Friday, 18 May 2007

Wine, wine, wine

Our three days in the Barossa went so fast. We flew to Adelaide, stayed one night (nothing really of interest during that first night, aside from a nice dinner and a nice bottle of wine), then took a cab to the rental car company. Did you know that it takes an hour to rent a car in Australia?

The drive from Adelaide to the Barossa was quick - an hour and a half on the highway, then following signs through wee little towns till we got to the street the B&B was on. Then another 10 minutes, driving up and down it until we found L'Anzerac. We had a beautiful little suite in a carriage house, with a fabulous spa bathtub - amazing breakfasts in the main house with Zepp (a super-cute, super-friendly little terrier with a limp). Quite the dining experience! Zepp -- short for Zeppelin -- would sit at Chris' feet and look longingly up at him, until his plate was empty, when he'd shift to look at me. Suddenly, there was a terrible, loud banging and rattling from the double doors behind us, like some large and frightening animal was trying to get in. When we walked over and looked out the window, we saw that it was just Lucy (the goosey) asking for bread crusts, which were kept in a container on the bar, just for her.

Anyhoo, I digress - by the time we drove up to the L'Anzerac, Trevor was waiting for us with his beautiful 1935 Auburn all ready to go.

We went to the Rockford winery first, to their small, rustic little cellar door, and tried the first of (hundreds? thousands?) many, many wines. They showed us the container into which we could spit (ha ha!) and tip out (no way!), which we disregarded completely.

We were knackered by lunch, obviously. And our teeth grew more and more empurpled as the day went on.

The two days of the tour were incredible - very dreamlike, very "this is how a honeymoon should be", and actually quite "this is how we should be living" as well. If only we had some marketable skills to bring to the Barossa! There doesn't seem to be a large seat of the Canadian Government there... yet.

Photos? You bet!

Wednesday, 16 May 2007

Home again, home again, jiggety jog

Well, the honeymoon's over.

But what a month! We saw and did so much, and it all went by in a blink of an eye.

In more detail, here's what it feels like to travel so far away. It feels sort of like hell. Now, I'm fairly upbeat, love to sleep, and don't ever get claustrophobic. Now picture a cranky, fidgety little beast, sleep-deprived, with restless-legs syndrome, and desperate to get out of the tin can I've been trapped in for 20 hours!

I spent a lot of the time drifting in and out of consciousness, wondering what time it is (which is, of course, dependent on where you are at that time), when we eat next, how much longer it will be, how long I was asleep, etc. All this, PLUS mustering up a smile as often as I could, to say, "Happy Honeymoon" to the husband.

And then, we land in Sydney -- finally -- at about 5pm the next day (Ottawa time), or 7 am on Wednesday, really (ouch), and can't check into our hotel until about noon. We wander around a bit, discover that food (and especially water) are very expensive, and that Sydney, and Sydney-ites, are essentially no different from Canadians, and that's sort of irritating. Kind of like the Smurfs, when they drug Moony Smurf (Space Smurf? Star Smurf?) and put him in a fake rocket for a few hours, then take him to a crater and tell him he's on the moon. What is the point, I asked, of travelling for 27 hours, to a place that is, for all intents and purposes the same as home???

But luckily, a nap cured all of that, and we were able to get on with the rest of the vacation and have a great time.

The first crop of photos, from the first bit (flight and Sydney) are here.

Tuesday, 8 May 2007

Survival of the most cowardly...

Winding down the paradise bit of our trip, we are happily ensconced in a beach/pool/walking-to-the-bottle-shop routine... for two more days.

Latest revelation: people who are afraid of sharks are smart, because those things can eat you. Not really a revelation to me, but I think it's a self-preservation thing, not a cowardice thing.

Speaking of cowardice, I actually was "brave" enough to be coerced into snorkelling, then scuba-ing, out in the middle of nowhere, on the edge of the reef. Brave, of course, means that I only sat on the edge of the dive platform for 20 minutes, crying, before getting into the water with an instructor. I think it's one of those things that I can tick off my to-do-before-I-die list, and never do it again.

The Great Barrier Reef is stunningly beautiful, both from the bird's eye snorkel view, and up close, in the 3D scuba environment. Peaceful and diverse, full of thousands of different fish (lots of Nemos), corally things, anemone things, clams, etc. Oh, and at least one shark. And a freakin' giant cod named Daisy who really liked me (but both occasions entailed me hyperventilating and being held still by the scuba instructor...not brave, not proud of myself for doing it).

Great nap on the way back, though.

Still a bit twitchy, thinking about it....