Welcome to the thrid and last installment of my big trip to Oz. I really had to downsize this post—I could have done a 4th one. I have also booked another trip. We will be returning this coming November, and will be going from Sydney to Melbourne to Newcastle to Sydney. Wish I could go now and escape all of this snow and nasty weather. I'd love to take a nap, and just wake up on Thanksgiving, grab my suitcase, and head to JFK airport in NYC...
Monday, 2 Dec, 9:04am—The morning after our Clacky cookout. I'm dropping Smoopy off at the Newcastle Train Station. She's catching a bus to go to Nelson and Anna Bays and Port Stephens and look at things. I'm staying back. I'm a little tired, and I just want to roam around town and chill.
9:13am—Araucaria heterophylla, otherwise known as Norfolk Island Pines. I like these trees, they kind of look like Christmas trees. Look at the 3rd tree from the left—the little cloud formation looks like a tree topper!
9:22am—Who wouldn't want to start a Monday like this at the beach?
9:35am—Who wouldn't want to start a Monday like this at the beach?
9:56am—Who wouldn't want to start a Monday like this at the beach?
10:02am—One last shot of Newcastle Beach. I'll miss ya! I'll be back, soon!
11:19pm—Smoopy sand boarding in Anna Bay...
11:29am—Crown & Anchor, Newcastle NSW—A good place to have a beer, meal, gamble, watch sports—they have it all. I will be meeting Clacky here in a few hours. I've already read that the new owners of the Crown & Anchor hotel, on Hunter Street, are legally entitled to proceed with plans to hire topless waitresses in the pub’s ground floor bar and have nude performers on the second floor. Sounds like something to check out next year !
3:00pm—I'm back at the Crown & Anchor, I don't see anything topless going on yet...but they do have some sweet TV's here. I'm watching Sunday Night Football between the Skins and Giants, and waiting for Tim Clack to join me for a few beers. Me and Smoopy are leaving town in two days and this is the last time I'll see Mr. Tim until the next trip.
3:30pm—Smoops is still on her trip. Here's a shot of Shoal Bay, NSW from Tomaree National Park.
Tuesday, 3 Dec, 11:50am—We begin our last day in Newcastle, we are on our way to the Bogey Hole, and we stumbled upon Garside Gardens on the way.
11:55am—The Bogey Hole is just past those rocks, and to the right...
12:00pm—Here it is! My favorite place in Australia!
12:04pm—One more shot of the "Hole.” It is also a place of religious significance for the city’s Greek Orthodox parishioners who celebrate the festival of Ephiphany each January by throwing a crucifix into the waters. The young men of the parish dive into the water and the one who retrieves the crucifix is said to be blessed with good luck for the coming year.
12:25pm—I like standing on the outer wall of the hole, and let the waves crash onto me. I'm obviously wearing the blue shirt, and holding onto poles out there—you have to, or you're gonna go flying backwards, and possibly crack your head open.
12:25pm—Made it through another wave...and have not injured myself yet!
1:06pm—One last look...
1:12pm—It's now time to head this way, and back to town. I'm going to the Crown & Anchor again for a few beers, watch Monday night football, then go back in and take a shower.
7:24pm—Great Northern Hotel, Newcastle, NSW. I love this place! It’s big inside and might be the coolest looking bar in town.
9:59pm—Cricketers Arms Hotel, Newcastle, NSW. This is our last pub stop in Newcastle. Tomorrow morning we are heading back to Sydney for two nights, then the long flight back home.
Wednesday, 4 Dec, 10:11am—Our apartment at the Crown on Darby in the Cooks Hill section of Newcastle. I don't want to go! Can I please turn the clock back 10 days?
10:23am—After sobbing outside for a few minutes, we collected our thoughts, hailed a cab and are on our way to the train station.
1:45pm—We have arrived in Sydney! It's a little early for check-in, so we stop here at the Palace Hotel for a snack. I get a James Squire Nine Tales Amber Ale and a chicken schnitzel!
6:51pm—We are on our way to the Sydney Eye, and this is one of the pubs we stopped at—the Criterion Hotel. Nice place!
6:59pm—There it is! Sydney's high altitude picture taking spot!
7:58pm—The Sydney Harbour Bridge. They blow off some serious fireworks here on New Year's Eve!
7:59pm—That damn white building is in my way!
7:59pm—I wonder how much those houses/condos in front of the Opera House go for?
9:28pm—We are walking across the Prymont Bridge in Darling Harbour to hit the Star Casino. I like this view of the Australian National Maritime Museum and the city skyline.
10:20pm—Marty would love this bar—they have like 1,387 TV's all over the place. I played some video blackjack—put in $100...was up to $150...walked away from the machine with $0!
Thursday, 5 Dec, 11:54am—This is our last full day in Australia. Smoops is on a day trip to the Blue Mountains (due west of Sydney), and snapped this photo of the Three Sisters rock formation. I stayed back again to do stuff in town.
11:55am —Here is some other rock formation thingy...
1:32pm—Smoops took a ride in this way high up tram-like thingy. A good thing that this didn't happen to her.
5:06pm—Cheers, Sydney. Nobody knew my name here...but I liked it anyway. After this stop I got a Jack/Coke bottle at Charlie Chan's Bar—which was another solid stop. I'm rolling today! Went to 10 places in Sydney last night, and would eventually hit 11 places today!
7:19pm—Smoopy has returned from her rock watching tour, and we meet up here at Scubar—unintentional bar room mirror shot here, of both of us. We walked by this place several times and didn't go in because we had suitcases with us, and the bar is underground. I liked it! Wish we had stopped here before our last night. We will be back.
Friday, 6 Dec, 2:25pm—Sydney Airport. I can't believe our 12 nights have ended! We took a cab to the airport—had lunch, checked-in and are just waiting for our ride home now. How about this view from our gate? Awesome!
3:33pm—Our view for the 14 1/2 hour flight to Dallas, TX. Check out all that room to our left. We were in row 71 A&B.
Our next trip we are in row 70. On our way to Oz, because of our travel nightmares, we got stuck in a 3 seat row. This 2 seat row, with all of the room on our left—was almost like being in first class ! Much easier to spread out and more comfortable. I actually paid $50 to pick these seats. Well worth the money.
12:38pm—We have gone back three hours in time and have finally flown 7,542 miles over the whole Tasman Sea (The Ditch) and Pacific Ocean. This is Laguna Manuela in Baja California, Mexico. We're less than two hours from Dallas now.
3:16pm. Dallas, Texas. Holy UFB !—How the F did we land in this shit? The plane hit the ground and crap kicked up everywhere! I thought we were going to start spinning in circles. We had to wait on the flightline for an hour to get to a gate. We are told that only ten flights are leaving the rest of the day from the airport. Of course ours was not one of them—thus, our lovely three nights in Dallas has begun. We had four cancelled flights home, and left on the fifth booking and third day of trying to leave, after we ditched American Airlines.
7:49pm—Circle Spur Saloon, DFW Airport Hotel, Irving, TX. This bar was in our hotel. We had dinner and many drinks. Check out the reviews for this "hotel!”
Saturday, 7 Dec, 4:58pm—Two days after this ice storm and these jacklegs have done nothing to get rid of it. Dallas sucks. I don't care if they don't get much snow and/or ice—can't somebody do something?
7:25pm—Aspen Creek. Thank God for this place! We found it by accident and it was right by our hotel. Perfect bar with a good combo of food, booze, and sports TV's! We spent over 19 hours here between Saturday & Sunday. Just sat there watching football, drinking everything in sight, and cursing American Airlines to eternal damnation!
Sunday, 8 Dec, 11:34pm—A picture of our flea bag hotel. Even their stupid neon sign on top of the building is out of order. UFB.
Monday, 9 Dec, 5:04pm—Home. 90 hours (almost four days) after we left Sydney, we finally finish our "journey.”
Two tips for traveling to Australia: Never fly American Airlines, and never fly through Dallas, Texas!
For our next trip we’re going to New York JFK and flying Qantas the whole way, with only a stopover in LA. We could leave from Baltimore, but that would involve A.A. in one form, or another. Nope. Never again.
Related Posts: Gene’s Bar Exams—A Trip To A Land Down Under: Part I and Part II.