Ok, I'll try to catch up ......
Trip Start Sep 05, 2009
12Trip End Sep 14, 2009
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Where I stayed
The 15 hour plane ride: I can now confirm that the rumors are true: 15 hours is a really really really long time to be in a plane. The good thing is there is a small tv screen on the back of each seat and you can watch a lot of free movies and tv shows to help pass the time. For being in economy, we were very well fed. I don't think I ever slept for any long period of time. Just very quick naps.
The lines for customs weren't bad. We just had to show passports and get them stamped the first stop and then were able to go through the faster version of the second checkpoint because we were not carrying any of the types of food that they are worried about being brought into their country
When Mom booked the hotel, she thought she was booking one in downtown Sydney. Somehow, she clicked the page of the same chain in the suburb of Cremorne across the harbor. Not so good that we are farther away from everything we have to go to, but it's kind of cool to be staying in an area where normal life goes on and not just surrounded by tourists all the time. Needless to say, we spent most of the first day walking around the neighborhood and learning how to read the bus schedules. When I called to confirm our 4 wheel drive tour, I found out they can't pick us up in Cremorne. But the rep on the phone was very nice in reading the bus schedule and helping us to find a bus that will take us to a pickup spot downtown or "the city" as the people who live in the suburbs call it.
Mom and I decided to do a dry run Monday afternoon and took a bus to "the city" to find where we were supposed to be Tuesday morning. It took us to a point only a block away from the hotel that the tour will be picking up. Of course being in the afternoon, it was rush hour and there were a million people walking in the same direction to take planes and buses home. After walking around a little bit and trying to avoid getting trampled, we found the right bus to get back to the hotel (packed and standing room only).
That's it for now..... it's almost 5 am now (about 2 pm Monday in Illinois) and I'm still not sleepy.. til next time I feel like paying for the internet here or can't sleep :p