Saturday, April 18, 2009

Cockatoos


I am now an early rising photographer and look who came to pose for me! On my walk from the B&B to the lookout point of the Blue Mts., I met a local resident who pointed out the cawing birds in the trees. “Crows?” I thought. “No, Cockatoos”, she replied and I saw an entire flock of them on the grass--like overgrown cockatiels.

The viewpoint was quiet and peaceful. The masses of yesterdays tourists had been replaced by tripods and a few photographers, who looked like they knew more about what they were doing than me. All I cared about was the cockatoo. I got some decent shots before the sun washed out the mountains and it was time for coffee and breakfast. The hosts at Lureline House really do it right--Peter was a former manager of Sheraton and taught Hotel Management. He reminded me of a maitre d’ at a fine hotel. On the counter was fresh fruit, juices and cereals; cooked breakfast was made to order. My omelet was as good as the Awahnee and Ray’s pancakes were heavenly. This place is a keeper and I was sorry to have to leave.

We took a leisurely drive in to Sydney, returned the car and then went in search of Qantas’ lost and found to reclaim my phone. That is a story in itself--the “thunk” we had heard when landing in Cairns was not the luggage compartment below, but was, yes, my phone falling out of Ray’s pocket. I thought maybe I would get an iphone out of it, but they found it and me, thanks to my foresight in taping my contact info. on the back of it.

By then, we were anxious to get to the city since the book we were looking at yesterday showed so much to see in Sydney. Thus we were a bit annoyed to have to wait an hour for the shuttle bus, and then wound through some not so respectable neighborhoods while the bus driver dropped off his friend. Meanwhile, we heard our luggage knocking around in the little trailer he was towing. Obviously, Sydney’s airport transportation system needs some friendly competition. Finally, we arrived at the B&B On the Rocks and were greeted by Jeff and his fox terrier. It is an old historic house, more old than historic but clean and well situated. We strolled along the wharf--a pretty young contortionist was putting herself into a 16”x16” plexiglass box that stood 5 ft. above the ground. On the other side of the harbor was the famous Sydney Opera House, prettier in the evening sunset than in daylight, I thought.

Feeling adventurous, we decided to walk to Haymarket (Chinatown), about 3 miles away for seafood. The walk there and back was fun, the food was ok and quite expensive. Is this nightlife what we miss by not living in the city? The streets were full of young people, dressed up for a night on the town. “Mini skirts and tall spiked heels must be the fad, because they can’t all be hookers”, said Ray. How do they manage to walk so far like that? Music billowed out from the nightclubs, some of which had long lines waiting to get in. This must be Sydney at its best.

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