Sunday, 19 March 2017

A day on aeroplanes flying to Cairnes

ALLIE: DAY 35: Wednesday, 21th of March

A day travelling on planes from China to Australia
Flight CX 103 takes us around midnight again across the equator, past Indonesia and Papua New Guinea – and alas even past Cairnes – down to Brisbane. 

over the Great Barrier Reef
Just an hour later we get on the same aircraft to fly the 2hrs back up to Cairnes, our final destination. 

And I certainly have enough now from flying, sitting and eating. The coastline below me looks stunning and I can’t wait to be out in the warm, sunny weather and dive into the sea.
We hire a car and drive the 20 odd Kilometers up north the coast to a small community called Trinity where we are invited to stay the next days with John Medlock, a ballooning friend of Phil. He emigrated from the UK to live and work here.

Phil and him haven’t seen each other for 15 years so there is much to catch up in talking over a drink at the nice sun-downer pub near the beach. I’d rather go for a walk and get some exercise after hours on aeroplanes.

The temperature is wonderful. Humid, breezy and 28 degrees. A barbeque dinner at home is the last I can remember before collapsing into a 12 hours deep sleep.

aerial view over the 'highlands'
PHIL: Day 35/21 March

A day mostly spent in aeroplanes, overflying Cairns only to return there about five hours later. Attempts to hire a compact (=cheap) saloon fail, but we end up with a ‘deal’ on a Toyota LandCruiser which is enormous but fun to drive – especially after the really crappy VW we had in Namibia. Find John Medlock’s house  in …..Beach without too much trouble. 

At John's house, Phil relaxing with wine and guitar
John is a professional balloon pilot who was introduced to his trade by me in the early 80s when he ran my local pub, the ‘Six Bells’ on Warborough Green near Oxford.

He’s now more-or-less permanently established in Queensland flying very big balloons for Japanese and Chinese tourists up on the Atherton Tablelands inland from Cairns

We try to catch up on the intervening 20-odd years over a couple of glasses of excellent Oz wine at John’s regular watering hole on the beach before a steak ‘barbie’ and early bed.

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