30 December 2010


Not too many photos of Kyoto yet. We've been looking for the Protocol
but haven't seen it yet. Maybe tomorrow.

The area we're staying in next to Ginza is cool, but the ryokan
"Tanaka-Ya" is a bit of a disappointment. No common room, no wi-fi
even though they advertise it, and the so-called "private bathroom"
just isn't. But we won't get mad, we'll just get our review

But it's clean and tidy and in a good location, so we're good.

27 December 2010

28 October 2010

10 Out of 10 to Queensland Rail

It's pouring rain in Brisbane, and staff at South Brisbane Station are handing out raincoats for free! It wouldn't happen in NSW.

25 July 2010

Diving off Cairns

Went out on Tusa 5 today. Not a bad boat, not a great one. Competent, and I'd go out with them again.

In theory it was $230 for 3 dives (1 free), all gear, lunch and minor snacks. But if you didn't have a buddy you had to fork out $20 extra to dive with the dive master. Also, add $10 for entry to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (the operator collects it on behalf of the government).

The BCD and other gear was all ok - computers were standard. The tanks were only 7.9 kg, so ask for a larger tank if you use a lot of air.

Lunch was good. The very lengthy intro by the boat host was interminable, especially while he thought he was being funny. The boat was fine with 4 toilets (with 2 showers), but the cabins needed better air con as they smelled a little.

The on board photographer was nice, but a bit pushy.

We left at 8am and were back at 4:30. We went to Norman Reef which was a fair way out.

Crew were all friendly, with English, Japanese and Deutsche speakers.

I had booked over the phone - the lady said she'd fax my confirmation and details of where to board to my hotel. She never did.

Overall, it was a good day, and reasonable value.

24 July 2010


Off to far North Queensland for a week of work! Unfortunately the
first leg is on jetstar, so it's already a bad start. This flight is
delayed 40 minutes, but the only way I found that out was to ring
jetstar, since there was noone at gate 53 - just a lot of bemused

When you ring JetTard the first thing you get is a 40" advertisement
for their credit card. I'd love to know who would think that their
credit card service would be better than their airline service...

16 May 2010

I was hoping for 350

but 322 km/h will do. TGV is comfy, quiet and a nice way to travel.

Mimi with...

... her €15 Deutsche ancient camera from Strasbourg

14 May 2010

Outside the front door


… and down the street is the most sensational butcher. Last night’s raw slivers, and tonight’s 1” steak were amazing.

Friday’s trip


450 km in 2:20 hours. A Metro and rail system with 2 minutes between services. Unified ticketing. Maybe a thousand or so metropolitan metro and RER stations. It all just works. And Sydney can’t do a 1/5 of it. Thank you Australian Labor Party (NSW Branch).