You know what it’s like when a holiday is booked. It all happened months ago, plans were made, hotels and air flights booked, money paid over, and then we just got on with our lives and waited. And waited some more until our holiday time rolled around. We were up and away well before the sparrows lifted their little heads from under their wings on Thursday morning. Packed the cases in the car and started our drive to Wellington Airport at 1.30am. Not much traffic at that time of the morning, but we did meet a large truck carrying an even larger house, and taking up more than their fair share of the road.
With our car safely stored in the long term carpark, we arrived at the airport terminal and dropped our bags off. There was still plenty of time to spare so sat down and had a very early 4.00am breakfast (toasted sandwiches and coffees) while we waited for the gates to open to get into the overseas departures.
A very early morning breakfast
Our first flight of the morning, from Wellington to Brisbane, had a spot of bother. Try as they might, the ground crew couldn’t detach the air bridge from the plane. So we waited as they tried, and tried some more, and finally, after a delay of half an hour, we were good to go. Luckily the time was made up, as we had a connection to make.
Over the Tasman Sea
The connection was easily made at Brisbane, and we boarded our second Virgin Air flight of the day. It was interesting to note that this air plane loaded passengers from both the front and rear of the plane.
That’s our plane
Landing safely in sunny Cairns, we were really starting to get into holiday mode. And what’s this, a great big cassowary waiting to get into some holiday photos. He was very popular and when he had been snapped by this group of tourists and those kids, I finally went over to say hello. These huge birds live in the rain forests here, but have been known to attack people with their lethal clawed feet, so you wouldn’t want to meet one unexpectedly.
Two old birds together
Our shuttle bus finally arrived to take us to our hotel, and we had a bit of a city tiki tour as other passengers were dropped at their hotels. And this is our room, cooled down by a large ceiling fan spinning quietly around. We could hardly wait to take our shoes off and remove our compression socks which we had worn while flying. No carpet here, just nice cool tiles underfoot. Robin had donned his shorts as quick as a flash, much too hot to wear long trousers here.
Our hotel room for the next wee while
We also have a very pleasant little balcony, looking down over the pool – in fact their are three pools here in this complex. Just as well we packed our swimming togs.
View from our balcony window
Once cooled down, we checked out the hotel grounds, found the laundry, (I’m sure I’ll need to use it in a few days) and the café which serves breakfast, then walked a block or two to find the large shopping centre. Robin needed to check out about an Aussie sim card for his phone. We then bought hats - a sun hat for me, and a new cap suitably emblazoned with “Cairns” for him. He has a wonderful selection of caps, and was sad to misplace one of his favourites earlier in the day, probably left it behind in one of the airports. Time was moving on, and our energy was starting to flag, so we had an early evening meal in the Food Court, before walking back to the hotel. As well as our extra early start to the day, we had to advance our watch two hours on arrival, so that made it a really long day indeed. So it was early to bed with the ceiling fan keeping us cool, all ready for another full day in the morning.