Monday, April 28, 2014

Signing Off

This will be my last post from Australia. As I expected, I spent most of Sunday trying to recuperate from the very long day on Saturday. Sitting in the bus for so many hours was good preparation for our trip home, I guess! In the evening we had dinner at a funky bar called Monte's. It must be popular, as they had a security guard outside. It had a very large patio area, a children's play room, and decent food. We shared a burger and a salad (thankfully, no fries with the burger). We are both ready to eat less for a while!

Monday morning we walked over to the Alice Springs Public Library. I had heard they had a special memorial to Nevil Shute, and I wanted to see it. The garden near the front door was nice and had a lovely stone.

We've done almost no shopping at all on this trip, but we did stop in a souvenir store and picked up a few small things.

Inside Monte's

Garden sign

Memorial garden

Eucalyptus trees in the park at night

This truly is a global society. I saw this RV on the street walking back to the hotel. Jayco is headquartered in Middlebury, near Goshen, and Starcraft for many years manufactured their trailers in Topeka (Indian), my home town.

A few observations from our travel around Australia are below. This is a very large country and we only saw a small portion of it, although we did see the most populous parts. We didn't get to the Great Barrier Reef along the northeast coast or any of the north or west coasts. We had a great time visiting with old friends and seeing new sights.

Electricity: Australia has 220v current, like most other places in the world beyond the USA. We have plug adapters of all kinds that we carry, so it has been no problem. I am grateful that electronics manufacturers make virtually all of their power adapters usable on 110v or 220v. An oddity here (to us) is that every outlet has an on/off switch. I don’t think I’ve ever seen this in the US. In some of the older hotels, we’ve had to scrounge to find a free outlet or two.

Towels:  All our hotel/motels have had nice fluffy towels, none of those thin ones we often find in budget places in the US. But it is rare to find a facecloth provided. I mentioned this to our Melbourne host, Rosemary, who promptly gave me one to take along. The ironic twist is that since we left her place, every hotel we’ve stayed in has provided them! [When I travel to India, I know not to expect any, so I have a stash of cheap flimsy ones that I take along.]

Wildlife:  I was thrilled to see so many of the unusual native animals here in Australia, all in  nature sanctuaries. We saw lots of signs along the roads warning us of koalas or kangaroos on the road, but we never saw any (not counting two kangaroos that were roadkill). I guess it's like our area at home, where there are frequent deer warning signs, but we only see them rarely. I have enjoyed some colorful birds along the way, but they don't photograph well. There were two wedge-tail eagles on the road to Uluru.

Restaurants:  We have had excellent food everywhere. The standard pub food seems a cut above what we would find in a casual, less than top-notch restaurant. Salads always have good greens and the food is freshly prepared. It is pretty expensive, however:  $12-15 for a hamburger (maybe with fries), $9-11 for a dessert. Most hotels don’t provide free continental breakfast. The one here in Alice Springs is $12.50 per person. We knew to expect these higher prices, but it still provided some sticker shock! Nearly every restaurant brought two glasses to the table, along with a glass bottle of chilled water. Very nice to be able to refill as desired. One of the prettiest ones is shown below.

Tuesday we fly back to Sydney, spend the night, then head off on the long trip home Wednesday morning. We did not get the upgrade to Business class this time, but we are looking forward to the Premium Economy seating, which is much better than regular Economy. We actually arrive in Chicago still on Wednesday, after approximately 26 hours en route. We are spending Wednesday night in Chicago, arriving in Goshen on Thursday afternoon.

Thanks for reading and following along on our trip. It's been great!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please send me your thoughts about my posts.