Arrivals & Departures Weekly Travel News & Views 17 October, 2023

Isafjordur, Iceland.

Travel Editor Stephen Scourfield has news of our big Christmas Gala Dinner, as he tucks into another week in Travel


A reader says he chose Qatar Airways over Emirates for travel to Europe in order to earn Qantas credits. Qatar is a One World partner with Qantas. Rohan explains: “However, Qantas denied points and status credits saying our fare type did not qualify. The tickets do not show a fare type nor did our travel agent know of this hidden requirement.” As I understand, Qatar Airways Economy Classic, Economy Convenience S-class, Group and Lite fares do not qualify for Qantas points. On Monday, I asked Qatar’s media team to confirm this, and as we went to press, I was still waiting to hear back.


Reader Sandy Hudson enjoyed what she calls our “enriching and memory-filled article on Isafjordur” last weekend. She writes: “Not a lot has changed since l lived and worked nearby in Sudavik (Iceland), aged 21, back in 1978. I worked in the cod factories — filleting, de-worming, packing, drying, cleaning, salting, stacking. You name it, we did it with cod! It was an amazing time and included the winter, during which season we did not see the sun for two months. Sudavik back then was a town of 200 residents and we would have our supply of alcohol delivered once a week from Isafjordur. A memorable evening was New Year’s Eve, when the party started at midnight!”


Speaking of celebrations, we have just launched our Christmas Gala Dinner 2023. It’s going to be our big Christmas party, at The University Club of Western Australia (our great friends, and where we recently held our Festival of Travel). It will be the “Best of Travel” in food, music and words. It’s very exciting, and I hope you will join us. We will particularly celebrate the coast of WA from Geraldton to the Abrolhos Islands, Shark Bay and the Ningaloo Coast, and its produce.


And there are just a few seats left to join me on a charter flight direct from Perth to Uluru for a three-night stay which includes New Year’s Eve.


Luxury Escapes has a sharp deal from Berkeley River Lodge in the Kimberley, which was very busy last dry season. And they have new 2024 dates. Five nights at the all-inclusive adults-only Kimberley coastal camp, with charter plane transfers is $9499 per room (and valued at $16,250). Travellers can buy now and choose dates later. 1300 701 198


I’ve been put straight by colleague Sandy Guy. Writer Sandy, who lives in England, had a story on tea in England in Saturday's print edition. She sent the story and I replied, referring to it as “high tea”. Here is Sandy’s rebuke to me: “Just a note re ‘high tea’. For some reason, afternoon tea has become referred to as ‘high tea’ in Australia. I don’t know why. The Brits always have a chuckle about this, as in Britain high tea has always been a working class tea at about 5pm — ie, some stew or a sandwich, or bread and dripping back in the day, with a pot of tea. I haven’t brought this up in my article as I didn’t want to sound pretentious. But anyway, just FYI.” Righto. I stand corrected. Afternoon tea it is.


Which reminds me of my time on board one of Adventure Canada’s ships in the North West Passage. Jason Edmunds, expedition leader and Inuk from Nunatsiavut, was clear about how meals would be called on the ship: “Lunch is dinner. Dinner is tea.”


Before reader Peter Lonergan went to Vietnam, I tried to help with some suggestions and recommendations. Peter writes: “Vietnam was everything and more . . .

“Hoi An is unique and I can now see why it is one of your favourite places. On a bike tour we visited home industries and one chap was making rice wine, the varying flavours including Krait. Krait is more known to us as the renamed fishing boat that went back into Singapore and caused havoc to so much Japanese shipping in WWII.”

“Da Nang different — most friendly and an experience that we enjoyed. Each of our six mornings there we went across the road to the beach at 5.30am and literally there were hundreds there. On the second morning my wife Dof joined in a laughing group and was a most welcome member thereafter.”

“In Hue the imperial history is so interesting and every bit as intriguing as European. UNESCO are relying on photographs to rebuild the palaces there.”

Peter concludes: “My apologies for rambling on but we found it a mystery that we met so very few fellow Australians. It is everything one could ask for on a holiday. Thanks again for your recommendations.”