Albany and beyond…

This morning we were off the ship and into Albany.  The cruise company had arranged busses to run a hop on hop off service all day, which was a great idea.  We had an earlyish breakfast and headed off the ship being scanned on the way out.

Kath and I had slightly different plans to L&G, they were heading to the Anzac memorial sites and we were heading into town.  Today was a Saurday and due to a debacle with our trip merchandise (long story) we were in the position where we had a whole bunch of stuff in our cabin that we didn’t want or need and as the post office closed at noon, we wanted to ship it home.  We could have given this to the cruise people to take off with them however considering the drama we had that resulted in us getting merchandise on the ship, I didn’t trust them to manage getting it back to us again.
The line up to get on a bus was about 30 meters long, and when we got to the front we were told that there were two runs happening. One that went to the memorial first, the other that went to the town first.  L&G were already on the bus at this point so they went ahead to the memorial and we waited for the next bus which took us into town and to the post office.
There’s were quite a few people in the same situation as us that had the same idea.  When we arrived at the post office we selected a box that would take our goods, carefully pack them in the box, and closed it up.  This seemed like the right thing to do, however not everyone thought like us, and a couple went straight to the line with 3 merchandise back packs, some empty and one full to the brim, and proceeded to dump them on the counter and make it the lady behind the counters job to package up their stuff.
This took about 20 minutes, meanwhile the line was nearly out the door.  This really irked me, I found it irksome. They did apologise for holding up the line, but the damage was done and we lost a fair bit of time.  Nevertheless we moved on and continued our day of exploring Albany with a quick walk around the town.  We picked up some soap (they only have that squeezy stuff on the ship), got some cash out, and jumped on the bus back towards the ship and onto the memorial.
As we got back to the boat the line up for busses was enormous!  It went around the corner and would have easily been 100 metres long.  The phrase ‘early bird’ springs to mind…
We stayed on the bus as it was heading to the memorial, it filled up quickly and we wew on our way. First we stopped at the memorial on top of the hill, took a few photos, and went up to the lookout where we could see the ship and took a few more photos.
From here it was down to the Anzac Centre that was recently constructed as part of the buld up to the centenary of the ANZAC’s. L&G were in line for entry however we decided to explore the area instead of spending the 60 odd minutes in line for access.  By all accounts it would have been worth the wait, so we’ll have to visit again when it’s not so busy.  It’s not like we need another reason to come back to WA though, considering we didn’t get to the Margret River on this trip ;). We’ll be back for sure.
We wandered around, checking out some of the other sights and displays.  There is an amazing lookout up the top of the hill overlooking King George Sound, where all the warships and troops were mustered prior to departing for Gallipoli.  We took some snaps, used the opportunity to make a few phone calls and the headed back to the ship for lunch. Coming back on is a little like the airport scanner, but they are mainly checking for alcohol.  We were scanned back in, and headed to lunch.
We departed Albany to much fanfare today as this was our actual departures from Australia.  There were literally 100’s if not 1000’s of people up on the hill waving goodbye, cars were lined up around the hill for miles.  It was pretty special. As we cruised out of port the ship sounded it’s incredibly loud horn over and over, it was completely deafening, but amazing at the same time.
The cruise staff were handing out Aussie and NZ flags and the everyone was up on deck as we sailed off.  How exciting!

That night we headed to the theatre to see Ross Wilson perform.  Another great performance and even though I don’t know many of his songs there was quite a few I did know and everyone was singing along, especially to Eagle Rock. The set went for about an hour with the band were exceptionally tight with very few mistakes, which was a great achivement considering the seas coming around the bottom corner of WA were the roughest we’ve seen.  The curtains on the stage where swaying back and forth, with Ross even commenting that “this ship is Rock’n!”
Dinner was after the cruise and was 1000 times better than the first restaurant dinner we had which was reminiscent of cardboard.  This evenings offering was tender, and delicious and we managed to find a dry white wine (a Muller) that satisfied our desire for a dry white. All up a great evening.

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