MICHELLE’S TRIP TO AUSTRALIA LAST YEAR
Departed Athens on 20 June on Emirates via Dubai, and Singapore to Brisbane where I met Michelle at the ungodly hour of 05:15am. Fortunately her flight landed in the thick Brisbane fog as some of the international flights had to be diverted to Sydney and Melbourne.
We caught a taxi in to the Metro Tower Mill where Samantha was staying with me for her birthday and just had time for an hour chitter chatter, no time to shower as the flight for ROK Rocky, Rockhampton left at 8.40am.
STAYING AT YEPPOON
Day 1 – 23 June Lots of things planned but first thing we had to get credits from Telstra for the cell phone, then of course head for the hat stands where Michelle was teaching Emily how to become a hat lady. A big grocery shop and orientation tour of BIG W, as Michelle loves to browse and shop.
Day 2 – 24 June – A walk along Lammermoor beach picking up different shells and listening to different birds. We had to get a book on Australian birds.
Day 3 – 25 June – Drive back to Rocky for John (Bionic man) to have a cataract removed from his right eye. John has had just about everything fixed up on him – hole in the heart, lasered eyes, skin cancers removed but just a few spare parts need quite a bit of maintenance.
We went to Rocky cinema to see the fourth version of “THE GREAT GATSBY” and although the cinematography was spectacular, if not a bit over the top, we both agreed it was just OK, and not really recommendable. I think Baz Luhrmann could have left the Robert Redford and Mia Farrow version intact and not tried to revamp it. Funny thing happened, because it was the longest movie ever made we reckoned without an interval, we were busting to find the toilet, rushed in the door and literally hundreds of Malteses burst out of the opened pack in my bag all over the toilet floor rolling everywhere. We had to tiptoe over them. We made a very embarrassed fast exit, giggling our heads off.
Day 4 – 26 June – early start to hunt and gather for food before picking up a none to happy chappy from hospital following his eye procedure which was successful according to the Opthamologist and jolly well should have been as it cost an arm and a leg.
We went for a stroll around the lovely Rockhampton Botanical gardens, one of the earliest established gardens in regional Australia.
Day 5 – 27 June – the short order cook came in on early shift to prepare a healthy breakfast of Burcher Mueslie (recipe obtained at great expense from the Cradle Mountain Lodge in Tasmania) and a fruit salad to rival the one at the motel yesterday. A walk on the beach
Day 6 – Fri 28 June – Michelle kindly looked after John for me whilst I had a hair cut and physio.
Day 7 – Sat 29 June – Well a week has now gone since Michelle arrived, that has gone so quickly. We went for a nice drive to the Rosslyn Bay Marina, and had fish and chips for lunch at the Waterline Café with John Boy.
Michelle pushed John’s wheelchair down the rows of boats to find where Robert’s boat was moored.
Doing some exploring around Yeppoon most days, new shops to see, and any spare time Michelle has been doing her cross stitch.
We took her to Emu Park and Zilzie, Barry drove which was a nice change to be a back seat driver. We have just been chilling out this last week as weather is very wintry and conducive to just staying inside. We have been to the shops of course, and coffee stops of course (nice chocolate muffins!)
Went to see Emily play netball, would be nice to have all of that energy. And below lunching at the revamped Strand Hotel Yeppoon
Sunday night, Johnny and Viv Lowther came for dinner which was lovely to see them again. They will be back next Wednesday for a visit on their way home.
Max’s birthday, we went over to the Woodies for a lovely roast pork dinner.
Michelle telling Hudson and Emily the story of the snakes on the alter of the church in Kefalonia that reappear every year on 15 August.
We went out to Great Keppel island for the day, glorious weather with nice calm sea
We saw 2 Humpback whales playing around the boat
Beautiful day on the island lots of boats over there for the day
We took a drive to the well known Mercure Capricorn Coast resort about 10kms north of Yeppoon which is very popular.
Wed 21 August – We went to Waterline for Rhonda’s birthday luncheon.
And then on 25 August we were invited to Emily’s 9th birthday party
Sunday 25th August it was Emily’s 9th birthday, Katrina made a fabulous cup cake, and Em invited us and 4 little friends over to her house
In the afternoon we flew from Rockhampton to Cairns via Mackay and Townsville We stayed 2 nights at the Cairns International hotel
First night we went to an Italian Restaurant around the corner from the Hotel- had a mean Mountadam Shiraz.
Monday we visited the Cairns Wildlife dome on top of the Casino, it was really amazing and well worth visiting. Lovely views from the top
Monday night we found a lovely blue and white (like the Greek flag) restaurant on the Cairns Esplanade called Lagoon Vue, sampled a delightful Barossa Valley Angrove Merlot, we went to the markets, and a glass blower made a lovely little glass platypus for Michelle. We called him Peter the Platypus. We checked out some lovely pearls at the market then hopped on a bicycle carriage home after listening to a lovely impromptu piano concert by holidaymakers on the Esplanade, just magic, ending a beautiful evening.
We got a little Hyundai 120 Auto (red) which Michelle drove everywhere – we went up to Freshwater to catch the Kuranda Rail, what a lovely day that turned out to be. But first a visit to the Cairns Botanical gardens, and a lovely afternoon tea of pavlova.
We caught the famous little train from Freshwater Station Cairns to Kuranda and had a great day up there.
This has to be one of the world’s great train journeys as travels through the most beautiful scenery.
And at the Kuranda bird sanctuary, Michelle talked to the birds, and they back to her.
She certainly has an infinity with birds and animals (maybe why we get along so well!)
Except we got lost in the tropical rain forest and Mrs Moses (aptly named with her big staff) had to lead us laughing all the way home to the promised land, to the railway station, via the icecream shop which served a delicious Irish Baileys flavour, yum.
We caught up with old friend Shelley Griffith at the Port Douglas turnoff.
Then on Tuesday 27 August we drove on up to Port Douglas for 2 nights at Club Tropical
We went to the Low Isles with Quicksilver, and saw the lovely coral in a glass bottom boat.
Last night dined at Sassi Cucina restaurant on the corner of Macrossan St, nice red a Torbreck Woodcutters Shiraz Back to Yeppoon for a few days
And then its off to Sydney
to stay with Samantha for 5 days before going to India. We had a lovely time with Sam who took us down to her favorite beach Balmoral and coffee at the Boathouse there. She then drove us to Manly where we had had dinner the night before at a lovely hotel that had steaks for $7 and cocktails for $7
We caught up with Michelle’s lovely friend Nectaria and her dear little boy Johannes.
They met us in the city and we trained it to Circular Quay where we caught a ferry to Taronga Park Zoo, where we started at the top and worked our way down.
Johannes first visit to a zoo.
And headed by Circular Quay ferry across the Harbour to the Taronga Park Zoo.
We started up the top of the hill thank goodness and worked our way down. At the end though there were two very tired lol’s (little old ladies!!! We just had enough energy left to call a cab. View from Samantha’s apartment in Sydney is just superb’
One of our highlights though was to go to the SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE TO SEE THE MUSICAL “SOUTH PACIFIC” which was just amazing. I had never been to the Opera House to see a show before so was magic for me too.
We had drinks on the concourse of the Opera House first with Samantha and Grahame and my friend Marie. And then on Monday night before we left Sydney we had dinner at THE OAKS HOTEL underneath that magic tree lit with fairy lights where so many young Sydney people have met and fallen in love, including Marie and her Robert.
Next day we left on a Singapore airlines A380 upstairs, great seats by window for Singapore for a full day and India.
NOW ON 19 DEC SHE IS BACK IN ATHENS WITH HER FAMILY. 6 MONTHS EXACTLY AND NOW SAFELY RETURNED TO KEFALONIA.