Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Farewell to Australia

These are final scenes of SYDNEY.

Traveling to Australia can be a challenge (unless you live in that part of the world). One week after I had a serious upper arm/shoulder surgery, we left on a 30 hour journey to Australia. We spent two nights at the Sheraton on the Park in Sydney before joining Princess ship Dawn Princess for a one month sailing counter clockwise around Australia (with a scenic side trip to Bali). The ship was carrying a large contingent of Aussies, most of whom had boarded in Melbourne. We had an opportunity to immediately immerse ourselves in the local culture. We did not venture into the OUTBACK, and a lot of our new Aussie friends told us this was an area that they typically avoided. This vast area of central Australia can be cruel and forbidding. We often hear horror stories of venomous snakes and spiders, box jelly fish, angry Magpies, and the like (thanks to National Geographic documentaries).

Our first admonition after we were aboard was to respect the intensity of the Australian sun. During the entire trip, there were constant reminders to protect oneself against the unusually strong rays of the sun. So many of our fellow travelers bore the results of a life of unprotected time spent in the sun. All skin types seemed to be affected. There were some who did seem to be mimicking the leather like skin qualities of the local crocodiles. I saw the results of the damage to those new to Australia who did not heed the sun warnings, and I must say that the color and patterns of the burnt skin  were unlike any I had seen before, and the coloring did not seem to fade for an extended period of time.  My point in saying this is -- please protect yourself from the sun anywhere in Australia!  One has to search diligently to find any information on this topic. Tourism literature seems to avoid the subject.

Interesting note:  An Australian ship's pilot was assigned to us from Sydney to the northern eastern topmost point of Australia, to guide us through the reef area without incurring any damage (particularly to the reef). I was surprised at the extensive nature of the reef.

Should I return to Australia, I would immerse myself in rail travel. There are several important rail itineraries, and I would like to experience them all!

Sailing vessels hold an interest for us.
In November we will be sailing across the Atlantic in a 5-masted schooner.


Cezar and Léia said...

Dear Margaret,
Thanks so much for the hints about hotels, your review is precious!I want so much to visit this wonderful country someday.Cezar studied there and he wants to come back with me next time! :) You prepared a fabulous article here with lots of information and your pictures are wonderful!

Joyful said...

I've been blessed to visit Australia 3x and I've loved the countryside. There are so many other places I want to travel though so I may not be back there. Though if circumstances permit, I would love to see this beautiful country again.

magiceye said...

Beautiful photographs and wonderful narration

Hilda said...

I went through your other Australia posts and it's wonderful how you seem to have done so many varied things during your tour. Your photos are fantastic. Love the bird on the ledge especially—I think it's a great summary and ending for a travel post.

Thanks for visiting My Manila. And to answer your question: No, no sharks. :)

CARLOS said...

Margaret, thanks for your advice, Australia is an amazing country that someday I would go. Greetings.