Traveller Letters: Our 'big, beautiful wall' is better than yours, Trump

HOUNDING TRUMP

In response to the article and main photo in "Bigger, Better, Best" (Traveller, October 31), Donald Trump, eat your heart out. Our "Big, beautiful wall" - otherwise known as the 5614-kilometre long dingo fence - is certainly bigger and better than yours.

Sherry Cook, Mount Colah, NSW

CALLS OF THE WILD

Anthony Dennis was spot on when he said that mobile coverage was patchy to non-existent in outback NSW (Traveller, October 31). Having returned from two weeks there I was appalled at the telecommunications service, or lack of it. I had been warned I needed Telstra. As I had a carrier that used the Telstra network, I presumed I'd be okay. How wrong was I? Telstra only sells part of their network to other providers. My bit of advice when travelling in regional NSW is to buy a "full" Telstra sim and use it. And yes, many of the roads are rough and you do need a four-wheel drive.

Cate Ryan, Balmain East, NSW

SADDLE SORE

As a cycle tour operator of Australian Cycling Holidays in South Gippsland, Victoria, we are keen to help people get out into the fresh air. Often that means transferring cyclists and bikes back to their cars/public transport at the end of their trip. We are now advised that, due to COVID-19 restrictions, we can only do transfers of up to to 30 minutes. We routinely transfer cyclists and their bikes for up to 60 minutes. This limitation will mean that fresh air tours can no longer be offered. If people can fly or catch buses with others they don't know, why can't we transport them with people who they do know?

Angela Mosley, Leongatha, VIC

INSTANT GRATIFICATION

We have just returned from a most enjoyable circumnavigation of NSW in our campervan, travelling anticlockwise from Sydney. In view of Rod Cunich's letter (Traveller letters, October 31) about service standards in regional Australia, I wanted to relate a lovely incident that sticks in my mind. We reached Bombala late on a Sunday with the petrol station still open but the supermarket having closed. I asked if there was anywhere I could buy coffee and the kind lady at the service station said that everywhere was now shut. She then went to their tea room and was prepared to give me a small amount of instant coffee to tide me over.  I wanted ground coffee but I left Bombala, feeling warm and fuzzy inside.

Diana Kincaid, Glenorie, NSW

THIS ONE'S A CORKER

Rod Cunich and other letter writers describe the hospitality service in Australia as poor. Let's think about who might be working in these businesses. The young and unskilled working for a minimum wage, if they are lucky, with hospitality not being their life-long career choice. Rather than taking offence at the waiter who didn't know how to open a bottle of wine, enjoy the moment and have a laugh. Everyone has to have a first day. I would bet many young people don't know how to use a corkscrew. There are good and bad workers all around the world. Personally I have had a mix of both here and overseas, but it hasn't put me off travelling. I appreciate good service when I get it.

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Claire Rodier, Glen Waverley, VIC

OUT OF AFRICA

Rod Cunich, were the places you visited in Africa off the beaten track or were they tourist destinations that see thousands of tourists every month? I don't see how you'd expect a museum in rural NSW to be open for 40 hours a week when they're used to seeing a grey nomad pull through every now and then, or a restaurant to have full time professional wait staff when they have four covers a night. If you , and many others, had been spending your tourism dollars in rural Australia over the last few decades maybe the tourism infrastructure you seek might be in place. I have a suggestion, instead of complaining about some minor elements of a trip, why don't you mention some of the great things about country Australia, encouraging others to go, and see the level of service improve with greater tourist numbers.

Tom Radford, Tamworth, NSW

CAMELEERS TO PIONEERS

It would seem Beryle Bevan's Broken Hill mosque visit (Traveller Letters, October 31) was much more elegant than my equivalent, namely the mosque in Marree, South Australia. Built around 1882, it was basically a mud and timber construction, with a roof of dried sheoak leaves. It has a dedication at the front which says: "This is a memorial park dedicated to the memory to the pioneering Muslim cameleers and families of Hergott Springs (Marree). May you enjoy its peace and tranquility." There was also a cairn nearby, shaped like a peaked hat, erected by Mrs Colleen Hutchison, with a similar dedication to the cameleers.

Anthony Healy, Willoughby East, NSW

INDIAN BUMMER

Further to the recent comments on credit cards in Traveller letters, I was informed by Allianz - the insurer of my ANZ platinum card - that they had a pandemic exclusion clause even though the insurance was activated in November 2019, well before shutdowns. Basically I had no COVID-19 related insurance while trying to return from India during lockdown. I'm confused.

Julie McNall, Grose Vale, NSW

ROOM CANINE

I wouldn't worry, Richard Trembath (Traveller Letters, October 31), American motels have designated dog-friendly rooms and from personal experience I can tell him that the ones at Motel 6 are the rattiest rooms furthest from reception. It is unlikely he would be allocated one of those rooms.

Sue Rose, Portland, NSW

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