Monday, November 26, 2012
Hello from Australia! Just a quick note to say we are alive and well and having a wonderful time on our trip. The cruise was a blast, but internet onboard was super pricey and spotty to boot so I mostly just made periodic Facebook updates and didn't try to do anything more. Now I am so far behind that I hardly know where to begin.
I got to pet this cute little guy at a wildlife preserve a few days ago. What fun! We got off the ship last Thursday (Wednesday for you North Americans!), picked up a rental car (or "hired a car" as they say here) and hit the road for the Blue Mountains for a few days. It was quite exciting for Rich to get to drive on the left side of the road whilst operating the controls from the right side of the car. I was a nervous wreck the first day, reminding him to "keep left" and "give way!" ("yield!") but we really did get the knack of it pretty quickly and had no major mishaps. :) The controls for turn signals and windshield wipers are in the opposite position of those in US cars, so Rich says you can tell the American tourists because they are the ones turning into an intersection with their windshield wipers flapping on a sunny summer day in November. (Now that sounds funny, too, doesn't it? Yes, it's summer in the southern hemisphere and a little disconcerting to be hearing Christmas carols and seeing Christmas decorations! Makes you wonder if all the snow-themed, cold weather songs about Christmas seem odd to Australians.)
After several days in the scenic Blue Mountains area, we drove back to Sydney, turned in the car, and checked into an apartment we're renting in the city, within walking distance of many sights and close to public transit if not. We've spent hours exploring and have a ton of photos to share. I'll do my best to post a little bit each day and fill you in on our many adventures. Hope everyone's doing great wherever you are!
Watching the total solar eclipse from the ship. Amazing!