I knew it would happen. But I didn’t think it would happen so soon and so often.
What’s the problem? Booking accommodation last minute during the summer holidays? No. Finding stuff to do to amuse my 4 year old daughter? No! Not that either, she’s having a whale of a time. Traffic? No! You know it’s not that!
Problems getting an Internet connection? Oh yes. Everywhere.
You don’t want to know about all the problems I’ve had but here they are anyway. You will know that our first stop was Yamba. We stayed at a Big 4 holiday park with “Internet access”. Turns out this access is kiosk based so just step into the queue. But the office shuts at 7 o’clock. So get all your work done before then.
If that doesn’t suit, you are welcome to pay for wireless access at a cost o $20 a pop. Just be prepared to take everything you need – laptop, documents, torch, chair and beer out of your comfortable cabin and then see if you can find a cosy spot 30 metres from reception so you can pick up a signal.
Next stop was Port Macquarie. This time we chose a Best Western which boasted free Internet. It was. But with a cable connection. My wife needed access and so did I. Guess who won! But I worked offline and then made a post, (the previous post on this blog) when she had finished with it. Success!
Then we got to Sydney, staying for 3 nights. Wireless access available at a very reasonable $10 for 12 hours. But not for me! My room got the strongest signal from access point 4 but I couldn’t connect. So I took my laptop to reception who connected it to point 6 with no problems. So I walk back to my room, with the connection still working. Until I got there.
Unfortunately, 6 doesn’t reach my room, so I am disconnected on arrival. Turns out 4 had a fault. I was, of course, welcome to stand outside reception with my laptop, documents, torch, chair and beer to get online. Thanks – but no thanks. In fairness to Best Western, and their very helpful owners, this was fixed by the 3rd night of my stay. But I missed it, I was out late.
Next stop was Bateman’s Bay. To get a wireless connection, we were told to “walk to the reception area with your laptop (and documents, torch, chair and beer if you want it) to connect. Then return to your cabin. The connection will still be there”. No it won’t!
Next we stopped at Lakes Entrance. Internet access was $10 for two hours but once you log on, (not a simple task from past experience) you have to use it all up at once. We had arrived late and were leaving early. We couldn’t be bothered. We were going to be at Melbourne next for 2 nights. We’d get access there.
No we won’t! Access was by cable. The cable was in the bedroom. Our four year old daughter would be asleep in there when we needed to work. “No”, said reception. “We cannot move the cable.”
Today, right now, we are staying at Warrnambool. Again, in a Best Western. It has wireless Internet. It works like a dream. Turn on your laptop and connect. Easy. And it’s free! I wish it could have been that simple everywhere. But it hasn’t been.
Some of you may be thinking “Why didn’t you get the G3 thingy”? Well, we did! Unfortunately, the G3 network extends (so far on our travels) to Sydney and er… Melbourne. So we could connect in those places. But, regular as clockwork, our G3 service would disconnect every 10 minutes.
To reconnect, simply restart your computer, stand on your head and face west. That’s not true, of course. But there were enough hoops to jump through to get it re-connected again that for every 10 minutes online you spent 15 minutes to set it up. So, a complete waste of time.
This post is completely off track. We’re supposed to be having a holiday in Australia together. And we are! If this post has achieved anything (other than confirming I am a whinging pom), it has given you our route.
Yamba – Port Macquarie – Sydney – Bateman’s Bay – Lakes Entrance – Melbourne – Warrnambool ………
Tomorrow we depart for Shepparton – Forbes – Dubbo – Moree and then home – Brisbane.
Those are our stopovers. But we visit many more places in between. You will get to hear about all of it. See the pictures. Watch the videos. Your holiday will just be a little delayed. That’s all. I just can’t imagine getting anymore posts up between now and home. I don’t think they have traffic lights on the route home, let alone Internet.
But stay tuned. I owe you a holiday.