Page 2 of Travels with Cathy and Steve Travel Blog Posts

Asia » Singapore » Boat Quay January 7th 2019

(Cj writes): This is the fourth time we’ve been to Singapore, and our third joint trip (I met Nik and Solli here for a fun-filled week last June, and Steve came years ago when it was an astonishingly exotic destination). Yet we’ve managed to go to some new places as well as old haunts. Old haunts: Chinatown and Clarke Quay (aka ‘Tourist Central’). New discoveries: Kampong Glam and Little India (which smells like Rajasthan as soon as you set foot there) and Sim Lim Square, actually a tower block crammed to the gunnels with shiny tech shops. SC - we also managed to get up to the top of the iconic Marina Bay Sands hotel. A stunning observation deck we we watche the sun go down and the the Marina Bay light show from above. Similarly ... read more
Light showat Marina Bay from the observation deck
Light show at Marina Bay 0 Ground level
Light show at the Super Trees in Gardens ByThe Bay

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Manly January 5th 2019

(Cj writes): I’ve wanted to “get away” for Christmas for years - and it’s finally happened! The weather, which had been unseasonably cool at low to mid 20s or thereabouts, suddenly came right and warmed up to very high 20s or low 30s: definitely beach weather (and there was usually a breeze to be had down there too, which was a bonus). So off we went on Christmas Eve for a spot of bodysurfing and games of ‘lets get Bonma under the waves’. The oceanside beach at Manly has great surfing waves (as opposed to the very calm waters on the wharf side beach on the other side of the peninsula, which is where the Sydney/Manly ferry comes in), and there were plenty of surfers and swimmers out there. And the water, whilst fresh to wade ... read more
Surf & Turf for Christmas dinner
Two oldies on Christmas day
Boxing day at the beach

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Manly December 24th 2018

Cj writes: Steve came home from his big train trip happy enough - but it quickly became clear that he’d brought a bug home too. He was poorly on 22nd, and felt dreadful on the 23rd - which was unfortunate because we had planned a restaurant dinner out at nearby Collaroy Beach, followed by a trip to see the illuminations, all of which he missed. But he kindly insisted that I ought not to miss out ... The dinner was at a beach club type place - 1st floor, huge open windows overlooking the beach, good wine and cocktails, and a menu based around easy stalwarts like burgers and fish and chips (but served with lemon instead of malt vinegar, and not a mushy pea in sight!). The illuminations ... well, where to start?! Unlike Blackpool, ... read more
They call this "local outreach"
Christmas lights at Davidson ...
Christmas lights at Davidson ... All privately funded

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Manly December 21st 2018

SC writes: Some sort of normality has returned now I'm back in Manly Vale at Nik's. Final preparations are now underway for Christmas and the last few presents have been bought. No cards this year for obvious reasons so this the best way we have to wish everyone a very good Christmas and Happy New Year. We will see the new year in ahead of you of course! The weather here around Sydney has been cool and wet. We even had a monster hail storm the other day - so unusual that the news made the Lonon Times. see photo. However, the forecast for the next few days is great: Sunny but not too hot. Cj writes: Solli, of course, is wildly excited about Christmas. She has finished her first (kindergarten) year of school, ready for ... read more
The artist at work
Christmas greetings from Cathy & Steve
Solli and Bonma get in the mood

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Blue Mountains December 20th 2018

Tuesday 18th December. So sleeping on the train has been fine and, another first here, showering on the train was good too. I'm sharing the facilities but there are two showers between 10 people so it is fine. Plenty of room, hot water and lovely soft towels. What's not to like. This morning we were bussed into the centre of Adelaide for a brief walking tour and a light breakfast. Less than two hours in all so we did not see much (mainly war memorials if I being blunt and I've done enough of them over the past 2 months... ) We had a complete crew change in Adelaide but we are all used to the rhythms of the on train routine now so there was not be any disruption. The thiird and final dinner on ... read more
I meet a life size miner
The valley in the gloom
The view from the  cable car

Oceania » Australia » South Australia » Adelaide December 20th 2018

Monday 17th Dec. While the on-train sleeping experience was good with a comfortable but narrow bed, and a gentle rocking motion, I did not sleep well. Too much food probably but I did manage about 5 hours. On waking the scenery had not changed... Empty, open and endlessly flat. We made a couple of brief off train excursions, just to stretch and look about, but there was little to see... that's the whole point! Our second stop was at the appropriately named "Cook". Why appropriate? Because the temperature there was 44 degrees C. It was a dry heat so not that difficult but the wind was blowing so it felt like standing in front of a fan over with the door open and the fan still running. Wow that was hot! The second evening was again ... read more
Indian Pacific loco
Half way
At cook it was 44 degrees C.

Oceania » Australia » Western Australia » Kalgoorlie December 20th 2018

I'm nowback in Manly Vale having been without WiFi for four days, so I will try to atch up on the train journey now: Sunday 16th Dec. Up early and a taxi to East Perth Station for check-in on the Indian Pacific: the train that will take 3 nights and 4 days to get back to Sydney. I'm in a very compact but comfortable solo cabin, in a very recently refurbished car.. All very smart but it is tight. I and other solo travellers soon made our way to the lounge bar which is offers great views. All food and drink included and we were soon into the bubbly and chatting away. Unsurprisingly there are several old fogeys like me on the trip. More surprising there are quite few solo ladies travelling, all of whom seem ... read more
In my cabin on the Indian Pacific
Giant machines at Kalgoorlie

Oceania » Australia » Western Australia » Albany December 15th 2018

Friday 14th Dec: A nie hot sunny day to explore what Albany has to offer. Three things to note: 1) Whaling...We seem to have encountered a nmber of whaling places recently and indeed whales but in some ways this topped the lot... A vist to the last whaling station opened and closed in Australia. All fully preserved with a "whate chaser" ship. This was possibly one of the grizzlest exhibitions I have even seen (and I'm including the Killing fields in Cambodia etc) all with colour photos and film of what whaling was all about... Here's the wierd thing. The station was opened in 1952 (my lifetime) and closed only in 1974. The film footage had all these strapping Ozzy lads dressed just like I did in 1974... Could have been me slicing up the poor ... read more
Whale chase boat
A Large saw!
The same saw in use!!

Oceania » Australia » Western Australia » Albany December 15th 2018

Thursday 13th Dec: Today I drove down to Albany on the South Coast. A long (>250 kms) and interesting drive with a couple of good stops along the way. In particuler I drove through an area called "The Southern Forests"... Where you "come for the trees!". Also a couple of charming small town: Nannup & Pemberton.... All jolly nice but not really that much going on. Near Walpole there is a an area called "Valley of the Giants". We're talking seriously large trees here. The high point (no pun intended) was the Tree Top Walk; a 800 metre walk way suspened 40 metres up in the canopy. So good I did it twice! The thingis made of several bridges (see photos) and they move... A lot. I reckon they moved vertically 6 or 8 inches as ... read more
"Tree Top Walk" - Bouncy walkways
"Tree Top Walk"
Granma Tingle Tree

Oceania » Australia » Western Australia » Margaret River December 14th 2018

Wednesday ended with a trip to too more wineries this time with paid for tastings. This region is famous for its Chardonnay's and Cab Sauv. The Voyager estate was particularly inpressive with lovely gardens and an impressive tasting room. I managed to sneak into anothe place at 16:55 (5 minutes before closing) but they were happy to let me stay on and taste a few.... I ended up buyting a bottle..... In appreciation and instead of paying the tasting fee of $10 . A nice way to end an exhilerating and tiring day. (I'm passing over a distinctly average dinner that night).... read more
Tasting room
Oak barrels
Voyager estate

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