Australia and South Pacific travel blog

View from our hotel window


After a somewhat harrowing trip , we arrived in Sydney . Upon arriving in Dallas , we had a 3 hour layover before our flight to San Francisco . This became a 5 hour layover ( 2 hours on board the airplane ) due to storms in Ca . We were very concerned about making out Qantas connection . A guide met us at the gate and we literally ran through the airport . They did hold the plane for us and the doors closed even before we were in our seats . It was a fairly pleasant 14 hour flight . Of course , our luggage did not get aboard the airplane . Pete and I were hot and exhausted but we had to go out to shop . The climate is HOUSTON HOT ! Fortunately for us , we had packed one change of clothing . Silversea and Qantas were most helpful and our bags arrived the next morning although we did not receive them until late in the day as Australian Customs took their time in xraying them . Australia has very strict security. It was so hot at the airport , that I saw a first for me : a young man applying deodorant at the baggage carousel ! Opening our bags was much like Christmas for us . Early the next morning we were off with a car and driver to visit the Hunter Valley wineries . It is a beautiful area , much like the Napa Valley . I guess you would not be surprised that Pete was not much impressed with the wines . However , our driver was quite knowledgeable and we learned a bit about this country . The hot weather was broken that evening when heavy storms arrived . On Friday morning , we boarded our home for the next few weeks. It was quite pleasant to see many familiar faces among the crew and staff . They are all most welcoming so it gives us a nice feeling . The Silver Whisper sailed out of Sydney with a beautiful storm sky in the background of our photos . I cannot upload as many as I would like as this is via satellite and requires a lot of time . Maybe I will become more proficient in the future . Our first port of call was Newcastle and yes, it is a coal mining area . Sydney has a population of 4 million while Newcastle has only 250,000 . We found it to be much more charming but not really developed in the tourism industry . Again , a stormy morning which developed into a lovely afternoon . At 6pm we again set sail and at this time we are journeying towards the Solomon Islands and Guadalcanal . Of course, it is once again raining heavily . We have lots of books with us and there are always activities to keep us occupied . We hope you enjoy this short account as we are very happy to be able to stay in contact with our family and friends at home

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