Day 36 – May 14th

I am left to my own devices this morning. Everyone is going to a retail outlet which is about a 20-minute drive.

Left the apartment complex around 10:45 and believe it or not I could not find my way out. Finally backtracked to the carpark where Pat parks and went out that way. Could be a dangerous move letting Wendy take my Credit Card. I walked a short distance down to South Congress and found a trendy Japanese Restaurant (Lucky Robot) that opens at 11 AM (now). Ordered an appetizer of Pork and Shrimp Dumplings and an Entrée (Main) Spicy Chicken Bowl. Some of the best Japanese food I have ever eaten. Sure, got a sweat up eating it.

I browsed the shops on South Congress and found another shirt to buy. Just what I needed another shirt. It is humid in Austin.

The crew are back at 4 with a fair number of shopping bags.

Around 5ish we headed to a BBQ place housed in an old Iron Works and unsurprisingly called Iron Works. It is advertised as real Texas BBQ. The restaurant had been recommended to us by a local barman and our friend Cheryl. The food was ok but not as good as the ribs I had at Rendezvous’ in Memphis a few years back.

Pat dropped Dowie and Cara at the famous Graffiti Park ay nearby Castle Hill Pretty spectacular if you are into that sort of thing. Sadly, it is to be demolished to make way for a housing development. We drove past the New Orleans Saint’s Bar (Shoal Creek Saloon) which is a Mecca for expat New Orleanians when the Saints are playing. The place has 31 T.V’s to watch the games.

The Continental Club on South Congress is a famous Austin Music Venue which has been in operation for over 60 years. At 6:30 there is a young trio playing (the Peterson Brothers). Funk/Jazz Fusion and a little Blues. Free entry. They are pretty good. I think Pat and Wendy were surprised when I told them I have their C.D.

Driving around Austin as we have done for the last 3 days I have noticed how clean the City is. Also, the number of food trucks around the place is staggering. Each neighborhood has its own little restaurant hub. I like this city a lot.

At 8 o’clock we are off to meet Dowie and Cara as are hundreds of other tourists on the South Congress Bridge to watch the nightly awaking of some 1.5 million bats as they take off for nightly foraging. They leave around dusk from March through to November and are a must see. At 8:45 we are still waiting, at 9:00 we are still waiting then at 9:10 I thought I saw a few shadowy shapes. I guess us Aussies had imagined that the bats would be the size of our own Fruit Bats which was not the case and so initially I thought the show a bit underwhelming. Once we moved a little further along the bridge and could see more clearly where they were emerging from it was cool. Check it out

Our road trip is coming to an end as tomorrow we start back for the nine-hour drive back to New Orleans. It has been a fantastic 6-day adventure that would not have been possible without our lovely friend Pat taking time off work to drive us through the wonderful State of Texas taking in San Antonio, Gruene, and Austin. We will forever be grateful.


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