Uluru, Kakadu and Top End,
July 2003

Prologue and Preparations

10th December, 2002

Drop Cap oday we went to Jetset in Glenbrook and booked a holiday for next year. We decided to make it the APT tour of Ayers Rock, Kakadu and Top End as I have long wanted to see Uluru.

Drop Cap e have decided to join the tour by catching the Ghan train and had hoped to be able to do this from Sydney but on enquiry by the travel agent we discovered that the Ghan would no longer depart from Sydney after 1st April, 2003. So we will get the Indian Pacific to Adelaide and pick up the Ghan from there.

Drop Cap s this gets to Alice Springs on Monday about 11 am. and the tour starts at Uluru on Wednesday evening we will have one night's accommodation at Alice and take the 7 a.m. shuttle bus to Ayers Rock on Tuesday morning which arrives after lunch at Uluru. We will thus need an extra night also at Uluru which will give us a chance to relax and perhaps join one of the many activities available on Wednesday morning so our schedule on the tour itself can be a bit more relaxed, without us feeling that we have missed out on something.

Drop Cap he tour itself is 12 days and takes us from the Rock to the Olgas, Kings Canyon, Alice Springs, the Devil's Marbles, Katherine and its many gorges, Mataranka and Kakadu, Litchfield National Park and Darwin. Hopefully we might get a glimpse of Batchelor, site of our first home together.

Drop Cap e fly home from Darwin via Adelaide at the end of the tour. We have already booked and paid for the air tickets (it makes them a little less expensive) and paid a deposit on the rest. It would have been nice to be in Darwin where we were married, on 31st July, our 35th wedding anniversary but the dates don't work out. It will be quite close however.

Drop Cap uly is a good time for the Territory, dry season. This does not mean it will be cool, except in the desert at night around Ayers Rock, but hopefully, air conditioning has reached the Top End and we won't have to be too energetic.

Drop Cap will report later when arrangements are complete.

Tuesday, 13th May, 2003

Drop Cap oday we paid for the trip. So now all we have to do is wait for the documentation. APT has been quite efficient in past tours so it should be all right.

Monday, 16th June, 2003

Drop Cap oday we went to Jetset and picked up all the tickets, vouchers and itineraries. This is probably the earliest we have been able to do this so that is a bonus. All we have to organise now is getting home from the airport at the end of the tour. We will probably get our Airport Transfer bus man from up the mountain. (Anchor Minibusses at Lawson. This has now been arranged.)

Drop Cap e haven't been madly impressed with the Travel Agent (Rhea from Jetset in Glenbrook) this time. She has been so disorganised and does not seem to know what is going on. We always do our own homework for these things (which is a good thing, sometimes) and usually just want the Travel Agent to do the bookings for us. I can't believe that this is too difficult to cope with. Looks like we will have to find another agency for our next trip. Oh well.

Drop Cap n ringing Jetset a week later, to enquire about something a bit obscure in the documentation, as Rhea said to do, we were informed that Rhea no longer works there. Not surprising. We will probably give them another chance!

Drop Cap ext entry will be on tour!

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