Day 3: IT’S BEEN TOO DRY FOR TOO LONG
Julie and I slept in for a bit on this day as I hadn’t planned on seeing any waterfalls on this day. As we checked out of our room at the Comfort Inn, the lady at the desk told us that the screw-up with the booking was with the tour operator.
Uh oh. Julie’s fears were true.
So since we planned to roam the CBD for a little bit before checking out their Parliament District, we took this opportunity to peruse an internet cafe that was a bit on the expensive side. Since Julie felt compelled to use it to try to communicate with GoWay about the booking snafu, it was a price we were willing to pay. Who knows what else got screwed up?
Once that was done, we walked back into the CBD to have a lunch. Julie had a kabob wrap craving as she knew Oz was one of the few places where you could get such a thing with sweet chili spread within the wrap. And after the satisfying lunch at a takeaway place called Ali Baba’s, we returned to the car parked at the motel and proceeded to drive towards the fancy government buildings at 11am.
The center of Canberra was basically a well-planned series of gardens, government buildings, and war memorials spanning several city blocks. In the middle was the parliament house with its unusual prismatic structure hovering in the middle of the building. Around it was the memorable Anzac Parade, which led up to the War Memorial. We also had a chance to see an impressive fountain (hey, aren’t they on water restrictions?) in Lake Burley Griffin.
There were numerous other interesting things we checked out in our brief tour of Canberra’s Commonwealth Park, which reminded Julie of something similar she saw in Geneva, Switzerland; except she thought the Swiss one was more impressive – and that’s saying something.
Anyways, after a brief visit inside the Parliament House, we finally headed out to Tumut at 1:07pm.
After more driving on wide highways through more brown and dry farmlands, we eventually arrived at the Tumut Visitor Center at 3:35pm. While in there, I was picking up some free literature when I noticed a pamphlet talking about Buddong Falls. Since I didn’t expect to see any waterfalls today, I thought perhaps maybe we might squeeze this one in today if it was close enough to Tumut.
Well, it turned out to be less than 30 minutes away and the sun doesn’t set until after 8pm. So I figured why not.
But Julie urged that I ask the clerk at the visitor center about whether it was flowing or not. And the lady told me the falls would be trickling at best.
“It’s been too dry for too long,” she said. The warm, cloudless weather certainly made things feel dry, I reckoned. I guess you can’t win them all.
And with that, I caved in to Julie’s urge to get to the motel to check in.
When we arrived at the motel, the first thing Julie noticed was that it was no longer a Comfort Inn Motel. The address was right, but the building was not. Instead, it was the Ashton Townhouse Motel.
It was yet another screw up on GoWay’s part, she thought.
Anyhow, we paid for this night out of pocket and used the free internet there to inform our GoWay rep about the problem here.
“We’re not using GoWay again,” Julie kept telling me.
Anyways, at least we had a place to stay.
After getting settled, we walked around the sleepy town. There were a few cafes open, but we ended up settling for some pizza place called Eagle Boys to save a little money. I got some kind of pizza they called “The Australian,” which was kind of a reef and beef pizza – i.e. sausages and shrimp (oops, I mean prawns). It was a filling meal, but we couldn’t help but feel guilty for eating something so greasy.
And so ended another eventful day in Oz. We spent a warm night thinking about tomorrow’s excursion, which would put us out of New South Wales and into the state of Victoria across the Murray River. I kept my fingers crossed for similar successful waterfall sightings, but something ominously told me that Victoria would be considerably drier than NSW had been…