Monday, March 14, 2016

Perth, Australia

Here are our pictures from our day in Fremantle and Perth, Australia.  We had arranged for a private tour of the area for transportation from the ship to the airport in a comfortable ride.  Our tour guide was Nicholas Gianco and his company is GranTourismo.

Nick, Jo, and our Range Rover ride
It was a beautiful day with some beautiful sights.
Our last look at our ship
 We started our day from the port of Fremantle
this view is looking at the skyline of Perth in the far distance
 a small beach in Fremantle
 The multi-sided building called the "round house" was originally built as a prison
 Cottesloe Beach in Perth
 beautiful Swan river
 old Baobab tree
 Downtown Perth
 You can't take the love for nice bridge designs out of a retired bridge engineer
This pedestrian bridge is quite unique

Saturday, March 12, 2016

back in Sydney

We arrived back in Sydney around 10:30 last night and after a short shuttle ride made it to our hotel, the IBIS Budget, selected blindly from the web.  This is the absolute worst hotel experience of our travels and lives.  It was quite a surprise when we opened our room to find three beds, no desk, one plastic lawn chair, and two hangers on an open pipe frame, no closet.  There is no lid on the toilet, only a seat, two towels with no wash cloth.  Since there is no desk I'm sitting on one of the twin beds to type this.  The three beds are one double and two twins.  There is supposedly a breakfast area, at additional cost of $9, which I just now checked out to be only juice, coffee, dry cereal, toast, and an open bowl of fruit cocktail.

We will get by until our shuttle to the airport and hope that they ask us to complete a customer satisfaction survey. :-)

This afternoon we enter our time machine to travel back in time and back to the good ol' US of A.  We are scheduled to depart Sydney at 2:05 pm March 13 and arrive in Dallas 30 minutes earlier at 1:35 pm March 13.  If only it would be that easy.

I am posting this from the hotel wifi connection which is minimal so will wait until we get home to post pictures from our Perth tour.  We have truly enjoyed this adventure and hope you have also,  Check back for Perth perhaps tomorrow, I did get some nice pics.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

final day at sea

Today we are heading for Perth on our last day on board ship.  We will have breakfast on board in the morning and then disembark for a guided tour of the Fremantle and Perth area.  Hopefully when we get to our hotel in Sydney tomorrow night I will have wifi in order to post our last entry from Australia.

Esperance, Australia

Today we are anchored near Esperance and we have an afternoon tour of the town.  We are in the Great Australian Bight (a large shallow bay) which is part of the Indian Ocean.  It is because of these shallow waters that we have to tender to shore.
It was a very  hot day in the 80s but we had an enjoyable tour of the area.  Our first stop was a shop that tanned fish skins into leather which was interesting.

This bowl is full of fish scales that have been dyed assorted colors.  Jo bought some fish scale earrings.
 some fish leathers
 sharks bite - shark skin leathers are very tough and stiff, sometimes used as sandpaper
Next we visited an art-glass shop
 a glass bikini
 a fish leather dress adorned with art-glass
 another glass bikini, at least the top half
Next we stopped at the Pink Lake which wasn't very pink today
under certain conditions it supposedly is
then it was on to Twilight beach
at this lookout point a walk-up tower allowed 360 views and our ship was nearby

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

towel animals

Throughout our cruise we have had many towel animals on our bed each evening after our cabin steward completed his evening room duties.  There have been a pig, rabbit, dinosaurs, and a seal.  Here is last night's creation.

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

at sea

After Adelaide we have two days at sea before Esperance, Australia.  This morning we sailed through a thunderstorm and just glad that we weren't on shore for an excursion.  While the seas are relatively calm it is still difficult walking a straight line and just happy there are rails along the walkways.  At least we can walk out of one of the bars without causing anyone pointing fingers at us. ;-)

Monday, March 07, 2016

Adelaide, Australia

Today we had an all day tour away from the ship.  Our bus toured through the town of Adelaide before heading out into the countryside.  Our destination was the Borasso Valley wine region where we visited three of the major wineries of this area and sampled five different wines from each, all good.  We had a very good lunch at one of the winery stops and then made it back to our ship mid afternoon.

Our first stop was this high scenic overlook of the valley.
Our first winery stop
an unexpected sighting of two DeLorean autos driving up to this same winery.
Jo said she would buy me one for Christmas but didn't say which one.
Our next winery and lunch stop
On our way to the final winery we stopped at this dam that provides drinking water to the surrounding areas.  After construction was completed it was found that the arched concrete wall had unique sound characteristics.  People standing on either end of the dam can carry on a normal voice conversation as if they were side by side.  They call this the whispering wall.
 on the far side
 talking to folks on this side
Our final winery before heading back to our ship
 one huge eucalyptus gum tree