Friday, we picked up our rental car at the Sydney Airport. The desk clerk was generous and upgraded us to a Nissan X-trail 4 wheel drive SUV. Very nice. Jim is doing quite well at driving on the left and navigating the round-abouts etc. His biggest problem is finding the turn signals when in a hurry. They are on the right and he has turned on the windshield wipers about 33% of the time. He is getting better.
We were warned about food and drink prices. It’s true that most times, the prices are 2 to 3 times what we are used to. We have, however found some good deals. At our hotel in Sydney, the Econolodge, the Happy Hour from 5-7 had draft beer and liquor for $3. Not bad. By the way, the US and Aussie dollar are about equal. At most places, the beers (a 12-13 oz. scooner) run $4.50 to 9.00. We were told to find the clubs for the best deals, specifically the RSL (Returned Servicemen League). Tonight, in Batemans Bay (on the coast), we went to a very nice Soldiers Club. It was not what we thought the clubs would look like, 2 story and very large and “elegant.” The view of the bay was good also. So…. we paid higher prices for drinks than other clubs. We’ll have to find ones that look more like our American Legions at home.
We’ve been on the lookout for wildlife. Two kangaroos have been seen, unfortunately as roadkill. Some of their birds are different looking. The pelicans are white and black (black on wings) but, the numerous crows and pigeons look the same. We’ve seen several wild white parrot-like birds that we would call cock-a-toos. I also identified 2 Australian White Ibises.
Tonight we are staying at a Comfort Inn. Nice large room with large TV, frig and table and chairs (and 3 hours free internet). The property is on the Clyde River near Batemans Bay. Tomorrow, we will drive along the coast (the Tasman Sea, but part of Pacific Ocean) on George Bass Drive to Princes Highway. We have 2 more nights before we are due in Melbourne and plan to take our time. The Visitor Information Centers have been quite helpful with maps, and today with lodging assistance. No worries.
More wildlife photos posted Oct. 23 from Melbourne: