|Welcome to Canberra|
Rob and Cait go Glamping again - now it is starting to sound like an Enid Blyton series.
I had almost convinced the lovely Cait to embark on a camping trip to Newnes, when I foolishly gave her the option "did you want to go to Newnes, or were you still thinking about that trip to Canberra ?" So near, yet so far.
After much deliberation (0.3 of a nanosecond) she confirmed that she would prefer Canberra. We looked at accommodation options, which again didn't take long, as she already had the Hotel Kurrajong in mind. After a bit of clicking and melting of the VISA card we were set.
The trip down was uneventful. I successfully played DJ until Cait announced that U2's ZOOROPA (a personal fave) was terrible. I removed my crushed ego from the CD player and cranked up Piano Man and we cruised on happily.
We hit the War Memorial first. Like all happily married couples, we set the mood by having a battle about how to get there. Then we soaked up history until our brains fried. An incredible place, but after a couple of hours, we had to move on.
We knew vaguely where the Hotel Kurrajong was located, but after a few frustrating loops around the area (as per usual in Canberra), we had to give up and consult the Google. "It must be close" we cried. Yep. We were parked right next to it - could it be that that big building with the Hotel Kurrajong sign ? Amazing.
We dumped our stuff, then headed off to grab food and enjoy a late picnic by the lake. We detoured around Yarralumla a while looking at all the embassies. The Finland Embassy won hands down - the very definition of Scandinavian style.
We stopped at Lennox Gardens. Last time I was here I was watching stinky crazy runners do laps of Canberra. Much nicer this time. We munched away and marvelled that people swim in Lake Burley Griffin doing triathalons.
We drove across the lake to look at bike hire options. At this point I learned that the one thing that Cait REALLY wanted to do was ride around the lake. Really ? Yes, really. So we locked that in as a definite "to do" around which everything else would revolve. Sometimes the lovely Cait still surprises (make that "constantly surprises" actually).
We returned to the room, and chilled out for a while, considering our dinner options. One of the joys of camping that Cait doesn't fully appreciate, is the lack of stress when it comes to meal choices. All the time wasted considering cuisine, how to get there and back, what to wear, which wine, are we doing anything afterwards. Much easier when it is just noodles, peas, and powdered mash washed down with a nice milk powder and MILO, a quick squat in the bushes, then off to the tent. Bliss.
I must admit that the bar we went to was rather nice, and the red I had was superb - and we did walk there, so that was kind of like hiking. In a way. Especially the dark spooky walk through the park in the dark making jokes about serial killers and making scary noises (well that's what I was doing).
The next day we walked into town via a lap of Parliament House. It is not hard to find the place. It is a marvel. What you see on the TV is only a small part of how amazing this place is. Gardens, Memorials, sculptures, bushland pathways, rolling lawns, tennis courts and sports fields, exercise equipment, views to everywhere, and such a fabulous piece of architecture - all before you even think about going inside. We should all be proud Aussies having a place like this so accessible to the public (even if there are cameras everywhere and AFP with big guns keeping an eye on you). You can even drive around it, but don't stop or those AFP boys get cracking - as a little blue car discovered.
|now where is that Parliament House place ?|
|Memorial Garden for the Bali bombing and Flight MH17 victims|
|Lots of exercise equipment that our politicians clearly never use. Cait decided to sneak in a quick workout.|
|sight of the original Surveyors Camp and an historic building I thought was a public toilet.|
|I don't know where Wally is...|
|...but Caiti is at 568m above sea level|
|views across Canberra to the War Memorial|
Then it was off to ride bikes.
I did hope to get a few more snaps of us riding, but Cait took off like a rocket (if you listen carefully, you can hear the sound of no one being surprised). I had thought that 2 hours might just get a basic "Western Loop" in, but we ended up adding an extra segment because of the lovely speedy Cait, making a solid 23km ride. Later she would ask "but I thought we went over a dam?" Confused, I said "but we did". Puzzled, she asked "but I thought it would be like a big wall with lots of water?". More confused, I said "that's exactly what it was. You rode over the top of it". I had to show her photos to prove it. Obviously she was "in the zone" as she raced along. I would write "Tour de France here we come", except she was a bit crap on the hills, which did me give a chance to catch up though. I was slightly hampered by a hire bike that had a slipping chain and was threatening to remove my boy bits at any second. It was all over way too soon (the ride, not the genital crushing).
|on your marks - get set - "BANG !!"|
|off and racing|
|across to the Arboretum with a contribution from a random photo bomber|
|National Arboretum (Tree Museum). A very cool place, but for another day|
|Scrivener Dam - WOW !! like a big wall with lots of water|
|proof that Caiti crossed over the dam|
|proof that Caiti crossed over the dam|
|Lots of bird life. It's hard to believe our nation's capitol is really just a great big bushland park.|
Then we wandered over to FLORIADE. It was crap. Except for the bit with the mirrors. The little baby water birds were cute too. But Floriade was crap.
|cute little baby water birds|
Disillusioned, we wandered back to the hotel for a bite to eat. We decided on a return trip back to the War Memorial to purchase a scarf Cait just had to have, then I would go to the National Gallery of Australia. However, I buggered up a left turn and we ended up back where we started. The curse of Canberra strikes again. Instead the lovely Cait went off to snooze, while I wandered off for a bit of culture at the NGA.
Upon return, much discussion about dinner ensued, and after last nights fancy pants nosh, we settled on a pub with footy on the telly. Awesome.
The next day we head home, starting with a mellow Crowded House vibe, cranking up some Billy Idol, then roaring back into Sydney like Bats Out Of Hell to the roar of Meatloaf.
A great trip, spoiled only by not bumping into Anabel Crabb and being invited over for Friday night cocktails to discuss politics (and watch footy). Oh well, next time.