Peter Vonk

el holandes

Peter Vonk

Un viajero

Thursday and Friday March 23 and 24, 2017 It's over, time to return to our part of the world again. Our flight leaves at 14.30 PM Sydney time and we will be arriving in San Francisco the same day (23rd) on 9.30 AM. Although there obviously is a logical explanation for the time difference, nevertheless it is always somewhat amazing to me that when going in the direction of Australia and countries alike, you lose a day and coming back, you gain the day back. The corresponding jetlag to these time differences is less amazing, and, particularly when flying back, less amusing. The flight is pleasant, but as expected long, over 14 hours. Qantas is a great airline with very good service. What is different with Qantas is that they are totally adapted to the long ... read more

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Melbourne March 22nd 2017

Wednesday March 22, 2017 A travel day from Melbourne to Sydney and a memorable day for a probably never returning coincidence: Philip Ignacio, our grandson, as indicated yesterday, has his birthday on the 21st and I mine on the 22nd. Due to time differences we celebrated our birthdays on the same day. Difficult to explain to our granddaughters, who already have difficulties understanding that they are having breakfast wihile we here down under, are having dinner or about to go to bed. our flight was supposed to leave on 15.30, but only did on 17.45; a long time at the airport. Since we had to check out of the hotel at 11.00, we took the opportunity to revisit the shopping area of Melbourne, taking the tram again and walking back to the hotel. Arriving at Sydney, ... read more

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Melbourne March 22nd 2017

Tuesday, March 21, 2017 Birthday of our youngest grandchild, Philip Ignacio. Happy birthday and may your future hold many interesting voyages. Today was a typical "tourist day"; we bought a "hop on hop off ticket" giving us the flexibility to get on and off the bus at those places we wanted to visit. In theory that should work well, but in practice we only used one leg of the 13 stops the bus makes. Difficult to match the timing of your visits with the itinerary of the bus. Additionally the weather did not cooperate today. The rain showers and thunderstorms announced for yesterday, made their appearance today. We made the most of our day, visiting the anglican St Paul Cathedral. Anglican churches can easily be confused with roman catholic ones. In broad lines they have the ... read more

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Melbourne March 21st 2017

Monday March 20, 2017 Today for different reasons was a remarkable day. We had booked a tour for the Great Ocean Road and the Twelve Apostles. In order to get up at 6.00AM for a tour of over 12 hours, the experience must be something out of the ordinary, and so it was. I have written before that tours here, take you far away from the big cities and take you on long drives or boat trips, but all of them have been really worthwhile. The road we were traveling finds it's origin in some sort of "occupational therapy" for soldiers coming back from the first world war for whom there was no real job upon their return. The highway of 244 km is dedicated to the soldiers fallen in WW1, the longest war memorial. The ... read more

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Melbourne March 20th 2017

Sunday, March 19, 2017 A travel day. Our flight to Melbourne was on 15.00, which gave us ample time to check out of the hotel and go to mass. We had visited the cathedral of Canberra the day before, which made it easier to find. We attended mass and had the opportunity to greet the bishop that performed the mass. We introduced ourselves and complemented him on the mass and the cathedral, upon which we received his blessing. Not something that happens every day. Turning the car in at the airport turned out to be a bit more complicated than we expected. The directions given by the gps were not all that clear, which led to use both Margarita's and my phone for directions. Once we had turned in the car, and had made our way ... read more

Saturday March 18, 2017 Not every day is day with great highlights. Today was a day like that. No particular plans nor clear set objectives. We ended up doing some souvenir shopping and visiting the central part in town, the commercial area. After lunch we separated, i.e. Margarita, Saribel and Pedro, who went on shopping while I went back to the hotel, not to stay there, but to change clothes to go to the Black Mountain. Another opportunity to do what I have missed for a while; hiking in a real environment. Black Mountain is about 812 m high and on top of it you find the telecom antenna of Telstar which adds 195m to the total hight. The tower as a visitors deck that supposedly gives you a great view of the whole area. I ... read more

Friday March 17, 2017 The day started with a hike, i.e. a hike up Mount Ainslie; "a mountain" of some 850 m high. Not very demanding, but for me, a trip back to the past. I had not hiked a decent "mountain" for quite a while. It felt great. Going up, to my surprise a ran into a dark grey kangaroo one with rings around the eyes that look like glasses. The interesting thing was that he stopped at some 7 meters next to the path I was going on. He looked my way, and I obviously looked his. Before I could get my phone out for a picture, he was hopping away downhill. He was in no hurry, nevertheless he was faster than I could get my phone ready. Fascinating these type of encounters. Going ... read more

Thursday March 16, 2017 Our first day in Canberra. We meet the people we were coming to visit, my godson, Pedro Alejandroand his wife Saribel. A great event. We have planned this trip to Canberra now 3 times and in effect, the third time is the charm. Good to see them. First things first; since we have not seen any kangaroo as yet, after a great local breakfast we drive to an lcal park to see our first local animals of our visit. There are virually dozens of them everywhere in the park. The animals are accostumed to human beings, because they don't get alarmed or walk away even if you are standing only a couple odd meters from them. After the kangaroos, we went to visit the Australian Parliament House, here reside the Senate and ... read more

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Sydney March 16th 2017

Wednesday March 15, 2016 A day of travel and little to tell. A flight from Cairns to Sydney, 3 hours flight, and a car ride from Sydney to Canberra. The car ride in countries with driving on the left side of the road, always is a bit stressful and confusing. The confusion typically related to functions of the car: windshield wiper, direction indicator, etc. Happily, the car we rented is automatic; adding a manual shift to driving on the "wrong side" would complicate life a bit more. The road from Sydney to Canberra is an highway in part through an empty country and wide fields. We had been warned to watch for crossing kangaroos, but the only ones we saw were far removed from the road. With one sanitary stop, it took us about 3 hours ... read more

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Cairns » Cairns City March 16th 2017

Tuesday March 14, 2017 After a heavy day yesterday, we decided to take a breather. We went to a huge swimming pool close by the hotel. As you will see on the photos of it, the place, called "the lagoon" is absolutely beautiful. From the angle that you arrive, it looks like an infinity pool, i.e. you get the impression that the lagoon goes over into the sea. The lagoon is very popular by locals as well as tourists. As is the case in all places we have been to, the infrastructure (restrooms, restaurants, etc.) surrounding the lagoon are perfect and everybody behaves accordingly, i.e. dissiplined and well behaved. An example! Later in the day we went to the pool of the hotel and I went out running on the board walk close by. Arriving back ... read more

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