As Mike and I have both been lazy enough never to learn and pass our driving tests before now, we strolled through the CBD to the train station, having bought our tickets and made our way to the platform we heard an announcement that there were replacement buses as 5 stations tracks were being repaired. My heart sank! This, in the UK is when I get told to sort out my own taxis as the buses can’t have wheelchairs on them and asked if I can try to walk or offered to be carried around. This is reminiscent of a time we travelled from Southend to Hastings for Mike’s Nan’s Birthday dinner. Our rail service was so unorganised and unsympathetic to disabled travel that it took us 7hrs to do a 3hour train journey (or 1 1/2hr car ride – must get my license very soon!!).
We were approached by a lovely Aussie customer service advisor who said she’d seen us, called ahead and if there were no accessible buses they would call a taxi for us for no charge. To be honest I thought I’d still be asked to get up at some point (I can, but it hurts and why should I if that’s the case!). The Aussie trains are great there are space for 6 wheelchairs and enough seating for carers to be sat next to each one, plus there is a platform attendant for every 2 platforms ready to help you with a ramp and inform the conductor where you’re going!
We arrived at the midway point and went to the car park where we were asked to sit under a gazebo whilst they sorted out the crowds first. We watched in amazement as a couple of hundred people were directed, helped and seated on to 4 fully air conditioned coaches within 3 minutes! Something I’ve seen London Underground fail miserably at after 30+ minutes!
Next our turn... we were left rather smug and eating our words all at the same time when a 40 seated bus rocked up for Mike and I, yup for no one else just us! The ramp flopped out on to the pavement and on we got still looking for the other people that should have been filling these seats! Absolutely amazing; our transport services have so much to learn! The whole thing was repeated with ease on the way back.
|Where's Wal.... Lynsey.... our V.I.P bus!|
|Even their branded ketchup it totally awesome!|
After eating we had a chat with a HR merchandise seller called Cherry, she told us to head to the Q1 building, a 78 story skyscraper two blocks away, where you could pay to go to the viewing deck on the 77th floor and so we did! It was fantastic! The views of the Pacific Ocean, the coast line and city were amazing, when I get too excited I giggle and clap (if I didn’t look “special” enough already!) and there was a lot of that going on! Apart from flying this was the highest I’ve ever been about ground and your ears actually pop on the way up, which subsequently only takes 43 seconds from 1st to 77th floor! My camera got a real work out!
After heading back to Earth we made our way to the beach we had being admiring from above, the tide was coming in so we couldn’t stay long, the beaches were white and stunning, and the sky couldn’t have been bluer - lots more photos taken!
|The View from Q1|
We were obviously still starving after our Dunch (like brunch only between dinner and lunch!) I spotted a Baskin and Robin ice cream shop... have you noticed a cold creamy pattern here? Where we enjoyed ice creams as big as my head!... almost!
Again I came home exhausted and legs so swollen the skin had actually stretched! But it was so worth it all, and we were going on another adventure the next day!....