Day 7 - Friday October 21st, 2005
Today is the only day without any driving to do.
We are staying at the 'presidential' hotel, which apparently was the hotel visiting presidents used to stay at in the 60's...I think the rooms have not been touched since then, despite our room being next to the linden johnson suite, it is pretty ordinary.
One thing I noticed is theres warnings everywhere about not smoking, the smoke alarm will go off, you will pay a $200 fine...
I guess someone was $200 out of pocket, the alarm went off, luckily we were ready to go anyway.
The first visit today is to the zoo, I always seem to go to zoos, but on the way you pass the prime ministers house.
You cant actually see it, so you just keep driving, but theres a lot of signs telling you that you are now driving past etc.
The zoo is OK, its main feature is the largest collection of big cats in Australia, but many of them are weird ones rescued from circuses, they have both Ligers and Tigons for example.
Bears, I havent seen brown bears at a zoo before, only polar bears, they are very large and we are the first people in the gates and they are still very playful.
The bears are chasing each other and wrestling, when we went back later they were asleep - A good plan is to get to the zoo as early as possible, you generally beat visiting bus tours, school groups and the animals are still active, come around lunch time and you get a good tour of chain link fences and plexiglass.
Lions, they are staring at the Tigons, probably mocking them, I decided to only photograph the real animals, not the made up ones.
This koala is just chillin
The main problem with the zoo is the cafeteria, most zoos are eager to charge exorbitant prices to serve food to people who have already paid the admission price. We tried to find breakfast on the way to the zoo but failed so decided the zoo would surely sell us food. Sadly not.
They had instant coffee out of a machine, and pre made cakes inside foil wrappers and thats it! Surely theres money to be made here.
The afternoon was spent looking around some of Canberras other official buildings, the national archives, old parliament house. Some of them are funny about cameras so no pictures sorry.
In the evening we went to the movies to see....wedding crashers, it was OK I guess, but the site to behold is afterwards, the parking is free but theres a boom gate, you just drive up and press the button and it lets you out, one guy cant grasp this concept despite the signs everywhere and decides to go cross country. He drives over concrete barriers, a garden bed, and off a retaining wall onto the road rather than press the button.
Dinner is at an italian restaurant, really good and I didnt have pizza!
Day 8 - Saturday October 22nd, 2005
Canberra - Swan Hill
Today promises to be an interesting drive...I get off to a poor start and drive the wrong way out of Canberra and travel a good 150km in the wrong direction! It sounds dumber than it is, although it is pretty stupid, but to leave Canberra you have to travel the wrong way anyway, I just drove the wrong wrong way (it makes sense if you read it twice).
The drive takes us through country New South Wales and I choose all roads I havent been on before, many are 1 lane roads but these are really quiet. Before too long we also hit dirt, much to my surprise, the map showed all the roads as being sealed. For bonus points the roads are also full of cattle grids, as they travel through cattle farms that dont have fences along the road...as you shall see.
This is a town called lockhart, its before lunch and theres a group of guys running around the street singing waltzing matilda (traditional Australian song) in a drunken stupor, why? I have no idea, we got in the car and locked the doors and drove off before there was a lynching
Dont be alarmed, there are cows on the road! In Australia we often dont build fences along the roads, the cows are free to wander, I of course decide that a good plan when racing amongst cows is to fiddle around for the camera and take pictures whilst driving.
I arrive in Swan Hill with just minutes to spare before RCC starts, race into the motel (best western of course) and make it just in time. I am always on holiday when its RCC and this one is no exception!
After spending some time on a really crappy RCC using the cheats favourite, ableton live, it is time for dinner.
After a walk up the main street of Swan Hill without my camera (sorry), we choose a hotel for dinner, a hard rock band appears to be setting up but we finish well before they are due to play. I am quite tired from the long drive.
Day 9 - Sunday October 23rd, 2005
Swan Hill - Adelaide
The last day, all that is left is to drive home.
It is a road I have not been on before though, things of interest include a plantation of trees specifically for making cricket bats...and then not much else, soon after you cross into South Australia theres basically nothing of interest!
The last picture, just before crossing the border back into South Australia
And so that was the end of the holiday, a lot of driving, which I enjoy greatly, lots of areas of Australia covered