Australia: Day 14 – 25.11.18………As one adventure ends, another begins. Awesome!
We woke up fresh as two daisies, our faces lovely and soft after yesterday’s beauty face masks and went straight into today’s yoga challenge. We’re not as bendy first thing in the morning so it was a bit of a struggle to get through the workout, but we managed it, although we were more vocal than usual! We’re flying off to Sydney later today and not arriving at our ‘luxury’ hotel, the Travelodge Sydney until 22.30 tonight and didn't think we’d have a) the energy b) the inclination or c) the effort to rearrange the furniture in readiness for yoga after our travel day, hence why we decided on our early morning yoga. We’ve googled the hotel and the rooms aren’t so spacious so how we’re going to manoeuvre ourselves into some of these yoga poses without bumping into each other will be a challenge in itself!
With our bags seeming much heavier than when we arrived we checked out and headed off for breakfast. We’d seen a nice place not far from us which is always packed so we made our way there. You cannot believe how hot it is at the moment, with temperatures rising to 43 degrees in this ‘unprecedented for this time of year’ heatwave. Thankfully we’ll be in Sydney by then where temperatures are about 15 degrees lower! We enjoyed a healthy breakfast that consisted of chai pudding, fruits and fig and banana cake and it was delicious. As we were ‘people watching’ we were rather amused by a family who happened to be wearing matching outfits in bright yellow print. Even the baby was dressed the same.
After breakfast we headed to the outdoor market located along the banks of the estuary and wandered around for all of ten minutes before declaring defeat by the heat and took shelter in the nearest air-conditioned coffee shop. We ordered some cold juices which we tried to eek out for the two hours before our pick-up. We managed an hour then went in search of air-conditioned shops to take refuge. Not a good idea really as Maice ended up purchasing this really nice one-of-a-kind sweatshirt. She wasn’t going to get it at first as it was a bit pricey but like I said to her, if she doesn't at least try it on she’ll be thinking about it for the rest of her life (okay, a bit dramatic but you know what I mean) and when you convert the dollars back into English pounds it’s not such a bad price. Of course she loved it and bought it, and as I said to her, it is unique and she’ll be the only person in Dorset, nay, the UK who has one! Shame we didn’t do our currency conversions correctly, all done in the head you see, so it did cost quite a few pounds more than first calculated. Seems strange buying a sweatshirt in this searing heat but you never know, it may well come in handy in Sydney.
We waited in reception for our transfer to arrive. One fifteen it was coming for us so when it didn’t turn up, reception called the company who seem to have forgotten us so they sent a mini-bus to collect us and we met the mini-bus that should have collected us which was waiting for us just outside Port Douglas. Both drivers were really helpful and no-one on the bus tut-tutted when we got on. Had this have happened in Greece no doubt we would have been ostracised by both the driver and the passengers, even though it wasn’t our fault! There was almost a spot of road-rage when we were approaching Cairns as a driver of a camper van was texting and veering into the lane that our mini-bus was in. Our driver wasn’t happy, he was beeping and making ‘on the phone’ gestures to the other driver who looked most indignant. Honestly, there’s fools everywhere it seems.
We checked in at the airport and just as we were about to go through to departures we looked at our boarding cards. We were flying Virgin Australia and had prepaid for allocated aisle seats but our boarding cards said different, these said we were in an aisle and a middle seat. We returned to the service desk who informed us that our original seats were occupied......so we were upgraded to extra leg room aisle seats on the condition that we needed to ‘help the crew in an emergency’. I’m sure we can manage that. So, our first free upgrade. Excellent. A glass of wine was most definitely in order which cost us the princely sum of $25! It may have been expensive but it went down extremely well.
We were wondering what was on the menu on the plane until we realised when we saw the menu with prices on it that we ‘had to pay’ for food and drinks. It was now 5pm, a long time since breakfast but we didn’t want to spend airline prices on food and drink and we hadn’t prepared anything ourselves. Fortunately we were offered a complimentary sandwich and a glass of orange juice and the man sat next to Maice didn’t want his sandwich so Maice and I shared it between us. It was so cold on the plane that Maice was able to christen her new sweatshirt, see I knew she’d get her money’s worth, and I luckily had a cardigan in my bag. It’s the first time we’ve needed them for the last two weeks.
After another landing in which the pilot applied the brakes rather hard it was quite straight forward getting out of the airport even down to arranging a return transfer to our hotel. The most notable difference we found was the temperature. It was a tad on the cool side being just 19 degrees, not what we’ve been used to at all! Hope it warms up for our kayak trip tomorrow. Now, about our hotel. The Travelodge Sydney. Well let’s just say that our apartment in Port Douglas seemed like 5* in comparison. But, we won’t be spending much time here......thankfully. So, the first hurdle we encountered was in the lift. We got in, the door closed, we pressed the button and nothing happened. Or had it. We weren’t sure as in some lifts you don’t know if you’re moving or not. No, we were definitely still stuck on the ground floor. So we pressed some other buttons and nothing happened. Then we saw the notice that said we had to swipe our room card over the scanner and press the floor number. So we did, and up we went. Well, neither of us have experienced that before in a lift. My word, the technology of today. As expected, our room was small, posing a bit of a dilemma for our yoga challenges. Well it certainly would be a challenge but we’ll cross that bridge tomorrow. And then there’s the wardrobe. It was so close to the bed you couldn’t open the doors properly, as demonstrated by Maice who can also be seen modelling today’s purchase! Ah, we did laugh!
Our room has ‘kitchen facilities’ and even has a ‘non-smoking’ microwave. We didn’t know they smoked but obviously they do here in Australia and it’s our responsibility to ensure they don’t, well, this is a non-smoking hotel after all!
Tomorrow morning we’re off on our kayak trip and we have to meet at Lavender Crescent at 8.30am, wherever that is. We tried to google it but totally confused ourselves so we made a trip down to reception to ask for advice. We wanted to walk there but now we’re getting the train which will take about 15 minutes with a 12 minute walk at the other end. We’ve decided to leave at 7am and give ourselves an hour and a half, just to be on the safe side as we’re not known for our directions. We purchased a kit-kat, that’s all they had on offer in reception, which was our ‘supper’, set our alarms and prepared ourselves for bed hoping that when we wake in the morning we’ll find ourselves going in the right direction!