TRAVELSCRIBBLES is a blog featuring travel reports, advice, and idea sharing for those interested in both domestic and international exploration.

Roger Sauer and his wife Donna have spent years traveling the world but have many places yet to see. You can follow their past and current travels here as well as post comments and questions about places they have visited.

Roger and Donna travelled to New Zealand and Australia in September, 2013. They will be in Paris in September 2015 with a train trip to Nice and Barcelona. They will then be aboard the Disney Magic (again) for a transatlantic cruise to Miami. Follow their travels on Twitter @rsauer3473.

Donna and Roger own Disney Vacation Club memberships at Old Key West and Beach Cub resorts in Walt Disney World. They also have other timeshare interests in Maui, Cancun, Orlando, and Palm Springs.
Feel free to contact them at 503-585-3473 if you would like rent one of these properties.

Where Do You Want To Go Today?

Saturday, November 9, 2013

October 11-12 Sydney to Cairns

October 11, 2013: SYDNEY TO CAIRNS


In spite of our early wake-up call, our shuttle was late. But we made it to the airport only to discover we were unaware of the terminal to enter. There are two domestic terminals  and one international. Our driver suggested we go to the domestic as that was the type of flight we were on. She was right. After getting our boarding passes we waited in line a while to check bags then proceeded to our gate.


While we got our tickets through Expedia, apparently when booking through Aussie/Kiwi airlines on can request additional options such as meals. We did not, but were able to order a bagel on our earlier flight to a sydney and a pie on our current flight. Our flight attendant indicated that the additional fee was not worth the food. The flight to Cairns was about three hours, but because Queensland is not on daylight saving time, the change in time was only about two hours. Interestingly enough, at no time were we asked for identification prior to boarding our plane.


Our plan arrived in Cairns at about 11 AM. It was a small airport and we debated between taking a shuttle or renting a car. We opted for a small car from Avis. A good choice. The road up to Port Douglas passed through small towns with many roundabouts and finally  narrowed to a windy two lane road running along the shoreline. Fortunately there were several passing lanes as we did not want to restrict others behind us.


After an hour we reached the Sheraton Mirage Resort. It is an extensive resort with a main lobby and fresh water pool and two branching wings on either side surrounded by large salt water lagoons. A golf course wraps around the facility. Our room was in building four with a branch of one of the lagoons below our second floor king suite. The reviews on this resort are mixed, but the central conflict is this: a spacious resort with many amenities directly on the beach, yet in desperate need of renovation. The room had a mild musty smell but was well appointed. Carpeting in tropical locations should be eschewed in favor of tile or wood planking. The refrigerator was large, the windows looked out at fingers of the lagoon.  The hotel had a promotion that allowed for 12 meal coupons for $240. Guest use the coupons for meals. One for breakfast buffet and more for dinner or lunch. The breakfast buffet made the expenditure worthwhile.


Once our room was situated we made for the pool, a very large irregular shape near the lobby building and restaurant. Like the hotel itself, it is showing wear. But with the early Australian sun bearing down on us through a cloudless sky, the pool was refreshing. I walked out to the beach where signs were posted about the possibility of "stingers" that is box jellyfish that can give powerful stings. Few people were on the beach. Most were lounging by the pool or in one of the many salt water lagoons.


We drove into Port Douglas proper for groceries and to buy some sun screen. Shops lined its main tourist center.



October 12, 2013: PORT DOUGLAS


Because there is no daylight saving time here, we were an hour earlier than Sydney. So getting up early was not a problem, or depending on one's point of view, remained a problem. We took advantage of the breakfast buffet that included many items such as made to order omelets, pancakes, rolls, fruits, juices, and even the Australian version of an Egg McMuffin. The lamb sausages were okay, but the bacon great.


After breakfast we walked to the pool. I was surprised there were so few people in or around the pool as the restaurant and lobby earlier were very crowded. We talked a while with a couple from Sydney. She hailed from the city while her husband was from Israel. 


After a couple of hours it was decided we should do our laundry. This was to be done at the laundromat in the Sunbird center a short walk from the lobby.short but confusing. I had tried to find it earlier in the day and had become hopelessly lost in the labyrinthine paths around the resort. And having found it earlier, I had difficulty locating the specific room it was in as I had earlier found it by coming into the lovely central courtyard from a different side.


The laundry gave us a chance to read and write. And later we returned to the pool for a swim.

No comments: