Darling Harbour

33 Days in the Wilderness Day 21

Trudi and Kay have to vote today so we have arranged to meet them tonight.  It’s a fineable offence not to vote in Australia.  Isn’t it convenient that they make voting days a Saturday?

Our task today is to change our tickets at Singapore Airlines so we can have another stopover in Singapore on our way home.  We have breakfast in the hotel and catch the first bus outside to take us to Bridge Street where the Singapore Airlines office is.

It is meltingly hot and we walk up the winding streets.  We are not far from Central Quay but we are a world away from the holidaymakers and tourists.  This is the business and banking area and the buildings are large stone sombre towers.  The streets are quite narrow as they wind down to the harbour area and we eventually find the Singapore Airline office but it is closed.  We must change our flights here as it is the only way we can get a deal on accommodation on our return leg.

We wander on further into the city and go into the foyer of the hotel in Bond Street.  The hotel is large and luxurious and closer to what we have been  used to.  A charming young lad at reception asks if he can help us.  We don’t explain that we are not resident in the hotel and he takes a great deal of trouble and a long time to change our flights for us.  Our change of return date hits the Easter holidays and we have difficulty getting a flight from Singapore to Heathrow.

To our embarrassment he asks for our room number and we have to admit that we are not resident in his hotel but we do tip him heavily for his trouble.  He points us in the direction of a Thomas Cook office so we can book accommodation.

The girl in the Thomas Cook office does a deal for us.  The Orchard is full but we get booked into the Grand Plaza Park Royal.  Four nights cost about £100.  Our change of tickets and vouchers will not be ready until Tuesday or Wednesday.  As we explain we will be in the Outback until Thursday she arranges that the tickets are delivered to the Bayside Hotel.  Next Friday is Good Friday and everything will be closed. We will now arrive in Heathrow late on 8th April and I will arrive in Forenaught in the early hours of 9th April.

We walk through the main shopping streets in Sydney and some of our party from the coach-trip bump into us whilst we are having a cold drink at a pavement cafe.

We find Paddy’s Market in Chinatown and then head on to Darling Harbour and Sydney Aquarium.  The whole area has just ben refurbished and there is an anniversary celebration of the RAAF taking place so there are lots of displays and military people about.  Everyone is very friendly but it is so hot we keep having to stop for cold drinks.

We have a hard time finding our way back to Hyde Park where we catch the bus for Rushcutter’s Bay.  We are again laden with shopping bags.

Our suitcase situation is now getting ridiculous because we have filled those we have taken to bursting zips point and filled the two large flat folding bags Maureen brought and the two red overnight bags supplied by APT.  We have so much stuff crammed in and it is all in such a mess that we have to do something drastic.

Kay and Trudi are having a garage sale in aid of all the stray cats that they adopt and feed so we ruthlessly discard all the clothes we brought, “just in case” and others that we feel we won’t use.

I phone Trudi and they arrange to pick us up at 8 pm at the hotel.  We donate several plastic bags filled with clothes for the good of the stray cats. As long as we only buy small things from now on we should be all right.

The four of us end up going to another sports club, this time the RSL Club.  Were have a meal, not as good as last night’s, play the machines, lose a dollar each and the girls drop us home around midnight.