pool for a last Shisha , beer and dinner . I wouldn’t bore you with more photos of those shenanigans surely so let’s sign off for day now and in fact pretty well for Ireland Fling 2018. The Flashies will follow in due course . I wouldn’t say it has been our most successful holiday venture but certainly still some great memories

Well, ok just a couple if u insist

The moment I wake up

The make up didn’t take – again – so thought time for some spiritual guidance and we headed off to the Jumeirah Mosque. Have been to Dubai a few times and have to say CLP has come up with two great new sights to see including the garden yesterday. Although both sick to varying degrees the couple of days in Dubai so far have been very pleasant and mostly because of the level of service and general welcoming nature of “ staff” . To be fair they do work for tips I guess 😉 We thought we could at least spare a couple of hours to learn a bit more about the Islam religion and the 5 pillars based on. Man, Will and Grace were way out ( yeah no specific you tube video so for full impact of this amusing seque …)


WILL: Look at that. I’m 5 for 5.

GRACE: What’s that?

WILL: It’s this test, the Five Pillars of Happiness. It’s supposed to determine the level of contentment in your life. And it comes with a lotion sample, so you know it’s scientific.

GRACE: I can’t believe you would evaluate your life based on something in the Lifestyle section. Ok, that was obligatory. Bring it on.

WILL: Ok, the first pillar is health. I gave myself a big yes, ’cause I just had my physical. Everything’s where it’s supposed to be. I’m running every day and, well…look at those calves. It’s like my knee swallowed a grapefruit. Your turn.

GRACE: I think I’m hypoglycemic. I’m always tired, and I can’t poop.

WILL: I would give that a No. Ok, pillar number 2 is family. That’s a big Yes. You?

GRACE: Well, let’s see. My mother’s idea of bonding is making me scratch her back. And for my last birthday, my father gave me gum.

WILL: That’s another No for Grace. Moving on. Love life. Another No for Grace.

GRACE: Excuse me! No. You can mark that Yes, thank you. Josh and I are doing great. I mean, it’s not perfect, but we care about each other very much.

JOSH: [OPENING THE DOOR] Grace? Hey, what are you doing? You left an hour ago to get bagels.

GRACE: Here. [GRACE THROWS A BAG TO JOSH] Toast ’em up. I’ll be back in 15.

JOSH: Ok, honey. Uh…your laundry’s almost done. [JOSH EXITS.]

GRACE: Well, you get a No on love life, too.

WILL: Actually, I haven’t told you this yet, but there’s this lawyer, Alex. We’ve only had one date, but I’m already seeing 2.5 jack russell terriers and his and his SUVs in my future.

GRACE: Yeah, yeah. Ok. Next.

WILL: Ok. Pillar number 4. Friendships.

GRACE: Ok! Now we’re talking!

WILL: No, no, no. Note the “S.” friendships. They’re talking more than just you and me.

GRACE: This test sucks.

WILL: And the final pillar is Work. I love my job.

GRACE: I work with a lush who insults me.

WILL: Ok. Final tally is… Will: [SING-SONG] Dee diddle-ee-dee-dee! Grace: [SING-SONG] Wah wah wahh.

The actual 5 Pillars of Islam cover a much wider range of course and the hour long presentation was very interesting. Had a few local treats first up before moving inside the impressive Mosque

Back home then for a quick bite of lunch and a rest before hitting the pool again. Our dance card is all marked so next 36 hrs will be just chillin and slowly improving hopefully before that last long haul flight home. Always interesting to walk the streets here and people watch

The pool was usual crowded place early afternoon but we grabbed a couple of Lazy Boys. And quickly put them to work finding us some lounge chairs . I’m here all week, try the veal bacon. But only if u must . Then it was time to try out the Sports Bar on site – The Amsterdam Hub. Serves beer and Irish food. Go figure . It was quiet and rather dull with soccer on all TVs

Which leaves us with the safe option of drinks by pool followed by dinner. Tonight was pizza which fitted in perfectly with the beers but then again what food doesn’t ? And it’s goodnight from him