Monday, March 25, 2013

Day 10 - Homeward Bound

Sunday 24th March 2013

Quite a good night for me. We had most windows open and it got a little cool. Nothing nicking a doona off one of the single beds didn’t fix.  Island Coastal Units are very nice and great value. Understandably when aiming to keep the costs under control and tariff as low as possible some little economies have been made. The towels are quite small, there’s only one pillow I can’t see extra blankets anywhere, but there is an air conditioner if you need it.
We require a rapid departure today so we are all business packing and breakfasting, showering (as short as possible, water is precious here to not on mains supply). We’re off and away by 8.30 am passing yet another kite which is hunting, hovering about the fields as we leave American River.
It’s a fairly quick trip, 25 minutes into Kingscote, hubby travelling at a pace to which I have become quite unaccustomed, only possible in the last decade since they tarred roads on the island, or so I overheard yesterday. It’s another rainy day, though it seems that showers don’t last very long. Petrol at the BP is offered at 165.9 cents per litre. It seems the rains of the cooler seasons have arrived and I know that they are more than welcome to local residents, human and animal alike. I’m kicking myself for not stopping to photograph the dry creek and river beds. It would be interesting to compare them if we do get back here at a more verdant time of year.
Yep, that's our rental there on the left of this shot! Way too far to walk, clearly! LOL 
It’s very quiet when we arrive at the airport. Big city habits are hard to break. Hubby suggests perhaps we should pull up in the parking spot immediately outside the terminal entrance to drop our luggage…. And then…. Ah.. park over there. We laugh. Our parking spot for the rental car is just across the narrow road.  Haha. How about we just park over there and be done with it.
We seem to be the only passengers here. We needed to allow some time here for any rearranging of the luggage weight across articles. Hmm. No queue to check in. That’s handy. We weight all bags and I am nothing less than amazed that every bag is showing as A OK on the old school scales.  I am sure these scales must be a bit more generous than the digital ones in Adelaide. Good, that’s a relief!
I find myself a power point and kill the time until our flight.. which we discover is a half hour later than I was thinking, by catching up on some journalling  The battery on my little e-machine is fairly useless these days. A new laptop sits prominently on my shopping list before we go to New Zealand in June.
At a more sensible arrival time, our fellow passengers turn up in a bit of a scrum. I'm pleased to have arrived early, though there are only about 12 passengers on the early flight this morning, evenly spaced around the plane which I suppose is due to the need to balance weight distribution.
We amuse ourselves during the very short flight by capturing some images of the small plane. Hubby goes for the wing, I go for prop and clouds and interesting angles.
At Adelaide we alight and are bussed across to a special, remote, Rex terminal and emerge blinking wondering where in heck we are. This disorientation is rapidly overcome and is appreciated as we learn something new on the way to the departures terminal. 
It stands to reason but assistance dogs need a toilet too. Here at the airport they have a conveniently located, fenced area complete with fake fire hydrant and fake grass, there’s obviously a drainage system for hosing the area down. But don’t think any old passing pooch can avail themselves of this state of the art facility. This is for assistance dogs only. 
I had allowed what I had begun to think was a stupidly long lag between flights today, but it all turns out well. We spend a while reweighing our bags to test my theory about differences in scales. Yeah. Not by a huge amount but there’s certainly a difference. We are still OK overall though. We rearrange things so the hand luggage is as light as possible and complete our check in. Hubby struggles but finally masters the unexpectedly error prone process of attaching luggage tags to his suitcase.  Sheesh, those airline workers make it look so easy haha. 
Bags dropped it is time to find something to eat, and get some exercise walking up and down the terminal checking out the options. Most offerings of any size are about $20, sandwiches about $8 or 9.  Hungry Jacks doesn’t make my short list. I really don’t want to spend up big. We end up sharing a toasted chicken Panini at a compromise price of about $14.50 and hubby has a large cappucino for $5.20.  We also sampled some cold, not very nice sweet offerings we don’t see around much. Meh. We wouldn't pay $5 for those again. 
We’re making a staged return to the world. At American River we made the discovery that Federal Labor has been busily presenting a competent and united front.  Ahem.  Oh FFS. It’s in the newspaper again and hubby is busily reading the paper provided at the airport cafĂ©. I’m over it. Seriously over it. We head back to our departure gate. Delight of delights. There is a business hub space free and I plug myself in and continue work. It’s great to be able to make some use of these periods of enforced down time.
Flying out of Adelaide, Glenelg is easily identifiable by its tall glass fronted modern buildings as we climb steadily up through the clouds.  Within half an hour the clouds have cleared and we pass over a township by the mighty Murray River which wiggles and squirms its way to the sea at Adelaide.
I manage some journalling until the battery dies. Sigh. We must be into NSW now. We see scattered plots of broadacre crops among large swathes of grazing land. A small township by a ribbon on green as another river makes a run across the country.  Perhaps this is the Murrumbidgee.
Cloud drifts past as Top Gear’s 50 Years of Bond Cars provides entertainment on drop down screens throughout the plane.  Richard Hammond reads an excerpt from the book of Casino Royale and a glance out the window suggests we've reached the central west with its more intensive cropping.  Cloud is visible across to the east. Sydney’s wet summer is transitioning to a wet Autumn by the looks. Predictably the plane dips forward as we begin our descent into Sydney, gradually losing altitude as the wilderness of the Blue Mountains World Heritage area passes below.  Warragamba dam, across the wide stretch of suburbia then we head to the south and out to sea and back across and past the Royal National Park and Port Hacking drawing closer and closer to the waters of Botany Bay before we touch down at Sydney’s Kingsford Smith Airport.  Home. I am annoyed because on the plane they have made what I regard as bullshit statements to the effect of “you aren't allowed to bring a long list of fruits, vegetables, seeds, honey etc into Sydney”.  Oh yeah.  A hostie comes to warn me that the quarantine officials might take my pussy grass off me. “Well, I guess we’ll see.” She’s trying to be tactful, but is just patronizing.  We emerge from the plane. Sydney’s 30 C weather plainly felt in the stuffy heat of the airbridge. I look around. Where are all the quarantine officials? Where is some signage about these strict rules we've been told apply,  and the promised bins for depositing contraband. Oh.. this is SYDNEY airport. No quarantine on domestic arrivals here. NONE. ZILCH. ZIP.  Not a sign, not an honour system. Nothing.
We collect our luggage and high tail it down to the train station in good time to buy our tickets and catch the next train home where we find a catastrophe has occurred. Hubby goes to move the rug in the family room and it is sopping wet. Really sopping wet. What the? Oh look at that. The fish tank is half empty. &%^*. Well, that brings us down to earth with a thud.  The next three or so hours is spend removing wet rug outside to hang over the rail of the al fresco area, removing the fish tank with the assistance of two year old grandson who cheers us with his enthusiastic cries of  "fishies, catch?"  Moving the big entertainment thingy to check underneath and inspect the damage to our beautiful (and rather expensive) solid timber floor. Luckily this problem seems to have arisen recently and damage is minimal to start with and hopefully will improve over time as it dries out. Thank god for the incredible absorbency of woollen rugs! 
So much for a quiet happy evening of holiday news and relaxation!
PS Next morning the floor is already looking much drier, so fortunately we think there's not much lasting damage done. Phew.

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