jump to navigation

Down UnderFlight Home

On 25 October 2004 from Sydney, NSW | comments closed

I called Cathay Pacific today to book my flight back home. Initially I had planned to leave tomorrow and fly to Amsterdam in the weekend, but all the flights from Hong Kong to Amsterdam are booked out between 27 October and 3 November. Instead of spending more time in Hong Kong (I do not think the city is interesting enough to spend more than 4 days in, including Macau), I decided to spend a few extra days in Sydney. Therefore my flights are as follows:
Sydney to Hong Kong on Friday 29 October 15.00 – 22.20 with CX100
Hong Kong to Amsterdam on Wednesday 3 November 00.15 – 06.30 with CX271

You might have noticed that I dropped my initial plan to spend a few weeks in China on the way back. I basically cannot be bothered anymore with the hassle of travelling through China. I would have had to get vaccinations (for which it is too late now), I would have to unpack and pack again in Hong Kong (I am not taking all my stuff on a trip through China), I do not speak the language (the solution of learning the language, what I did with Russia, is just not going to work for every country I visit), and I would not have time to visit the highlights anyway (i.e. Bejing and the Great Wall). It all comes down to the fact that in my mind a visit to China requires some decent preparation: where to go, what to do, what jabs to get etc. I might book a short organised tour from Hong Kong (and thus postpone my flight home), but chances are small that I will do that. In the end, I simply cannot be bothered to travel by myself through a country with a completely different culture where I do not speak the language, at the end of my trip. I will probably just save the money for a future trip.

Down UnderCanberra

On 24 October 2004 from Sydney, NSW | comments closed

Today I did a tour to Canberra, Australia’s capital city. After all, I figured it would be pretty bad if I had spent almost 9 months in Australia without even seeing its capital city. Because it is almost 300km from Sydney, it meant sitting in the bus for a long time, and not having very much time in the city itself. We did go to an exhibition about Canberra, the Parliament House, the War Memorial and Mt Ainslie. Unfortunately it was raining most of the day, and that did not help in getting a good impression about the city.

Down UnderSold my Car

On 23 October 2004 from Sydney, NSW | comments closed

On Wednesday I met a German guy in the city who was interested in buying my car, so he had a look at it with his girlfriend on Thursday. He liked the car, but wanted a mechanic to have a look at it first. Since there was no mechanic available on Friday, the pre-purchase inspection was carried out today. The mechanic spent almost 3 hours checking my car inside, outside, and test driving it. He managed to produce a large list of necessary repairs (totalling over A$950), so I had to make a little bit extra effort to sell the car. After I threw in 6 months of registration (A$245), I finally managed to sell it for A$3200.

In total it cost me roughly A$2250 (in car expenses and fuel) to drive almost 17.500 km through Australia. That is A$0,13 (8 eurocents) per kilometre. Not bad at all.

Besides waiting to sell my car, I helped the hostel programming a new website, a fairly good pastime considering the fact that it has been raining in Sydney every day for the last week, with the exception of today.

Down UnderCar Selling Hassle

On 20 October 2004 from Sydney, NSW | comments closed

On Friday I had three people look at my car, but two of those only seemed to be browsing around. Another guy decided not to buy it, after I drove all the way to Bondi Beach to show it (not going to do that again). I did use the opportunity to put up some flyers in hostels in Bondi Beach as well.

Saturday I went into the city centre to make some more photos of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge. I also went up in one of the pylons of the Harbour Bridge for some good views of Sydney harbour, the Opera House and the skyline.

On Sunday I walked to Darling Harbour, where the Australian International Motor Show was taking place. I did not intend on going to the motor show, but when I saw a 4WD demonstration track outside I was sold. I got my ticket and went straight back outside to test drive (unfortunately a professional had to drive) the 4WD track in a Jeep Grand Cherokee. I really love that car, even on the steep hill it just would not roll back or forward (downhill assist or something). Unfortunately it is still a bit outside my price range, just like pretty much all the other cars at the motor show. Nevertheless, it was still fun to look at them and I made lots of photos of flash cars.

Later in the afternoon I got myself a souvenir polo shirt at Paddy’s Markets, before checking out the Powerhouse Museum. The exhibits there turned out to take more time than the two hours I had planned, and I was therefore pretty much kicked out at closing time.

On Monday there were two more people who checked out my car, and two Swedish guys were very interested, but they decided to fly to Darwin and buy a car there, very annoying.

Tuesday I went around all the hostels in the city centre and Kings Cross again, putting up new flyers, with a slightly lower price. When I had finished that, I visited the Sydney Aquarium. Especially the tunnels under the water where the sharks swim where really cool, and I made lots of photos (also deleted lots straight away, because the flash reflected off the glass, but that is the beauty of digital cameras).

Today I went on a bit of a souvenir shopping spree, making sure I have enough reminders of Australia when I get back home. A big map of Australia and a boomerang were still missing in my collection, but I also got the Lonely Planet from Hong Kong and Macau as well as the police report of my lost sunglasses. I also got a red marker, and went around to the hostels in the city centre and Kings Cross, lowering the price of my car a bit more (A$3500 now) and make it stand out at the same time. I hope these marketing courses I did are paying off this way.