A Travellerspoint blog

Getting Nervous

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

So close that I'm having trouble sleeping. I keep on going over all the arrangements and trying to convince myself that it is all taken care of. The main concern is enough clothes while staying under the air-line weight limit.

Walked to the beach for what is likely to be the last time and captured some interesting images of the sunrise. Take a look at Today's Images

I spent a good part of the morning rechecking the content of the case and add some last-minute items like medications and toilet gear. There's still the tripod, the camera, the battery chargers and other power attachments to be stowed somewhere. I tend to carry those in my back-pack as without them I quickly grind to a halt. Finally the notebook and hard-copy documents will be dropped into the satchel and from Friday morning onwards will be pretty much attached to me whenever we move.

Lunch disposed of some more perishables from the fridge and it looks like we'll just about run out on Friday morning.

I've also needed to dig up some final details for the newly booked cruise. I will have to seriously consider locking into a particular Travel Agent so that I don't have to go through the same process over and over again. The door to door pick-up and return is a very special feature of the October booking but the deal is not significantly better than what would have been available directly through Princess.

In the crazy nature of our current weather the temperature is now over 30 °C.

In response to a chance remark about our frequent travel, I've started to document our overseas travel events since 2001. I'm not sure how it will work out but it should give me something to occupy my time on those 'sea days' ahead.

Tomorrow is our last chance to review our preparations. There is little doubt that all is as it should be but I'll no doubt spend another restless night. Tomorrow will be my last update from home, after that it is in the hands of the IT technicians aboard the Diamond Princess for the next 24 days.

Meanwhile, if you'd like to see my recent images you could try the following link.
Recent Images on 365

Cheers ... Tony

Posted by greynomadm 01:25 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

More Jobs Done

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Pleasant walk this morning and managed capture an interesting sunrise Today's Sunrise Images

Spent some time selecting clothing for the suitcase while Jenny was out, she didn't totally approve on her return. My taste in clothes is quite appalling so it is just as well she's there.

Notified DVA that I'd be out of the country, also asked why there's a need and it appears that it could effect some allowances and my access to free (or reimbursed) medical treatment. Nothing new and largely irrelevant.

Along the way I succumbed to the clever sales pitch from the local travel agent and signed up for a cruise to New Zealand in October. That gave rise to the task of arranging Travel Insurance. I was quite surprised at the difference between the Travel Agent quote and the On-Line broker - almost double for comparable cover.

Another warm day here and forecast for more of the same. There are still the remnants of the tropical monsoon and we expect that conditions will be short of ideal in Port Douglas and Darwin.

Simple meal for diner as we consume the perishables in the fridge.

Meanwhile, if you'd like to see my recent images you could try the following link.
Recent Images on 365

Cheers ... Tony

Posted by greynomadm 14:42 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Another Milestone

Monday, 4 March 2013

Quite a pleasant morning despite the heavy overcast, at least there was no wind and no rain. I walked to the beach and managed to take a number of interesting photos.

The next step in the preparations was to find the suitcases and bring them into the spare bedroom. We've started to select and pack the basic essentials while I've consolidated the travel documents.

Spent a fair bit of time contacting the credit-card company to advise them of our intended overseas use of the card. Ring the number, key in the 16 digit card number, step through three or four levels of menu and finally speak to a person. This is followed by a series of security questions and finally you need to tell them where you're likely to be and when. Then I had to repeat the same kind of sequence for the ATM Access Card. It is a bit of a pain but it is for our own protection so I just need to suck it up and get on with it.

Spent some time researching future cruises, the agent in Batemans Bay is dangling an attractive deal for just after we return in October. Will need to think about it.

The afternoon has warmed up to 28 °C which is the warmest for quite a while. Looks like we're in for an Indian Summer for the rest of the week anyway.

Tomorrow we'll have to get serious about selecting and packing the clothing we will need for five weeks away, at least the last three spent in the tail end of the Northern winter.

Three days to go - it is getting exciting.

Meanwhile, if you'd like to see my recent images you could try the following link.
Recent Images on 365

Cheers ... Tony

Posted by greynomadm 03:42 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Almost There

Sunday, 3 March 2013

No walk this morning and into the kitchen to cook bacon and eggs for the visitors. It has become a tradition to have bacon and eggs whenever they visit and stay overnight. Great way to dispose of a dozen eggs. Another 'tradition' is to have pancakes with 'maple' syrup, we failed there as we didn't have the 'maple' syrup. They still devoured the pancakes substituting golden syrup or raspberry jam.

Saw the family off on their trip back to Queanbeyan at about 1030 and settled in front of the TV to catch up on some shows missed last night.
A light lunch and a snooze took us into the afternoon. Jen watched the WBA while I checked some final elements on the Toshiba in preparation of Friday's departure. Getting ever closer.

Spent time catching up with images on the 365 Project and then explored some future cruises for a wish-list. With one pending - this one - and one booked for September we are only 26 days away from achieving Elite status with Princess Cruises. It would be nice to achieve that status before embarking on a rather longer voyage in Northern Europe in 2015. I love this planning as it costs nothing at that stage.

Meanwhile, if you'd like to see my recent images you could try the following link.
Recent Images on 365

Cheers ... Tony

Posted by greynomadm 03:01 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Getting Closer

Saturday, 2 March 2013

No rain this morning but solid overcast of heavy dark clouds that threaten rain at any time. The temperature has hit the skids and is down to just 15 °C as we walked this morning. I managed to catch a halfway decent shot of the waves on the headland. Picture of the Waves

There's been an interesting reaction to my email advising people that we'd be away for some time. A surprising number of recipients responded with wishes for safe travel and an enjoyable journey. It is gratifying to receive these responses and they are much appreciated.
I'm still finding little things that need to be transferred from the base computer to my travelling companion. There are also more things to learn about the Toshiba and Windows 8. Some things don't change, I had no trouble finding the 'character map' and the correct symbol for the temperature degree. All these little things that need to be sorted out.

After lunch we started preparing for tonight's diner, I'll make some Caramel Popcorn to keep the kids amused. Jenny is constructing a delicious vegetable-bake that has been around the family for years and I'll be trying a brand new Chicken Cottage Pie which looks very tasty according to the recipe. To sit along side these I'll knock together a garlic and herb damper fresh from the oven. For deserts there will be the cake I baked yesterday. Should be enough.

With just five days to go it is important that as much of the perishables as possible are consumed. We keep the freezer on while we're away but prefer to shut the refrigerator down for the duration. Always a bit of a balancing act.
Diner was a great success but there was heaps of food left over. We only managed to get through half of the black forest cake so disposing of the remainder is a challenge.

Stayed up talking to almost midnight, not something we've done in a long while. All in all it has been a fabulous event.

Meanwhile, if you'd like to see my recent images you could try the following link.
Recent Images on 365

Cheers ... Tony

Posted by greynomadm 11:35 Archived in Australia Comments (2)

Another Day Of Preparation

Friday, 1 March 2013

More rain overnight and continuing into this morning. Made an attempt at a walk but only did a short loop as there isn't much fun in getting wet. With solid 8/8 cloud cover there was no opportunity for any of my favourite photographic subjects so I'll have to be on the lookout for other subjects during the day.

We are expecting an overnight visit from the Rimlinger tribe so there are a number of preparations required. Last night No.1 daughter sent a text requesting a birthday cake for the younger granddaughter. Not something I've been asked for in the past. Found a reasonable recipe on-line and will have a bash at building it today. All but 2 of the many ingredients are already in the pantry.

The cake turned out pretty well, at least it looks pretty good, have a look See the cake

More rain this afternoon and the only noteworthy event being the delivery of our paperwork for the cruise, luggage tags, boarding passes and airline e-tickets.

Meanwhile, if you'd like to see my recent images you could try the following link.
Recent Images on 365

Cheers ... Tony

Posted by greynomadm 00:39 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Countdown Continues

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Preparations are well in hand and we are down to 8 sleeps before we catch the bus to Sydney to start our voyage to Beijing.
The weather here is all over the place and it is impossible to know what each day will bring. Overnight we had 19mm of rain in just over 30 minutes, a deluge of tropical proportions and then nothing afterwards. This morning's walk was almost a non-event with strong Southerly winds and the continued threat of rain. No photos of a spectacular sunrise so will have to think of another subject for today's entry in the 365 Project.

I will start using the Toshiba for routine tasks from today onwards to make sure that everything I need has been installed. Should experience a good cross-section of activities over the next week.

The rain increased as we headed to Batemans Bay and the Mitsubishi Service Centre for the car's first service scheduled at 2 months or 1500 Km, we were just over the distance and just short of the time. It took about an hour and we sat in their 'reception' area and read our Kindles. On completion we headed to the shopping centre and stocked up for the final week.

Back to Moruya in quite heavy rain and filled up the fuel tank. It was a pleasant surprise to have it topped off at 53 litres, about half of what we're accustomed to for the 750 Km traveled. Just as well as the price of diesel has increased to $1.60 per litre.

Spent most of the afternoon looking at Beijing and Seoul tourist web-sites to get a feel for what we're likely to do when we get there. There's certainly plenty of places to spend time and money, I'm sure we won't be bored.

Back to Batemans Bay to a presentation put on by a local travel agent. The regional sales rep from Carnival (Australia) spoke on the options for Australian based cruises with P&O and Princess. Not much that we didn't know already. Considered another 13 day cruise in October, the attraction being a door to door special, pick up and return to our front door at a very good price.

Meanwhile, if you'd like to see my recent images you could try the following link.
Recent Images on 365

Cheers ... Tony

Posted by greynomadm 01:15 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Two Weeks To Go

Friday, 22 February 2013

Departure date is rapidly approaching and most of the arrangements are in place. The visa for China arrived yesterday so we can now pass the immigration check. Jenny has informed CentreLink about our absence and she's received confirmation.

I still have to notify DVA and also the Credit Card people so that they don't block our overseas transactions.

Just to keep me alert I decided to lash out at a new computer to take with us. In the past I've used a Dell Netbook - small, quite heavy and very very slow. I've now stepped up to a Toshiba Ultra Notebook, not much thicker than a pencil and more grunt than my tower unit. The little beast is awesome but runs Windows 8 which is all new to me.

Still to do are having the new car serviced, have our feet seen to by the podiatrist and I'll have to have a hair-cut some time. All small things but need to be fitted in with all the normal daily events. Finally the recurring question of what to take in the way of clothing with China and Korea being still quite cold this time of year.

Will let you know how we get on a bit closer to the day of departure.

Meanwhile, if you'd like to see my recent images you could try the following link.
Recent Images on 365

Cheers ... Tony

Posted by greynomadm 14:06 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

We've done it again

Booked another cruise

sunny 25 °C

Made the big decision yesterday and booked a cruise on the Diamond Princess from Sydney to Beijing boarding on 8 March 2013. We'll add a few days stay in Beijing and fly back to Sydney via Seoul. I've removed the At Sea days from the Itinerary.

Itinerary:
Day Date Port Arrive Depart
1 08/03 Sydney, New South Wales, Australia overnight
2 09/03 Sydney, New South Wales, Australia 1.00pm
5 12/03 Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia 7.00am 6.00pm
8 15/03 Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia 12.00pm 7.00pm
14 21/03 Hong Kong 9.00am overnight
15 22/03 Hong Kong 5.00pm
17 24/03 Keelung, Taiwan 7.00am 6.00pm
19 26/03 Kagoshima, Japan 7.00am 4.00pm
20 27/03 Busan, (Pusan) South Korea 12.00pm 7.00pm
22 29/03 Shanghai, China 7.00am 6.00pm
24 31/03 Dalian, China 7.00am 2.00pm
25 01/04 Beijing (Tianjin), China 4.00am
25-32 01/04 Beijing - Grand Mecure
32 08/04 Beijing to Seoul
32-35 Seoul - Ibis Myeeong-Dong
36 12/04 Seoul to Sydney
37 13/04 Sydney - Great Southern
38 14/04 Sydney to Moruya

Posted by greynomadm 09:15 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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