Friday, January 23, 2009


JANUARY 23, 2009 - (15/117) - SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA
Our suite at the Marriott Sydney Harbor is very nice and quiet and one of us slept in! A very nice buffet breakfast is included in the deal. When we finished that Dick went to the local FedX office to ship a malfunctioning flash drive off for data recovery and Carolyn worked on this blog. Thankfully Dick was able to get Quicken restored with the help of their online chat service. It did cause some tense moments in Christchurch , however. The fact that we can get uninterrupted internet service here at the Marriott helped. In New Zealand we had to buy time by the two hour block. So, of course, every time the time ran out Dick had to start all over with the recovery process!

At 11:45 we board a Captain Cook Cruises, harbor cruise boat at the Circular Quay Ferry Terminal to explore the harbor.For $70AU or $45.50US, we bought tickets that allow us to hop on - hop off all day. The cruise takes you, quite quickly, to seven stops around greater Sydney Harbor and is a great way to get a feel for and to see this natural wonder. The stops were for Fort Denison, where we were in time for the daily firing of the gun at 13:00, Taronga Zoo, with its cable car to the top of the hill, Shark Island, a small National Park in the middle of the Harbor, Watsons Bay, a pretty little village, Luna Park, an amusement park and Darling Harbor, a pretty, modern part of greater Sydney and home to the Sydney Aquarium. We will go back to Darling Harbor and explore when we return to Sydney.. We ride the full circuit and take pictures like crazy. It is interesting to see the tiny figures of people climbing the Sydney Harbor bridge. Dick may do that when we come back next month.
The temperature is in the 90s and quite humid. It is just like Houston in the summer. After completing our circuit of the harbor, we stop for an ice cream and head back to the hotel for some good old A/C. Around 17:00 we walk over the Circular Quay and buy tickets on the ferry to Manly. After the 30 minute trip we walk up "The Curso" to the beach and watch the swimmers swimming in the area clearly marked for "No Swimming - Strong Currents". These Aussies are a tough bunch! We have dinner at the "Rump and Ribs," an open air, upstairs restaurant. The meal is quite good and the caesar salad is one of the best ever. We each have a seafood basket that included beer batter fried fish, shrimp and calamari.

We returned to the ferry landing and just miss the boat so we cool our heels watching the sun set at the terminal for 35 minutes until the next one arrived. The water is so clear we are treated to a show of fish swimming around the pilings! By the time we are heading back to Sydney, the sun has set and the clouds are pink in the west from the rays of the setting sun. A nice ending to our first day in Australia!
We have arranged to keep our room until 13:00 tomorrow and we can board the India - Pacific train at 14:00. On to Perth!

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