Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Too Many Times ...

... I've seen the sun come up through bloodshot eyes this week.

Particularly on Tuesday morning. However, I'm not complaining; it was a very nice end to a fantastic holiday!

So, here's how I spent my last day (and a bit) on Hamilton Island ...

It started out with a walk down to Foot Young's Gallery. He does some impressive sculptures in marble, bronze and granite. The subject matter consists predominantly of various sea creatures. I'll include a few in the photo set I'm planning for the next post.

I then went for a tour of the koala sanctuary and wildlife zoo. Pretty much what you'd expect: cockatoos, a cassowary, crocodile, wombat, a couple of kangaroos, some lizards, a frog and a snake ... and, of course, the very cute and cuddly koalas!

From there, I popped into the Resort Centre, to book a Reef Viewer cruise for the afternoon. While there, I discovered that there was a table tennis competition happening at 1pm that I could fit in before the cruise.

I came fourth out of about ten players, being beaten out of third place by a young whippersnapper who was sufficiently keen to have brought his own bat on holidays with him!

The Reef Viewer cruise was excellent, even though the overcast conditions meant that the coral appeared various shades of green, rather than their actual colours, through the glass bottom of the boat.

I met Michael at the Marina Tavern for a couple of cocktails and beers and some pool before dinner. We dined at Romano's, an excellent Italian restaurant; I'd say it was the best food we had during the holiday.

Our post-prandial plan was to check out the last couple of bars we hadn't tried. While waiting for the shuttle bus, we ran into two young ladies, Selena and Emily, who we'd seen sing a couple of duets at karaoke on Friday night. They asked whether we'd like to join them at the Toucan Tango Bar ... is the Pope a Catholic?!

They turned out to be lovely people. We played a couple of games of pool and drank a number of very interesting shots, concocted for us by Jamie, our Glaswegian barman.

When the bar shut, we retired to Emily and Selena's "bungalow" to kick on ... more beers, some pretty mediocre scotch, one of those horrible mixed drink cans and a couple of glasses of wine (no idea what Michael drank :-), plus a lot of good conversation.

It's kind of sad that we didn't hook up with these ladies earlier in the trip, but I'm not sure I'd have survived if we had done!

We ended up bidding them farewell and staggering back to the hotel just after 0500. Since we had to be on the bus to the airport at 0815, that didn't leave a lot of time for sleep!

Of course, that was no great change in my case; I calculate I caught ten hours across the three nights. As my old mate Barry Kyle would say ... "Sleep is death's rehearsal" :-).

The image below shows what our room looked like. This one's from the hotel's website, because I didn't think to take my own shot, but I swear they've photographed our specific room!