A Travellerspoint blog

This is not end, nor is it the beginning of the end...

(this is an old post that has been migrated from a different blog)

It could be the middle of the end part of the beginning, though. This is because today marks the last day that I am working at my current employer full-time.

What does that have to do with travelogues, which is the raison d'etre for this blog, you ask? Well, on one of my days off, I will be planning a major holiday for Heather and myself taking in parts of Australia, SE Asia and Europe. I plan on updating this more frequently (weekly? daily? hourly?) as progress is made.

That new passport of mine is going to get a damn good workout...

Posted by jefranklin 21:58 Archived in Australia Tagged me Comments (0)

Two up, three up, throw up...

Well, the 25th is ANZAC day itself and traditionally, following the march through town, all the retired servicemen head off to the local watering hole and play two-up. Being averse to gambling, I was not going to rob some OAP of their life savings, but was more than happy to partake of the alcoholic beverages. Sadly, I had to drive us home (I really must get Heather a driving licence), so limited the intake to a mere one.
Still, all in all, it was a very good weekend.

Posted by jefranklin 22:49 Archived in Australia Tagged road_trip Comments (0)

18 holes and 45 km

Once we had recovered from the previous night (plenty of Coke needed), we headed into the main strip of the Kangaroo Valley to check it out. The style of the buildings reminded me of a town in the wild west, so feeling all inspired and arty, I took a number of photos. The plan was that I run the pictures through Photoshop and make them all old fashioned (sepia tones, grainy, etc).

Following the trip to town, we headed to the Kangaroo Valley Golf Course for the round we had booked. After we had paid our green fees (and I had hired a set of clubs) we set off. The woman that served us had tried to convince us to rent a cart as well, warning us it was a long course. We assumed she was doing the "hard sell", so resisted her offers. As it was about my third time ever playing golf, I naturally was terrible - fortunately there was only one person behind us, whom we let play through.

Now, I know that golf courses shouldn't feel cramped, but this was ridiculous; I had never been on such a long course. It did have it's advantages though. We got to see a flock/herd/gaggle of kangaroos with their cubs/calfs/joeys (out with the camera - click!). By the 12th hole, I had had more than enough, so pulled the petulant child act ("I want a beer now") until Heather caved. We headed straight to the 19th hole and got a round in.
We had planned to go out to the local tavern for dinner, but decided that the 19th hole offered more attractions in that we didn't have to move. This gave me the opportunity to have a couple more beers before I had to drive again. Heather, being the non-driver that she is, took complete advantage and sank a lot more wine and beer than me.

When the meal came to a close though, we headed back to the cottage where we were staying and I soon caught up with her...

Posted by jefranklin 22:39 Archived in Australia Tagged road_trip weekend Comments (0)

Maybe there was a problem with the space/time continuum

We had decided to spend this ANZAC weekend in the Kangaroo Valley, which is a couple of hours south-west of Sydney. We picked up our hire car (a Holden Commodore -aah! I am turning more and more Aussie!) as I didn't trust our wreck Xoe to make it without several phone calls to the NRMA. After an inordinate amount of time spent packing, we headed off to the M5 using the route plan that I had printed in a fit of organisation. Big mistake.

The first issue was that the instructions directed off the M5 only to rejoin a few miles down the track. The second issue was having navigated us to the middle of nowhere (I swear I heard duelling banjoes and a bloke saying "Squeal like a piggy"), the directions seemed to send us in completely the wrong direction. The end result was that the 2 hour planned trip took closer to 4 hours. On the positive side though, we did get to see a couple of wombats pottering along the roadside.

On arrival, I pulled out my camera to take the compulsory arrival pictures and I had left my main memory card stuck in the reader! Fortunately, for some unknown reason l had packed a spare. It was long past time for a drink...

Posted by jefranklin 22:34 Archived in Australia Tagged road_trip city_break Comments (0)

Back to reality with a bump

The day we both dreaded had arrived, Saturday was here: the last day of our honeymoon. Our flight however wasn't until late in the evening so we did have a final day in Singapore. Just like our last full day in Santorini, we spent it wandering around looking at various local attractions. Once we had checked out a few shopping malls, we wandered around Fort Canning Park. This has the, erm, distinction of being the location of British Headquarters in 1942 from where the order to surrender to the Japanese was issued. Although there is a museum in honour of this, we didn't get a chance to check it out, as we were running a bit short of time. We headed back to the hotel, and relaxed in the reception lounge while we waited for our airport pickup.

On arriving at Singapore Airport, we psyched ourselves up to fly with the world's least favourite airlineTM and checked ourselves in. True to form, the airline that will remain nameless at first attempted to check us in to seats that were in separate parts of the aircraft. We explained that we were still on our honeymoon, and if they persisted in trying to do that, we would be forced to consider extreme measures, like checking them through to Siberia. Eventually, they relented and we were given two seats together (one window, one centre).

Once aboard the flight, we really may really have been better off in separate seats. The row that we were seated was not served probably by any flight attendant and when we were eventually given the in-flight meal, we had a choice of the vegetarian meal or going without. Not really much of a choice. Mistake number 2 was to go with the vegetarian option, not eating would probably have been preferable. No wonder most veggies don't have a sense of humour.

Anyway, the flight itself was relatively uneventful but with a combination of terrible food, terrible in-flight movies and my knees pressing against my chin, it was the longest 8 hours of my life.

Back in Sydney, we grabbed a cab home (double charged for crossing the Harbour Bridge naturally) and walked back in to our apartment as husband and wife (Heather was carried over of course :), crossing the threshold to the start of a new life together.

Posted by jefranklin 11:06 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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