OFF TO A GREAT START by Debbie Patterson
It was our honeymoon.
After a perfect wedding day we had left family and friends behind in England. This was our first big adventure together and a chance for my new husband to meet my crazy Australian family.
We had already spent two romantic nights in Singapore and packed in plenty of sightseeing during the day. Little India, full of vibrant colours and the amazing Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple. We marvelled at all the different shapes and colours of the orchids during our time at The National Orchid Garden and we just had to take the cable car over to Sentosa Island. We explored the hustle and bustle of Chinatown and then we took a trip to Orchard Road. Starting at one end we made our way towards Raffles, cooling off in the air conditioned shops and malls as we went. Raffles itself was a little out of our price range so we decided to sample a Singapore Sling in the Long Bar. Obviously it's the done thing, but it still felt wrong throwing the peanut shells onto the floor.
Next stop was Sydney where we arrived very jet lagged, very early in the morning. However we were determined not to waste any time sleeping. With the help of several cups of black coffee we managed to keep going that first day. We admired the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House, loving every minute. We wandered around The Rocks, lingering in the shops and enjoying the local beer and wine in the bars. The cameras clicking away as we made our memories.
Then it was off to Cairns. Quite a difference from the hustle and bustle of Sydney. Here we could relax and enjoy the slower pace. The Great Barrier Reef was a must see. We enjoyed a fantastic day, starting with a visit to Green Island, wandering around soaking in the history and the beauty around us. It was then onto the pontoon on the Outer Great Barrier Reef. After a fabulous buffet lunch we decided to view the reef in a semi-submersible which was totally amazing. It didn't take long to realise that Cairns was a great place to chill out and take things easy.
Soon enough it was time to get our flight from Cairns to Brisbane. It was also time for hubby to meet my relatives. Auntie Bett and Uncle Bill lived in Coffs Harbour, 250 miles away. We arrived at Brisbane airport and our first thought was to travel down by bus. Upon further investigation and discussion we dismissed this idea and decided to see if we could hire a car. It would give us a little more freedom and flexibility as well as enabling us to arrive sooner at Coffs Harbour.
I was sent to the car rental desk to enquire if they had anything available for us, the complication being that we only wanted a one way rental. The nice lady checked for us and advised me that it was possible, but they only had a wagon. I thanked her and returned to my husband. Once I'd told him the bad news he looked at me, shook his head and laughed. "It's a station wagon - estate car, not a truck or an articulated lorry!"
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