in transit



Sunset from Auckland airport.

bikes general

the joys of the state capital

Well when I was out and about in Canberra (once I finally got there) my bike and I had some fun cruising around the place. The cunning plan of bringing my bike with me as check-on luggage, assembling at the airport, riding off, and then re-packing for the flight home, worked pretty well.

I also found some swans in Lake Burley Griffin. Thankfully they didn’t attack me when they discovered I wasn’t carrying any bread.

general travel

an ode to airports

Yesterday I spent nine hours in airports and aeroplanes. For the sake of flying from Melbourne to Canberra in the morning, and back again in the evening. The first culprit was the ice. As we sat in the plane at 0730 we waited for the de-icing equipment (a man with a ladder, a bucket of warm water and a credit card) along with a lot of other planes. Then came the good news! Thanks to a security breach (some contractor passed their keys around the security barrier) the entire domestic terminal was being cleared. Including us lucky folk already on planes. We all had to file out to wait to go through security again, while staff wandered around poking things in shops in the secure area with sticks.

After passing through security again at 0930 and finally boarding, we naturally once more experienced the joy of queuing as our plane waited to be allowed to take off. This required some waiting, and some manoeuvring of other planes which had arrived but had not been allowed to disembark.

[insert fun part of the day where I ride around Canberra on my bike visiting people]

And then I checked in and found out my flight back to Melbourne was pushed from 2030 to 2200, no wait, make that 2235, and I’d just missed being bumped to the earlier Melbourne flight. *mutter*

general travel

the end of the story

So the story ends with a train ride from Nong Khai to Bangkok. The day train reveals the Thai countryside looking bare and dry, and very much like Australia in places. Although it does have floppy eared Brahman cows running around to keep things entertaining, as well as the occasional expanse of water, or limestone outcrop.

Back in Bangkok, I decide I never want to go there again. Khao Sanh road is a cesspit of evil – at night it pounds with music, neon lights glare from everywhere, sun-soaked tourists wearing far too little crowd the street, and vendors pack the arena. It’s impossible to move, and I have the flu.

The one thing that saves Khao Sanh road is that there is someone there making the banana and chocolate pancakes I fell in love with in Ton Sai three years ago. I eat one as we walk towards the airport bus to make our escape.

The only stopper in the whole escape plan is that we’re both coming down with some sort of evil Bird Flu virus, and my ears are blocking up. I am warned that my ear drums will explode, that I should delay my flight by two days if my ears don’t improve overnight, and pay far too much money for some antibiotics and eardrops and other hocus pocus medicine from the medical centre in the Bangkok airport. It’s midnight, and we abscond to a hotel in the hope that a good nights sleep will reduce the chances of exploding ear drums. The foyer looks like a scene from a Wild West movie, but they have rooms with beds.

Waking up at 5am from a night of fevered sleep, we catch a racing taxi to the airport. 140km/hr in a 90 zone gets us there in no time. My ears don’t feel good, but I can force them to unblock, which I figure is better than nothing.

They don’t explode. I am relieved.


see vegas, i told you it would all fit

So, everything is packed into very heavy bags.

Item One – Heavy Backpack
Item Two – Heavy Ski Bag and Boot Bag
Item Three – Crash pad in cardboard box
Item Four – Carry On thingos = rope bag and laptop bag

lots of important things

Once my plane leaves DC I’ll be landing in Melbourne 28 hours later. Won’t that be fun. Although I’ll start travelling 4 hours before that, so I can actually get to the airport and check in. Then once I get to Melbourne, I have to move house :)

Depart DC – 3.45pm Tuesday East Coast US time / 5.45am Wednesday Melbourne time
Arrive Melbourne – 7.40pm Wednesday East Coast US time / 9.40am Thursday Melbourne time