12 December 2009

Crossing the Continent

28 August 2009

We left the Drysdale's house EARLY this morning, since it was a long way to the airport and we had to fight work-week rush hour traffic.  Chris was a dear again, as he and Elinor delivered us right to our terminal.  It turned out to be a good thing we had loaded the car the night before, as we barely got there in time.  As it was, the line was LONG, but in true Qantas style (US airlines could take a page or two from the Qantas book!) they called us up to get our boarding passes and check our bags just before boarding time - we got to bypass the line!

Today we were traveling from Brisbane, in the center of the east coast of Australia, to Perth, on the southwest coast, and then driving to Geraldton, about five hours north.  Some of you may not realize that Australia is roughly the size of the US, so it was like flying from RDU to San Diego.  And then driving to San Francisco.  On the wrong side of the road!  Here's a map to help you get a little perspective:

As usual, I had no problems sleeping on the flight, and I even read a little bit, too.  We arrived in Perth to a cloudy, dreary day, but were met at the airport by a sunny, smiling, Anne Cook!  Anne met us at the car rental place just so she could lead us out of town and get us safely on the road to Geraldton.  Now is that hospitality, or what??  The best news was that the car we had rented was a Prius, so at least we were familiar with that!  After a few initial bumps on the 'other' side of the road (no real bumps, just a little getting used to things) Rex got the hang of everything except the turn signal.  He turned on the wipers 95% of the time!  At least it was sort of rainy, so it didn't look as funny as it could have!  Anne capably led us out of the airport and through the suburbs of Perth and onto the highway we would then take straight up the coast.  We stopped at a little convenience store and had a bite to eat - fried pies, fries, and some other fried foods - typical gas station food - but it hit the spot!  We bid Anne farewell and took off on our own.

We had been warned about the 'road trains' and it wasn't long before we figured out why.  You know those big tandem (piggy-back) semi-trailers that we have on the interstates here?  Well road trains are TRIPLE and QUADRUPLE trailers, usually looking more like open boxcars that travel on this two-lane highway!!  Thank goodness for 'overtaking lanes'!

Our journey north was mercifully uneventful, and the biggest drama was that we almost forgot to call Jenny and Bob to let them know we were almost there.  Actually, we did forget (and we didn't have cell service) but Jenny called us just in the nick of time.  She made it to the petrol station where we met just before we got there, and she led us safely to her house.  And what a treat was waiting for us there - lamb roast!!

We met Jenny's husband, Bob, and visited for a while, then sat down to a most delicious Australian favorite meal of lamb roast and vegetables.  Nicole Kidman even picked her mum's lamb roast over Tom Cruise many years ago (she maybe should have stuck with that decision!) and we could see why!  We had a nice custard for dessert and it was so much fun to get to know the MacKays!

Jenny and I headed for the computer room after dinner and shared some Storybook tips and visited facebook, and then it was time for bed.  As you can imagine, we had another big day ahead of us!

Loving Western Australia (and its people) so far!


No comments: