Well, we five are all here in Cairns (pronounced almost Like Cannes in France), Australia safe and sound. It was a really long journey. The photo of the five of us is at LAX after we met and while we were still feeling pretty chipper. Of course, our “chipperness” declined as the hours literally flew by, but we all maintained our good spirits. After all, this is a trip to Australia and New Zealand. I’m making a guess that we were in transit on Qantas around 24 hours. Home to LAX. LAX to Brisbane. Brisbane to Cairns.
Flights out of LAX were delayed on Wednesday evening. We were at least an hour late, taking off after midnight on February 23. And that seems to be the only small time we can claim for February 23. This day vanished into the International Date Line even while we were dining on tortelini salad and Indian butter chicken. Look at Carol eating her passion fruit-coconut dessert.
Of course, the LAX delay made us late into Brisbane, so Qantas decided to hold the Cairns-bound plane for us, while we trotted through Customs with all our big, heavy bags. All I can say is, “Whew! We made it!”
The flights went well. We had individual screens and movies and other entertainment to choose from to help the hours pass. We were actually flying most of the way at night, so each of us tried to sleep in our own way.
We are meeting other people on the Rupiper Tour, 41 in all counting Brent Rupiper, the guide. Many are from the Mid West. Many are also farmers like my brother, as his wife, Carol, noted. Garrett said that he wasn’t at all surprised as this tour company advertised the tour in Successful Farming. Everyone is friendly, and older. I guess it’s the retired folks who can travel in February and have the money to do it. There are three Joyces on the tour, and at least two couples with the names of Joyce and Jim.
I met one of the Jim-Joyce couples from Iowa on the shuttle bus at LAX I was having trouble carrying my new, big, super-duper London Fog suitcase and my carry-on together. So very heavy. Then I saw Jim and Joyce just rolling their suitcases with the carry-ons on top. I couldn’t believe it! It was a miracle. My suitcase does exactly the same thing. How could I have missed this before?
Cairns is a beautiful coastal city on the northeast coast of Australia. It was 27 degrees Celsius when we landed, and it was raining. We were greeted with some real steam heat; my glasses fogged right up.
Tomorrow we are going to the Great Barrier Reef by boat. Can you believe it? I just keep pinching myself–Australia!
I’m crossing my fingers that this will publish. The wifi is so-so