Day 0-1 to Day 0+1 Dubbo-Sydney-Shanghai
Day 0-1 is a quiet day, tidying up the odd jobs, repacking the repack and seeing how much we can cull from what is too much “stuff” to travel with. Mark ends up with about 9kg, Genelle and I with 12.7 kgs each, all good but we’ve still got too much stuff.
Day 0 The trip to Sydney via a Blackheath Brunch , bypass The M4 at Norther Road to avoid the RMS blowing a bridge up, back on the M4, then the M7, then the M5 and into Mascot about 3. Short rest for the Navigator who watches The Jazz Singer with Neil Diamond, atrocious acting but good songs. A train ride to the Quay for Vivid, ferry to Barrangaroo (Club Jamie), a quick train ride home to the Holiday Inn at Mascot. Day 1
The Navigator is up early, 5 f….ing am, it’s dark, f….g dark but the lights go on and she says “ can’t sleep”, well now neither can I, but in a manner that doesn’t bring on “the look”. She’s ready and I nearly am so we meet the fellow travellers in the lobby, they’ve been ready for ages so I figure I’ll say nothing. I guess I’m with a bunch of early starters, so I’ll have to conform by getting up a bit earlier or they might just have to get used to me. Guess I’ll lose that one.
The shuttle bus arrives and the Navigator (politely) but loudly suggests to a couple of impatient fellow customers that they should wait for the driver – a hand waiving slightly balding officious chap with a slightly Italian accent gets them sorted. He gets the rest sorted as well and we’re off into black pre sunup morning into bumper to bumper traffic, but the Driver weaves his way through the mess and gets us to the International Terminal close to on time.
First time we’ve seen the self check in at International today, god I hate those f….g things. Off course there is a stuff up, the Nvigator and The Nurse goto sort it out, and around the back back of a wall that separates the machines from sanity are some humans that quickly sort out the problem, unlike the plastic and metal inanimate machines that gave us the problem in the first place.
We saunter through the “gates of no return”, thankfully no cavity searches are lined up for us by the machine we upset, but my new knees set the bells ringing and I get a little lecture from a head shaking Indian chap, while he frisks me, suggesting that “ next time sir, please go straight to the x ray machine, it vill be quicker for you”.
Coffee is great, especially after the early start, a little food before we board QF129 to Shanghai at 9.30am
The plane is pretty full, no particular passengers catch my eye to write about – what a boring lot! But I reckon a Heineken and a Gin and Tonic might help me see some humour but I must be too tired. The 11 hours is taken up with movies, nodding quasi sleep, and reading.
So what am I reading you might ask – too bad if you didn’t. I’m reading Katherine Swynford by Alison Weir. This is the story of my about 20 something times grandmother who ended up married to John of Gaunt ( The Black Prince) son of Edward the III. The relationship between John and Katherine was scandalous as she was his mistress, and had 3 children with him ( bastards) but later this was lifted when they marry after Johns wife died. Katherine was mother of the Beauforts and the ancestors of the Yorkist Kings, the Tudors, The Stuart’s and every British sovereign since. A formidable woman, but she should meet the Navigator, a matching of wills would be interesting. We land in Shanghai early at about 6.05pm (8.05pm EST).
We get finger printed, Mark has a bung finger from a work accident so gets a special card, but not so special when I see a bloke with the same card and he’s missing a whole finger.
We find the tour group and we’re off for a 2 hour bus ride to Suzhou, west of Shanghai. John or Wu ( pronounced Hoo) is our guide, seems a fun bloke.
In Suzhou we unpack at the Snowy Seas Hotel and crash. Tomorrow we’re off at 8, World Heritage gardens, lots of stuff. Breakfast at 6.30 , geez that’s early! Cheers from Suzhou, China.
Day 0-1 to Day 0+1 Dubbo-Sydney-Shanghai