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Showing posts from 2010

Back in time for NYE 2010

We've made it back from Melbourne in time to celebrate New Year's Eve in Sydney. By celebrate I mean sit at the top of the driveway and watch the fireworks in the CBD from a distance. We had a fantastic time down in Victoria and I'll try to upload the photos and write a proper report over the next few days, as well as do a review of travel in 2010. Right now it's time to enjoy the moment at home.

Lightning and locusts

The last trip of the year. After spending the year flying around the Asia it's time for a holiday closer to home, time to show Alex my old home. Time to give the car a nice long drive as well. But how would our increasingly active toddler cope? Very well, as it turned out. One of the biggest challenges turned out to be booking Kita into a boarding kennel. After a day of ringing around all over the state we finally found a boarding vet in Bexley. But a 10:30am drop of time meant that our departure from Sydney was delayed. Eventually we made it on to the M5 and began our journey out of Sydney. It's a very familiar journey, one we have done many, many times. I used to live in Canberra, B in Albury for a year. At least every fortnight we would drive up or down to visit each other. And there have been countless drives between Sydney and Canberra over the years. I find the drive along the Hume Highway between Sydney until the turnoff to the Federal Highway visually boring

By George, there's water!

I popped down to Canberra on Tuesday, the usual return flights in a day. It was a perfect day for flying, sunny with scattered clouds. I was on Qantas 737-400's both ways. These short Canberra flights, nominally 55 minutes in length but much less in the air, really feel different even from the hour long flights between the other eastern capitals. I guess there's no time to get into the rhythm of the flight. The cruise on the return leg was so short that didn't even let passengers switch on any electrical equipment. The meetings were at Gungahlin homestead. A lot longer drive than to Limestone Avenue but quite a pretty one. We supposedly went the long way around on the taxi ride out, but one the way back a detour via Russell to avoid an accident lead to a much longer delay. Unfortunately, all the spies were finishing work at the same time. Thanks to these flights I had the opportunity to experience Canberra's new airport terminal. Stepping out of the aircraft i

Turboprops and tiring transits

Once upon a time I had to spend an entire night waiting in the carpark on Rockhampton airport as floodwaters rose around us. It was free then, but now the airport has joined its illustrious larger cousins in charging for the privilege of a parking spot. So Mum dropped us off and waved goodbye. Our brief visit had been quite pleasant and I am actually curious to see how the rest of Rocky has changed during the last six years. I still wouldn't consider it an actual holiday destination however. I'm always amused by the regional airports that foresee themselves become international gateways. Strictly speaking, Rockhampton already handles international flights, but these are charters bringing in the Singaporean military for exercises at Shoalwater Bay. I can't see the city ever getting scheduled international flights. Despite that, I was quite impressed by Rockhampton's airport terminal. For starters, the toilets were better than those at Changi's Terminal 1! The

The monkey garden

The first thing Alex asked for when he woke up was "cars". I immediately understood this to mean that he wanted to look through the hotel room window, where he was excited to see a rubbish truck in action. With a lack of daylight saving time difference of one hour (and 50 years) behind Sydney we were feeling more refreshed than the clock would indicate. It looked like a nice day outside, so Alex and I went in search of breakfast and some bathroom essentials. The streets were fairly quiet this time of morning. There was a travel agent and a cafe surrounding the hotel, and naturally a pub, but not much else. Diagonally opposite the hotel the cinemas had been turned into a church. We walked to the City Centre Plaza, which contains Rocky's poshest department store: Target. After buying Alex and I supplies at the Coles supermarket we sat down for a breakfast of eggs benedict at a cafe. Never had them before and looking at all the morbidly obese people around me I almos

The Return to Rocky

First off, this post has nothing to do with Sylvester Stallone or boxing, though brain damaged states do come into it. Now that we are clear about that, let's proceed. Rockhampton. I hadn't been back there in six years, ever since my father's funeral. Though I had lived for seven years on a hectare of land about thirty kilometres outside of the city I had very little desire to return. The truth is that I felt that Queensland and I were at war and that I had only survived it by retreating south, licking my wounds. I had made forays into Queensland since, often to traditional holiday destinations, usually for short periods of time, and never felt a desire to linger. I watched as exposure to Central Queensland rotted the brains of my siblings. It was amazing when we took holidays south and I felt my brain accelerate in the clear cool air then slow as we returned to a place where free thought and intelligent discourse are not valued. If I was to encapsulate my experienc