A Travellerspoint blog

Leaving Port Douglas - Thursday 31st January

Cairns to Sydney

sunny 40 °C
View Jans Australasia on JanSpencer's travel map.

Sorry a bit behind in blogging. Very hectic schedule.
Picked up from the Villas 8.20am. Driver very good (Exemplar Transfer). Good drive to the Airport. Driver very knowledgeable.
Virgin Australia flight. Very strict on hold luggage but did not weigh hand luggage. Spencer’s case was overweight (probably due to some of my clothes) 🤭. He had to take jeans and fleece out and put in hand luggage. Problem solved. If I want to buy anything we will need to get another bag. Definitely will do.
3 hour flight - snack provided. Comfy seats. Had a retired female from US next to me. Another story to tell when home.
Temperature in Sydney 40C. That will do nicely.
Waited a while for driver who didn’t speak very good English. Very quiet journey. Arrived at hotel Rendezvous which is in The Rocks area, late afternoon. Extremely hot. Hotel room quite large, needs a bit of tlc, but is old and in a really good area. We have a good view of the Opera House once the cruise ship departs around 5pm.
After freshening up we headed out to explore and get an evening meal. The wind had picked and was becoming quite strong. The Rocks is very convenient for the harbour and everything that is going on near the bridge and Opera House.
We end ended up at an Italian Caminetto, not far from the hotel. Started out outside it so windy went inside next to the open door. Very good food.
Manly Beach trip and Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb tomorrow.😱😱

Posted by JanSpencer 19:51 Comments (0)

Port Douglas Day 3

Daintree Rainforest

This was another trip we thought may be cancelled due to the heavy rain. As I’ve mentioned these trips had to be cancelled before we arrived. But ours was going ahead not knowing whether we would be able to do all on the itinerary. The tour operator was Downunder Tours and our driver/guide was Daniel. He was a very knowledgeable person with a great sense of humour. It was another full on day. We were taken to a boat on the river with a different guide. There were 3 boats including ours - only small holding around 20. We saw 3 crocodiles Scarface, Lizzy and one other. They are very territorial and it’s a good job the river is large as we were told there were 100 living there. We also saw a Kingfisher. It just sat on a branch posing for us - and yes it was real. It has always been my wish to see one but I didn’t expect to travel all this way to get my wish. Our driver met us further down the river and drove onto have lunch at Noah’s Creek and the barbecue was lovely - steak, fish, sausage, salad, fruit. Very nice set up. Four days earlier the picnic tables we were using ended up being swept away by flood water 30 metres or so away due to the bad weather.
After lunch we were driven to Cape Tribulation, the only place in Australia where the rainforest and the reef meet. We walked along the beach and over mud (due to the heavy rain) to the forest. I must point our that Spencer actually gave me a piggy back as others were sinking in the mud. I was quite grateful as one poor girl sulked for the rest of the trip as her new trainers had got muddy. We walked through the rainforest being informed as to which plants were toxic and saw different insects, but no snakes, thank goodness. Went back to the bus, but oh no a flat tyre on the bus. Daniel spent the next half hour changing it. We then crossed the river by the ferry which had only just started running again. At this point it started to rain. We headed off to Mossman Gorge for afternoon tea, scone, cream and jam before walking to the gorge. By this time the rain was quite heavy and we got quite wet, but the falls were spectacular. This was another full on day and so glad we were lucky enough to do it.

Posted by JanSpencer 01:27 Comments (0)

Port Douglas Day 2

Outer Barrier Reef

Felt that the trip looked doubtful as it had been raining all night, but bus turned up on time and it wasn’t raining. 5 min to Marina. The catamaran was quite luxurious and larger than any we had been on before. It usually takes 45 people but there were only 16 + 1 child. 20knot wind which was acceptable for the trip to go ahead it it was quite rough. We were against the wind and were told that the return trip would be much smoother. A few were really ill and a few felt bad, including Spencer. The 4 crew were very knowledgeable and professional. All equipment for snorkelling provided was of good quality as was the instruction. It took 2 hours to get to the reef. We were kitted out with suits and snorkelling equipment for those who wanted to go snorkelling. There were 2 groups beginners and those who had snorkelled before. The fish and other sea life were amazing. After snorkelling we had a delicious lunch. We had the chance to snorkel again after lunch but it had got quite rough and had started to rain. Everyone decided to go on the glass bottomed boat to the island instead. The journey back was as they had anticipated much smoother and the sails were raised. It was still very warm. What a fabulous day, we will remember it forever. Well done Sailaway.

Posted by JanSpencer 03:56 Comments (0)

Cairns

Port Douglas

Landed at 9.30am Cairns time (+2hrs) Singapore time. Our cases came off quickly. Waited for driver. When he came he said he had to wait for a flight from Sydney to pick 2 more up. Long story but we didn’t get away from airport until 11.30am. Driver very apologetic. Also had an older minibus as someone had walked off with the keys to the one he should have had. It was okay. Need to remember that everything is very chilled and laid back here. Port Douglas is 1hr. drive. It was a pleasant one. The driver explained that although it is the wet season they had had unprecedented amount of rain and the river to Daintree, one of our trips, had been shut due to too much rain. We are talking over 400mm in a day, the biggest rainfall. Also trips to the Great Barrier Reef had been cancelled. 😱😭😭.
Arrived at Villas but reception was closed. Driver sorted our key out. We had forgotten that we were on the top (2nd) floor. No lift. We had to carry cases up. Boy were they heavy. Helped Spencer as I didn’t want any damage. To Spencer I mean not my case! Villa was lovely and well equipped although I’m not planning on cooking. Pool looked inviting but we had to eat. Phoned trip organiser and were told our trip to the reef was changed from the Low Isles to the Outer Reef due to the weather conditions. As long as we get to see the reef we don’t mind. Also the following day we were going to Daintree rainforest and that was also in doubt. Really looking forward to tomorrow.

Posted by JanSpencer 13:24 Comments (0)

Singapore Day 3

Moving on

Bus to Gardens by the Bay to see the conservatories. They were spectacular, especially the Mist House. Again entrance was free courtesy of Singapore Airlines. We saw some of the outside gardens but not all. You could spend all day here and we couldn’t spare the time.

After this we caught yet another hop on/off bus to Chinatown where we had lunch in the outside food street. It was very busy with locals eating and doing their shopping. Being a Sunday everywhere was busy. Lots of people picnicking in parks.

Back to the hotel to sort out our cases and check everything is in the right place. I keep misplacing things and I’m blaming jet lag, nothing to do with old age 😜

Vacated room at 7pm after paying to extend and now out again for yet another meal and walk. After sampling the local cuisine we decided to eat something different and happened on a nice cocktail and burger bar. Not your ordinary burgers 🍔. Lots of choice and really delicious as were the crispy chips. I did try to compensate with a g& t instead of wine, asking for slimline tonic. It appears Singapore have never heard of slimline, after asking everywhere we went.😱
Back to the hotel to await our transfer timed for 10pm. Driver on time and a pleasant ride to the airport.
Airport check in was fine. Passport control was weird and not well organised. Went through after 2 people checked passports. We were then in the duty free departure lounge. Wondered why our hand baggage hadn’t been scanned. This is done at the gate. Everything went okay and we were only 20 mins late taking off.
Silk air (sister airline to SA) was not a patch on Singapore Airlines. There was only Business Class and Economy, no Premium . Did get some patchy sleep but flight quite turbulent. They couldn’t serve hot drinks with breakfast which was not only lukewarm but not very appetising. Not to worry I’ve eaten so much in the last 3 days glad I’m missing Monday’s weigh-in!

Posted by JanSpencer 03:57 Comments (0)

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