Oz/RTW trip website update

Old Aug 10th, 2005, 05:24 PM
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Oz/RTW trip website update

Hi, we've updated our website with a portion of the Oz part of our RTW included. Having a blast.

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Old Aug 10th, 2005, 08:42 PM
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and haven't we turned on the weather for you - welcome to mid-winter Sydney!

Yes - this is normal!
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Old Aug 10th, 2005, 10:15 PM
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An elegantly written report, Gardyloo -thanks. You made me want to head for Uluru, although I agree that the prices are ridiculous.

A couple of observations:

Broadly, there are two reasons why Australia tends to be more expensive than the US. Firstly, economies of scale in a country the size of the "lower 48" but with a population of 20 million. Secondly, minimum wage rates are higher than in the US, and we don't have a large pool of cheap immigrant labour. One thing that's much cheaper, and accessible by all, is health care, but of course that's invisible to most visitors.

And yes, table service is slower than in the US. Partly this is because Australians rarely tip, and the reason for that is that service staff are paid a living wage. And partly it's because Americans and Australians have somewhat different definitions of "glacial". I know Americans can be driven to impotent fury by slow service, but by and large we like it the way it is. My only gripe is that too often, diners become invisible after the main course is served.

I hope you enjoy (enjoyed?) the rest of your time in Australia. BTW, take comfort - some of those Uluru-climbers do try for the Darwin Awards by expiring from falls and heart attacks.
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Old Aug 11th, 2005, 03:44 AM
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I get annoyed with high prices charged in touristy areas. For example go to a winery and you pay more for the same product than in a liquor store. Go to a strawberry farm in Tasmania and pay more than you would pay in woollies. In Tasmania we saw oysters vary in price by $10 a dozen! We were charged like $70 a head for a shuttle bus from Cape trib to Cairns and it stopped for ages waiting for a car to bring a late arrival when they said it was more expensive because it was quicker than the regular bus!

Just pure greed.

Don't get me started on tradesmen, they honestly believe they are rocket scientists. I had a quote to re gutter for $2700. I costed the materials to be about $800 so that means they were being paid like $1900 for a days work, if that!

It is getting out of control.

I ordered a double espresso in the Blue Mountains and was charged $6.00! Can you believe, I mean it costs .30c to make an espresso. So the rest is for the cup and washing up and service so why double the price, I still only got served once, still only had one cup to wash up...grrrrrr In my part of non-touristy Sydney they charge about $2.80 and the real estate is higher and wages are higher so there is NO excuse.

Sorry, had a coniption. Get travel report Gardyloo, hope this cold snap dissapates soon!
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Old Aug 11th, 2005, 06:31 AM
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Great Report
Your descriptions of Uluru and the drive to port Douglas brought back wonderful memories. I'm just sorry you haven't managed to find some decent restaurants - especially in Sydney. If you want some suggestions for Sydney let us know.
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Old Aug 14th, 2005, 05:46 PM
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Further updates posted today.

Sitting in a hotel room hoping my head cold will improve before sitting 16 hours on a jet the day after tomorrow (SYD-JNB.)
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