Before the rest of the household awoke, Earl and I crept out for one last attempt at finding the Pheasant Coucal that we saw two weeks ago. It was cool and overcast so our chances were favourable. The birds were active but there was no sign of the coucal until Earl sensed a movement and turned to see the bird quietly perched in a distant tree. Usually this birds calls but today he was silent. The bird flew off and then obligingly perched quite close by enabling us to get some good shots. It was a good end to our time in Cardiff.
When I was in England in July I became quite accustomed to hopping on and off trains to get from point A to point B but when I suggested to Earl that we take the train from Cardiff to Sydney he was not so sure. Aunt has done it several times but without luggage. No problem, I said with the confidence of a seasoned traveller, our bags are after all, on wheels. So when Plan B of getting a lift with one of the cousins became an impractical proposition due to the post Christmas holiday traffic we jumped back to plan A. And what a pleasure it was. Colette and Leonie took us to the station a mere 2 minutes away, we got tickets at $8.40 each, stowed our luggage behind the seats in the ‘quiet carriage’ walked up a couple of steps to the top deck and relaxed in comfortable seats for the 2-hour trip. Most of the other passenger were encumbered with luggage too. Our route took us through beautiful scenery – more trees, rivers and lakes to admire and before we knew it we arrived at Sydney Central!
Now my darling husband is not a happy traveller and gets very insecure in unfamiliar surroundings. I have absolutely no sense of direction whatsoever but quite enjoy an adventure and usually manage to find my way in the end. Of course I am not afraid to ask for directions! Without too much difficulty and careful reading of signs we found an exit that led to the taxi rank. Hubby clung tightly to the luggage while I boldly approached a cab driver and asked for a lift. He was not the friendliest Aussie I’ve met but he got us safely to our destination – Kantine Cafe -where our hosts work. After a complementary coffee and croissant at the cafe our hostess gave us the key and instructions and we made our way to the unit dragging our luggage behind us. There were a few moments of confusion but we finally go there and made ourselves at home.
We were planning to meet up with Cousin Wayne tomorrow but as Earl was trying to contact him on his mobile, Tamara messaged me on Facebook to say they were making their way into the city by train. It was a beautiful evening and walking through the city to meet them made me feel like I could have been back in Paris or London! Wayne and Tamara’s friends, Steve and Gerri joined us and we had a fantastic meal at Captain Torres Tapas Restaurant. Afterwards we walked back and Gerri gave me some good tips of where to go in Sydney. It promises to be an exciting week!