The Great Oz Walkabout - Continues!
October 2013 -- Website Update: We left the mainland USA in late December 2012, after months of planning a grand walkabout in Australia. Christmas 2012 was celebrated on the island of Saipan in the Marianas chain and after New Year's we visited the islands of Tinian, Guam, Yap and Palau before flying to Cairns, Australia. We had been researching used motor-homes in Australia for months and planned to purchase same for use in our "Great Oz Walkabout".
I have re-ordered the daily entries into time order, moved the trip-logs to a new page and you will find the link to the right (click on the white bus picture).
Meanwhile, we have moved the trip-logs of our sailing circumnavigation down a level and you will find the link to the right (click on the S/V DoodleBug picture to get to the "old" web-site).
We have also "cleaned up" the sailing logs and reformatted them into .epub files, so that they may be downloaded and read at your convenience on an iPad or Kindle reader as "e-books". Because there are about 6,000 embedded photos in the original website, I needed to split the log of the cruise into 18 "volumes". To date, I have tested these eBook files on both a "Kindle Fire" and an "iPad3". Click right on the "books" icon to access the files for download.
September 27, 2014
“UTC +10” That is what my computer tells me about our time zone and I believe it! We landed in Brisbane this morning, a few minutes before 5:00 a.m. and just before a glorious dawn. The sun had finally caught up with us. Our Qantas flight had taken off from Dallas Fort Worth airport in the darkness of 10:30 p.m. and we had followed the shadow of the earth around the planet, fleeing the sun for the next sixteen hours. A long night.
The Brisbane airport was empty, as you might expect at this time and as we emerged from the Customs area, we were hailed by our friend Ray Home, who works at this airport and who had arrived early at his workplace in order to meet our flight. We first met Ray with his wife on Easter Island a decade ago – they were on their honeymoon and we were taking a break from our circumnavigation, while our boat S/V DoodleBug was being hauled in Raiatea, French Polynesia to replace the propeller shaft oil seal. Small world! We sat with Ray at the terminal snack shop while we drank our first Australian beers and Ray, due to begin his shift, stuck with coffee. A short taxi ride to our hotel found it locked and barred with a sign indicating that they would not open the office for another thirty minutes at 7:00 a.m. The nearby coffee shop opened at the same hour, thus we sat at their outside table, drinking in the dawn, the scents of tropical flowers and the unfamiliar bird calls. Parrots flitted through the branches of the trees and we were amused by the strange laughing cry of a Raven.
Eventually the motel office opened and although we had requested an early check-in, this had been mistranslated as a “late check-in” and they were fully booked anyway, so no chance of an empty bed. They did find our reservation though, which always provides a good feeling. Okay, we had some hours to kill so we parked our suitcases and walked a half kilometer to a nearby shopping center, patiently awaiting the first batch of doughnuts to appear from the oven at the doughnut shop. Annette rarely buys doughnuts because she admits to zero self control when faced with collective pastries but this morning she was disappointed. They were not the hoped for Winchell’s clones but “yeast” or “cake” doughnuts. Shattered dreams – poor baby!
By 10:00 we were back at the motel with a room, shower and bed! A long trip but we are here, back in the Land of Oz! For those of you who are temporally challenged, the “UTC + 10” means that after correcting for “daylight savings”, we are now 15 hours ahead of Texas time.