The Royal Rendevous

Trip Start Jan 27, 2008
Trip End May 12, 2008

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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Wking up time was pushed farther back by the previous night and Jeff was till comotose when I surfaced at noon. He explained he'd been up just before turf out time (10am) and tried to no avail and get moved into the same room as his buddies.

On the roof today an older bloke started chatting to me - he was from Canada but looked like the little fella from the 70's show Fantasy Island - well a little. He kept chatting so I decided to join him at Harrys Cafe de Wheels (which he also knew well)  for a "Tiger" - Pie, Mash and Mushy Peas with gravy, all stacked on a gravity defying floppy plate. Fantastic value at $5.30 - now this caravan is a institution - knocking out pies and chilli dogs since 1945.  The kiosk, right on the waterfront by the navy base, is adorned with pictures of the great and god paying homage. Elton John, Richard Branson, Nicole Kidman to name a few - oh and piece de la resistance...
Mr Bargain Bucket of Beaks himself - the "bogus" Colonel Saunders, snapped eating a pie in 1973.

I didn't get the name of the Canadian guy but he was travelling alone and had lost his wife to lung cancer some time earlier. I felt guilty for affecting a stance of being a little disinterested when he first started talking at me.

We parted and I set of for the city. I had two attractions to complete in one day - and I wanted to ride the Manly ferry.  Well the tower was ok but I also had access to the incredibly naff audio visual OzTreck with my ticket. You are ferried aound diaramas of the jungle, outback etc whilst two holograms, straight off an Invicta FM breakshow, inform us and banter with each other. It's side-splittingly funny.  The following part of the ride - on flight simulating chairs is better - you get the sensation of swooping over the Harbour Bridge by helicopter for example.  As for the tower - its a view of the city from about 260m - sadly the view of the opera house is interupted by skyscrapers.

Afterwards though - Sydney Wildlife World - this was as good as the Aquarium. If you are buying combined tickets, skip the tower - its the least rewarding of the three Discovery attractions.

Oh, almost forgot to mention - the Royal Rendezvous - Cunard's QEII is docked near Harrys Cafe de Wheels (although I'm sure the brochure has this listed otherwise). She's on her last voyage, and is in Sydney 30 years to the day from her first visit. The shiny new Queen Mary, her replacement, is docked at Circular Quay. At 6.30pm the Queen Mary will leave harbour and make a pass at the QEII (forgive the phrase). The QEII will dock at Circular Quay for the last time.  I miss the actual pass, as I'm too busy in Wildlife World trying to get a photo that appears to show me with a kolala on my head, but I do train across the Harbour Brigge, walk back and see her docked. I encounter several of her well heeled passengers as I make my way back through The Rocks - the oldest part of Sydney, next to Circular Quay.

Finally I do an out and back ferry from Circlular Quay to Manly, just a little late as its getting dark - but noentheless I made the trip I planned. If I'm ever back here I'll d it in daylight and maybe stop in Manly for more than 5 minutes.     

A quiet night in - as I had an early shuttle to the airport at 5.35am the next day. Just one bottle of cider on the roof. Back in my room Craig tested Jeff and myself with questions from his almanac - this was all of course ironic and quite funny - "Which state do you suppose has the most hazardous waste disposal sites?". By the way I think the answer was California. Following this fun and games I nipped out for a late night pizza - as no dinner so far today - and then crawled back in and to bed into bed.      

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