Thursday, 11/4/93, 10:30am
To finish up yesterday (or actually to start from the beginning) we got up a little early to be able to catch a public bus to the Circular Quay for the river cruise. It was a beautiful day with no clouds. It was even warm outside. We rode around the west end of the harbour this time (inland), working our way up the Parameter [sic?] (“Pair-a-meter”) river. They seemed to believe that they could tell where the river ended and Sydney Harbour began, but it all looked the same to me. The one thing that really sticks in my mind about both the harbour tours is the cost/investment in real estate. There were hundreds of waterfront homes (maybe even thousands), each from $1 million to $25 Million. Serious money, if you ask me. I got a little sunburned (imagine that) sitting out on the open water for 2 1/2 hours, but it was well worth it.
Seeing all the development around the harbour, it’s hard to believe that nobody but the aborigines were here until the 1800’s. After the cruise, we walked back towards the hotel with the intent to do laundry. As we were walking back, we went through the shopping district again, and finally found a small, pocket-sized tripod for my camera. I’ve only been looking for this thing for a couple years, but I never imagined that I’d have to travel to the other side of the world to find one.
We got back to the hotel and headed off to a laundromat. I won’t bore you with the details other than to say it was EXPENSIVE. It cost us $4AD per load!
We dropped off the clothes at the hotel, and headed back into town. We walked northeast through King’s Cross, up towards Darling Harbour, and eventually worked our way back to the Circular Quay for the Harbour Lights cruise.
As we walked through the Royal Botanical Gardens (again), we heard light music wafting from the Government House (Castle is more appropriate). So we went up to the guard shack to see what was going on. Apparently the Governor was throwing a small party. The Government House sits on a hill right behind the Opera House, and has one of the nicest views in the whole city.
The Harbour Lights cruise left at 8pm, just after sunset. We covered much of the same ground as the previous two cruises, except we stayed a little closer to the Quay. It was a beautiful night with a crystal clear view of the city lights. It really is magnificent, although I actually got cold for the first time on this trip, and had to go inside the ferry.
After the cruise, we hired a taxi to take us over to Mrs. Macqueries Point to try out my new tripod and get some pictures of the lights. I realized at the time that I’ve never tried night shots with this camera, so I’m not really sure how they will turn out.
We headed back home to the hotel where our sliding glass door was left open yet another time (did I mention this yet?). I took great satisfaction telling the manager exactly what I thought of their security for a second time. We still had our stuff in the safe deposit box, so nothing serious could have been taken, but you think they’d have learned.
The rest of the evening went rather quietly, packing for the next leg of our trip, with a truly American movie playing in the background: Clint Eastwood in Sudden Impact.
Now for today: We got up at 6:45am to catch our bus to the airport. Things were pretty uneventful until we got on the bus and had to pay the driver $10.00AD. He wasn’t sure what to think of the bill I handed him since it was a brand new bill. I don’t mean uncirculated, I mean “brand new design”, released officially on November 1, 1993. I thought for a second he’d refuse it, but then he got all excited about having a new type of currency, and wouldn’t even give it out for change to somebody else.
We took our bus (with no shocks) to the airport, checked in, and now we’re sitting in a plane about 30 minutes outside Auckland. This is the part of the trip I’ve been looking forward to.