Monday, November 13, 2006

Hire Car

Goodbye Sydney - we're off!

V6We had made arrangements with an Internet broker to hire a car. Nothing unusual in that. But the middleman had screwed up the details. "Collect the car from the airport" - then giving Thrifty's downtown office address. Furthermore we would return the car to the non-existent "Sydney International Airport, Melbourne."

Next time we will deal directly with Thrifty - they soon had everything organised.

They had a car for us at their downtown office, and a bit better than the "mid range" we asked for.

It's a Mitsubishi 380, a 3.8 litre V6. Somewhat different to my Prius Hybrid.

Driving in Australia is so like America - I have the urge to drive on the right.  We concludes that it's the wider roads, and the different signs.

Petrol is $1.115 / litre. (45p)

Toll roads - avoid

The TomTom is programmed to take us to Manly beach. (It's configured to avoid toll roads - we're in no hurry, and we really can't be bothered to find out how you pay the tolls. [There are no toll booths on some roads! {And we really can't be bothered to find out how to make payments.<We are on holiday!>}])

Manly BeachManly Beach

We're soon at Manly Beach, bathed in sun, complete with "surfer dudes". Just like the guide books say.


Manly BeachSo what can you do?
RainThe glorious sunshine we've had until now turns to torrential rain - only to flip back to sunshine and blue sky an hour later. We'll have to get used to this rapidly changing Australian weather!

The forecast is for dire cold weather of 17C by Thursday, returning to the 20's by the weekend.

A change of plan

The weather forecast for the week looks grim (In fact it did snow on the Thursday, the first time in 100 years it's snowed in November.)

There not much point visiting beaches if it's cold. We abort our initial plan, and decide on a cross country trek to Melbourne. The nice thing about a plan is that you can change your mind later!


Beach BeachWe head north, intending to find a hotel.

There are fine beaches on the way, good surf - to my non expert eyes - perhaps I should say "lots of white foam and spray" I'll leave the surf descriptions to experts.

We end up at Palm Beach. All very unspoilt. (It's the exterior location of some Aussie soap opera.)

Periwinkle GuesthouseManly BeachWe conclude there are no hotels north of Manly!

Our guide book suggests the Periwinkle Guesthouse back at Manly. It has two rooms available. We're sorted for the night.

The Periwinkle has an informal friendly feel with bedrooms overlooking a central courtyard.


ManlyOne for JackI'd happily make a return visit to Manly: it's a great place to spend a week and switch off.

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