– (Temp. 72F, 22C) landed in at 6.30am. Sidney was spectacular and “Oriana’s berth was in the most wonderful place, we found it breathtaking. Our entry into Sydney was watched by Mararet’s children at home on the WEBCAM. We phoned home to our children. Went into Sydney Opera House. We wandered in by an unattended exit and met a lovely Australian who said he was the chairman. He turned out to be the man who mended all the seats in the Auditorian. He gave us a conducted tour of all the building. Visited Botanical Gardens and Government House. After lunch took ferry to Manley Beach. Walked around shops and bathed in sea. Water quite cold but sunshine fierce. After dinner went out again. Great amount of people milling about, watching street entertainment and everywhere illuminated boats. Visited Internet café and topped up mobile phone. Being Valentine’s night, the place was buzzing. “Oriana” had all flags flying and she was lit up from stem to stern (dressed overall). Very footsore and too tired to go on deck for sail away at midnight What a wonderful day.
– At Sea
– landed in at 8.30am. (Temp. 84F.) Lovely city. Dropped in centre by shuttle bus, walked to South Parklands, over Victoria Bridge. Through Rain Forest Walk. Took City Cat for two-hour cruise up and down river. Lunched by man-made beach and lagoon. Brenda and Margaret bathed while Ian and Geoff had a beer. Wandered back to take City Cat back over river and returned to boat by shuttle bus service. Another wonderful day was had by all. We love Australia, makes us feel great!
Thursday, 17th February – At Sea.
– (Temp. 82F.) Landed at . Trip around island only three to six miles long. Ship anchored outside and we went in by tender. It took a long time to transport us and it was 10.45am before we embarked. Bathed on lovely beach after bus trip, very hot and humid. Bathed in seawater as warm as bath water. The most wonderful day ever, miles and miles of beautiful beach and hot sun shine.
. (Temp. 86F.) Weather hot and windy. A couple of heavy tropical rainfalls. Played bridge. Ian not well, seems to have caught a chest virus. A lot of Aussies on board some nice, some very abrasive. Met a lovely Australian from the outback. Could hardly understand him at first, but when he moderated his language, he told us about life in the bush, also about Aussies views on tipping, very useful. Still walking a mile round the promenade deck before breakfast. It’s now so hot, the nights are lovely, especially waking around the deck after the shows, dressed up to the nines and feeling wonderful. We are all so tired and spend most of the days resting and sunbathing. What a great life - Tuesday, 2nd February (Temp. 84’F) sailed back over the equator.
Thursday, 24th February – lovely day in ). (Temp. 84F.) Docked in Kota Kinabalu. Very cheap shopping in morning. In afternoon took trip on last train in Borneo. Saw houses on stilts, water buffalo and egrets. Lovely beaches. Two smart beach resorts where Saga have a package holiday. Saw Mangrove swamps. A very hot day for touring mades us deadbeat.
Friday, 25th February – Saturday 26th February – Sunbathing and reading. Bridge in Afternoon. Saw film “Vanity Fair” one evening, Cabaret in theatre on Saturday.
- Arrived in at 7am. Went ashore around 8.45am. Found a camera shop to put camera memory on CD. Found hairdressers to have a cut and blow for Brenda. After lunch took Star Ferry to Hong Kong Central Island, climbed to Zoo Gardens, walked back via other squares and gardens. Weather still dull, but everywhere Chinese sitting around the streets, playing cards. Fantastic Folkloric Show in evening. Hong Kong harbour wonderfully lit up in evening. The Weather was cold and wet. Far too many people about, being a Sunday made things worse as everyone was shopping or out walking around.