Ted and Sheree Cook – azcook – Indonesia 18

Monday November 5 2007

November 2-5, 2007
  Friday – Monday  –  Sydney, NSW, Australia We drove from the condo to Sydney by way of Carlingsford (Sydney suburb) and made a stopover at the Sydney temple.  The Jacarandas were in bloom and brides were out for pictures.  It was a small and beautiful temple.  We got into our hotel later that day in an area of Sydney called Kings Cross.  Sydney is a beautiful but large city and Jeff was almost ready to rip his head off after dealing with rush hour traffic in the city center, but maintain composure.  We are thinking maybe he belongs on the other side of  the road (if you know what I mean, wink, wink, nudge, nudge, get my drift).  We asked the guy at reception about local restaurants and he sent us down the street.  Before too long we discovered we were in the red light district, but we didn’t dally too long and did find a good Mexican restaurant.  We were all skeptical …  Mexican in Sydney”.. but we were surprised.  The first clue was when we asked about soft corn tortillas and the server said yup.  Then they had 6 different types of salsa, from mild to fiery and even had mango and corn salsa.  He learned his craft in a Mexican restaurant in Arizona and transported it all to Sydney, at 3 times the price.  We went back to the same street for breakfast and Ted got propositioned before 8:30 a.m.  We ate and caught a bus that loops the most interesting sites in central Sydney.  We hopped on and off all day and saw the Opera house, Harbor bridge, botanical garden, Darlingford Harbor, Chinatown for lunch, Paddy’s Market, lot’s of great old buildings, the monorail, the tower and lots more.  We finished up the day at the Sydney Aquarium.  It had and incredible shark and ray tank where you can walk underneath in acrylic tubes.  It was the best aquarium we have seen.  They also had a huge room sized picture window where the fish seemed to be synchonized to the overhead music.  Mesmorizing and soothing.  Jeff and Jennifer took of on Sunday, sad to see them go.  We will miss having them as travel companions.  We’ll miss Jimmy Buffett on the CD player too.  After they left, it meant back to business. That means Ted has work to do.  Those of you who think it’s all play and no work, you can suck rocks.  We took the train to the Sydney Olympic (2000) park to look at the many projects Ted has read about in the area.  We visited and photographed the place to death.  Details have been eliminated for the unwashed, but ask Ted and he’ll fill you in if you like.  On Monday, another Ted project.  We caught the train to Victoria Park, a new housing project….. and lots of walking and lots of photos and lots of wind that day.  We loved Sydney.  It is a beautiful and vibrant city and we wish we had more time there.  We hustled back to the hotel to get our luggage to depart to the airport for a 5:30 flight.  We were expecting an hour trip, but arrived in 20 minutes and checked in really early.  This was, as it turned out, a good thing.  We were flying on Jetstar (Australia’s budget airline) to Bali.  When time for boarding approached, nothing happened at the gate.  Nobody around, no announcements, nothing.  We checked and we and many others were all at the right gate.  Later, a gate attendant appeared indicating that they will be a delay.  This happened several times without any explanation of the problem.  At about 9:30 the “Jetstar representative” showed up to fill us in.  He started by telling us that we all need to behave and that the police were there to manage any unruly passengers.  Based on what we could see, everyone was being very patient and the unrulies were in his own mind.  He reminded us several times, as he was lecturing us about why we hadn’t left, that the police were here to maintain order.  This was about the wierdest flying experience we’ve ever had.  The problem turned out to be mechanical issue with one of the emergency door slides.  The solution… bump the last 67 passengers to check and reroute them through Melbourne the next day (with no guarantee they would get there or out because the Melbourne Cup was on – Aussie Kentucky Derby).  We left at 11 and arrived in Bali at 3 a.m.  On the flight the pilot wandered through the cabin and apoligized.  This was a little unnerving, he should be flying I think.  We had a medical emergency on board, just like in the movies when they ask for a doctor.  We had trouble finding a taxi at the airport at that time, but finally got one and arrived at our hotel at about 4.   Happy to  be there, we slept.

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posted Monday November 2007

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