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Published: January 10th 2018
Our return to Bangkok from Krabi was uneventful, but the sun shone and was perhaps the only clear day we had had in South East Asia since our visit to The Bridge on the Kwai.
We flew Qantas to Sydney on an A340. At Bangkok airport as ‘One World’ passengers one can make use of any of their lounges. Qantas’s, We were told, was rather like BA at Heathrow T5 so opted for Cathay Which was excellent. Qantas looked after us well in flight and the food was excellent. I did not sleep a wink as uncomfortable in the layout and seat design. Basically to lie down you feel as if you are entering an MRI scanner and every time you turn over you need to extract yourself. I gave up but Frin slept well and was fit and ready to go on touch down at 07.15.
First stop after dropping bags off at Grahams pad was the famous Doyles fish restaurant at Watson’s Bay. This is a short ferry ride from Darling Harbour, which was our base (and the Barmy Army’s) for our Sydney duration. There is nothing pretentious about Doyles, just good quality, locally caught fish. The
meal was organized by Ian Rogers and getting back to base was problematical as the ferries stop at 16.19! We queued for ages and in the end took an Uber. Ian and his gang took an alternative route via four bottles of Prosecco.
Our Air B & B did the job, but after quite a knackering first day we were awoken by the building fire alarm going off at midnight and we all had to evacuate the building. You can imagine Frin out in the street in bare feet and nightie engaging in serious conversations with the firemen! We were on the 13th floor, so a long walk down for some.
Another lazy day followed with lunch at the Sydney Cruising Yacht Club.
And so to the first day of the test match. Dawn broke (well about 9.00 in my case) to a typical English summers day, wet and cool. Play was delayed and we sat and waited for action in the shade. Bit soon after play started, the sun emerged and we realized that we were sitting looking directly at it. We also had the Barmy Army a couple of bays around to our right. The
All built with British steel
only way to survive was obviously get into the shade and and find a queue for beer. And pretty vile stuff it is too (but it does have two essentials - cold and wet!!)
The days play was followed by a meal at a pub called Bellevue in the elegant Paddington neighborhood and an excellent feast was had with old friends. Our problem was that we could not find a way out of the SCG and what had been described as a 20 minute walk took over an hour. Some very grumpy (not me as much as some) people.
Back to the test for day two but in the shade (with Barmy Army below). We felt then that it was going to be many hours of toil ahead for the England fielders. Some of the ladies meanwhile toured the Opera House and Botanical Gardens and visited the Hyde Park Barracks in which the convicts sent out from England were housed, a fascinating tour, finished off with a bottle of wine.
On Saturday we spent a day at Manley. The beach was heaving, but understandable as schools are still on holiday. Ian H and myself found seats in
the shade whilst Frin and Serena went for a stroll around the various beautiful headlands and bays.
Sydney had their hottest day since 1939 around 46-47.8 in the shade on the Sunday. Ian Hodgson, very generously hosted a meal for six others at a restaurant called Peat’s Bite. It is only accessible by water and therefore our chosen route in was by seaplane. Sadly due to the accident the week before all commercial seaplanes have been grounded in Sydney. Therefore we made our way to this spectacular venue by taxi and ferry. But though as hot as hell it was well worth the journey up the Hawksbury river through a national park to this paradise venue complete with pool.
Our last day was spent walking from Bondi to Bronte (yes even me)!!
We have now left Sydney and are about 3 hrs north at a place called Salamander bay staying with old friend Liz Warne. We ate lobster and tiger prawns last night and watched a spectacular thunderstorm sweep in (and almost blow us away)
That’s it from Oz, next port of call Auckland New Zealand.
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