Results tagged “Trains” from Kazza the Blank One
So my grumpiness started last night. I was feeling quite stressed about not getting enough down time. We didn't get back to our room after dinner til nearly 9pm, and by the time I have to blog and download photos and download and backup the GPS track and get to bed in time to give me enough hours sleep before I wake up at 6am .. well.. yeah .. the lack of evening time is getting to me.
Then this morning I was stressing about the cost of this trip. This trip is more expensive per day than any other holiday I've ever done. And if you start comparing it with something like our Turkey trip which was a similar time period but less expensive, but on that trip we were staying in nice hotels every night, and having restaurant quality meals for every meal, and going into a lot of paid attractions as well as having the driver, guide, coach and international air fares.. well it does make this trip *seem* overpriced. And I found out that I paid $65 dollars for the box of crap they sent me... hrmm!!
The other thing that's been stressing me is the lack of Optus. I had Optus coverage at Ravenshoe. Then we went inland. We got to Undara which was in the middle of nowhere so that was ok (the resort wanted $15/day for wifi so I thought I could wait). But then there was no coverage at Georgetown. And no coverage at Cobbold Gorge (again in the middle of nowhere). Internet there was about $3/day which was reasonable but I thought I'd get internet again the next day so I didn't worry.
So today we left Cobbold Gorge, headed back north and then west.
Stopped at a lake outside Georgetown for morning tea which was very pretty.
Then onto Croydon. Again, no Optus.
Our driver suggested where we could go for a little walk before we met the rest of the group for lunch. Which was actually quite nice. They've turned a bunch of the old buildings into little museums which were quite interesting. We could have easily spent a couple of hours wandering through them all. But alas. No time.
So powered out to Ellavale to wait for the Gulflander train. Well, rail motor. As the driver said, a bus on rails, which it really was. The track was mostly all straight so after about five minutes the novelty was somewhat over ;) But really, it was fun. And we didn't hit any kangaroos, even though lots of them jumped in front of us!
Then we had a couple of hour trip west. I tried to listen to podcasts, but succommbed to sleepiness and dozed for about half an hour or so. Maybe closer to an hour.
Just before Normanton my phone suddenly bleeped. And I was so excited! Internet! So messaged the sweetie and downloaded internet and it was all good. Ever so briefly. Outside of town it went away, but it never came back at Karumba :(:( I was *soooo* pissed off by the time we arrived at our motel room. You don't understand. I was *counting* on internet at Karumba. So that made me super grumpy.
Anyway, I washed my pants and got changed and redid my hair but I was still grumpy.
So we piled onto the coach for a 200m drive to the water. !? ok whatevs. The boat ride out into the Gulf was quite pleasant. Slow but pleasant. Eventually we ended up at a sandbar in the gulf where we disembarked.
Ok so the last time I had to shell my own crab meat was in Japan in 2009. In a completely controlled environment I found it an awful lot of work. But tonight we were perched on itty bitty seats, with camera bags hanging off the shoulders, and the wind blowing, and our drinks in the sand, and trying to shell crabs and prawns without the whole lot falling off into the sand... well it was all super stressful. In fact I had to take a couple of breaks to compose myself. And even then it didn't really work. After I struggled my way through half a crab and three prawns I took my glass of bubbly and headed off into the sunset to have a moment. Yeap. The most stressful experience of the trip so far. Even though it was really pretty. But. *so stressful*.
So I think I'm going to be hungry later, because all I managed to eat tonight was three prawns and half a crab. Not even any fruit for dessert. By the time I was ready to eat something, they were taking everything away. Oh well.
So had another few moments on the boat on the way back. But there were stars. And being on the water was nice.
So was still quite grumpy, but we started talking stars, and the tour leader lent me her phone so I could call the sweetie, then a whole bunch of people headed to the motel pub so I brought the laptop to type up today, and now I'm feeling a whole lot better.
So the day started just before six when mum noticed me stirring and asked if I was awake. Hrmm. So got up and organised photos and posted my blog and crap.
Went down to breakfast and ate lots of naughty things and a few bits of fruit to make it look like I was at least pretending to be healthy.
Went for a little walk around the marina while waiting for our bus pickup.
At 8:30 lots of people were waiting for pickups by lots of different tour companies. Several came and went before the correct one did.
So we go driven up to the Kuranda Skyway station where we took the Skyway (Sky Train?) up the Barren Gorge. It was quite spectacular! Got out at the appointed places to have a walk around the rainforest and look out at the lookouts. I'd love to see the falls during the rainy season - that would be amazing!
Arrived at Kuranda at around 11am. Walked along the waterfront up to the big road bridge, then up into the very hippy-ish markets. Found the Cassowary Cafe and had potato twisties and sat for a while and that took us up til about midday. Hrmm. Still three and a half hours to wait for our train back.
So walked through the tourist trap of stores and was a bit jaded by the whole thing. The Birdland would have been cool to go into, but they wanted $17 each which I thought was a bit steep.
So we just kept walking through the jungle. To be honest I was pretty tired from being hot and sweaty (have I ever mentioned how much I hate humidity?). So mum took me on a couple of jungle walks which were pleasant enough temperature-wise (if not humidity-wise) but ultimately a little boring.
Then we realised we'd be able to see the 2pm train going over a bridge, so went to go document that which was good.
Then back into town to look at the "main street" of tourist trap shops before *finally* getting onto the train at ~3:15pm.
The train ride was pretty cool. Some nice views of the spectacular gorge and a fairly leisurely trip down the hill.
Finally got picked up by the bus transfers a bit after 5pm, to take us back to our hotels.
Yeap. A super long, tiring day. I could easily have spent a couple of hours less in Kuranda and come back early (the 2pm train would have been ideal). Oh well.
Had a shower when I got back to the hotel (stoopid humidity) then we went down for dinner.
Met up with the rest of the people on the tour and had a lovely three course meal in the hotel restaurant. I had garlic prawns, pork belly and lemon meringue. It was all delicious. My only complaint was that the pork crackling wasn't crackling all over, only at the edges.
Then back up here to download photos, blog and wash my hair....