Monday, May 22, 2017

Final Thoughts and Welcome Home

So I've bored everyone with our visit to Australia and New Zealand but I'm not quite done yet!  There are a few things that we learned that might be helpful to others.  These aren't pearls of wisdom and are in no particular order so expect a lot of jumping around!

The first thing we learned is that the distances are great so unless you have lots of time you are going to be flying from place to place.  The good news is that it is relatively inexpensive compared to air travel in the states.  The bad news is that a simple trip from say, Brisbane to Adelaide will pretty much take up a day.  Between time to get to the airport, time in security, delays, the three hour flight than all that other stuff all over again - it's a day.  Adding to the 'interest' is their use of time zones.  Some are east-to-west as in North America but they also have north-to-south zones.  Politics; don't you just love it?

You may as well resign yourself to not seeing everything unless you take a long time.  We are comfortable with traveling for a month and it wasn't nearly enough time.  We would have loved to spend another week or 10 days in New Zealand and perhaps 15 more days in Australia.  We could have seen at least a few more places but that is a 2 month journey easily.

People were friendly and I only had to ask a couple people to repeat themselves because of conflicting accents.  Both countries use English but sometimes one wonders!  If you are male, I hope you like being called 'mate'.  TV is as mindless as anywhere; once in a while you find something good though.  We were determined to view the Southern Cross Constellation.  Everyone said 'Oh yeah, I see it all the time' but that wasn't a lot of help.  Then one night we found a program talking about astronomy and they gave perfect instructions for finding the Southern Cross!  That very night we found it for the first time.

For those who enjoy alcohol, I'd keep to the beer and wine.  Distilled spirits tend to be expensive to my eye.  Here in the states we have Foster's beer and Yellow Tail wine in many supermarkets.  In Australia you seldom see Yellow Tail and I didn't find Foster's at all.  That's not to say there aren't many tasty beers and wines; it's just not the ones we find here.  Oddly we found Peroni beer from Italy on tap quite often.

In general things seemed expensive.  It wasn't uncommon for lunch for 2 to set us back $50 AUD.  Granted that is around $40 US but still; it's not like we search out expensive places!  A draft beer was usually $7 AUD ($5.50 US)but in one pizza place it was $12AUD  ($9 US). 

Since we like to travel light we need to do lots of clothes washing.  Sometimes you can do it in a sink and wring things out enough to dry overnight; we did that a couple of times with clothing items that we purchased with that specifically in mind.  However, we also stayed in two self-catering apartments and each had a washer and a dryer.  One of these was just set up for someone who wanted to stay at the beach for a week or so; the other was in a block of condos that were rented out when not being used by the owner.  They each worked out well.  The condo even had great views.  Also we stayed in an Ibis hotel that had a laundry room (free) on one of the floors.  It had only 3 washers and 3 dryers but we had no trouble getting our laundry done.

So hopefully that's all you'll hear about our Australia & New Zealand adventures.  After another 15 hour trans-Pacific flight and a hop from LA to Vegas we found our rental car and drove home.  Yes, we have discovered it is cheaper for us to rent a car and drive to Vegas then rent another in Vegas when we return than anything else!  Even the long term parking at the airport would run $300 for a month.  This way our car get to stay home in the garage and we save about $200.  What's not to like?

We came home to find a pretty good crop of weeds that grew thanks to some rain that occured while we were gone.  Happily there is a young man in the neighborhood who was happy to pull some weeds and make some money in the process.  Let me tell you, that's a deal we both liked!  Pulling weeds at 13-14 is much easier than when you are staring 70 in the face.  This photo of a hawk who decided to visit our bird bath has a nice background of some of the weeds.

We like to walk when we are home.  It is good for our health and it keeps us in shape for our travels!  We usually see rabbits, jack rabbits and assorted birds.  However once in a while we get coyotes; this guy and a friend of his were just across the road from our house.

Of course there is always time for a glass of wine in the back yard at sunset.

Yes, we do love to travel but being home is pretty good too.  Thanks for stopping by!

1 comment:

Croft said...

It was truly an adventure! Thanks for taking us along!