Air Travel Again
Well it's time to say goodbye Sydney, hello Melbourne. We've loved our time in Sydney, even managing to have a happy Christmas away from family and friends, but Australia's a big country and there are other places to see.
I am already feeling tense at the prospect of flying again, for someone who hates flying this is quite a trip. The packing has already been done and a quick tidy round the flat sees us ready to go. Mark is determined to manage to get his fishing rod through check in if at all possible, we'll see.
The airport is at Botany Bay, where Captain Cook made Britain's claim to Australia in 1770 and we will leave Sydney. Although the penal colony was supposed to be built here the land was not considered good enough and it was moved to Sydney.
We drop off the hire car and go to check in where we have to print our own bag tags, a nightmare. Believe it or not Mark is allowed to take his fishing rod through customs, but will he get it on the plane. At check in he is told it may be considered a weapon so we'll see - I didn't think he'd get this far with it!
We have a leisurely wait in departures so make the most of it with a snack of wedges to help the bottle of red go down. An announcement informs us that our plane is delayed - only 16 minutes, so we don't need to rush. Mark is allowed to take his fishing rod on the plane, probably due to the fact it is much like bus travel in such a large country and the flight is internal.
We take off on a runway which juts out into the bay surrounded by water on both sides and in front. Take off is smooth and the short flight passes without incident until air turbulence causes a very bumpy landing and lots of ear pain evidenced by the large number of crying babies (poor little things).
Once we have collected the luggage we exit the airport to head for our car pick up. OMG the heat is unbelievable, 41C and a smog so thick Marcus and I are having problems breathing. The wind is hot and hurts our skin so we are relieved to enter the air conditioned building where water is available.
We have booked an SVU but when we get to it it is a different model and our luggage will not fit in. Mark goes back to the desk and they change it immediately for the type we had booked - do they try this on with everyone?
Driving into Melbourne the sky is dark and the air quality appalling, thank goodness for air conditioning in the car as having the windows down just isn't an option. The radio is warning of catastrophic fire conditions for New Years Eve in Victoria. It is easy to believe from the conditions we are experiencing.
The flat we are staying in is in North Melbourne quite close to the CBD and on a tram line, but all we want to do is get inside and hide from this horrible heat, wind and smoke. The atmosphere is one of impending disaster and the news does not dispel this fear.