26.07.2011 - 20.07.2011 20 °C
Tuesday 26 / Wed 27th July 2011
Pretty boring day to finish off really, up early for breakfast and repack the bags. The taxi driver this time had no English so it was a much more sedate and quiet trip to the airport compared to the trip in yesterday. Not much traffic this early so we were there in plenty of time, just as well as we had to do a Self Check-in, which issued a boarding pass, then we had to go to the baggage drop off which was just like a normal check-in except we already had our boarding passes.
Through immigration and Sue is pleased to see 3 new stamps in her passport, and we have plenty of time to browse the vast Duty Free shopping area, the majority being grog / smokes and gold.
By 9.30am we are ready to board and the plane is one of the new big Airbus A380, terrific until we find out our seats are in the very last row of the whole plane. Almost needed a packed lunch just on the walk down there. It was pretty good not having anyone behind so we could recline our chairs any time although the vacant area was a popular meeting place and we overheard a couple of blokes trying some serious chatting up of girls waiting for the loo. Plenty of leg room and comfy seats and the temperature was OK, food was fine, so all in all an excellent trip (given 13 hours flying time).
Got into Sydney bang on 6am (Wed morning as we had crossed the date
line) when they lift the airport curfew and after a quick walk through immigration, our bags came out early so we then lined up to have our bags sniffed by the Customs Dog, no joy for him with us, so we were outside in no time.
Thinking there was a faint chance of a seat on the early Griffith flight we got on the shuttle bus over to Domestic terminal only to be told that the flight was full, otherwise we could have got on. We later found out that it was delayed an hour or so anyway due to fog in Griffith.
After rearranging our suitcases again but still having to pay excess baggage because they even weigh the carry on bags, we checked in our suitcases, went through security, hopefully for the final time and settled in for the long wait until 2pm for our scheduled flight.
Scheduled boarding time came and went and finally boarded over 20 mins late, an omen of what was to come.
Smooth flight, landing at Narrandera where we were supposed to stop for 10 mins. After 20 mins and lots of discussion between crew and ground staff, the pilot comes on board and announces that the plane will be full from Narrandera and there is too much weight for landing at Griffith. So after taking all the suitcases off the plane and having them scattered on the tarmac, they selected all the bigger bags to remain behind and to be delivered to Griffith at a later time. Of course our cases were 2 selected to be left behind. Reloaded the remaining cases, loaded the new passengers and 30 mins late, we take off for the 15 min flight to Griffith where no-one seemed to quite be sure about our bags, maybe they will arrive on the next flight or via road, they suggested we ring at 8pm, but that didn't give us time to drive in to collect them. In the end we drove in at 8 and sure enough the bags were there and all ended up well, if a little disorganised.
Carted our bags all over Europe with no disruption and it the last leg to Griffith that we run into trouble, pretty lucky I suppose.
Anyway home at last and some serious unpacking to do and lots of stories to reflect on.