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October 20th, 2007

We had breakfast at about 8:15 this morning, and then packed to have our bags outside the door by the 10AM deadline.

Since we're arriving in Sydney at 10:15PM tonight, instead of our originally scheduled 8:45 due to a Qantas schedule change, we're going to try and store our big bags at the airport overnight instead of lugging them up to the Westin, since we have to be back at the airport at 9AM tomorrow for our Sydney to San Francisco flight.

We calculated that, in total, we will have taken 13 flights on our trip. Both Robert's and my lucky number is 13, so that really appeals to us. I'm not counting my helicopter flight in there, as one, it's not a plane, and two, it wasn't part of the original itinerary. :-)



After checking out of our room, and settling our tab at Registration, we hung out in the bar area and played a couple of games of Scrabble. Here's the fruit of the labor of one of the games.


One species of the birds here is a very aggressive one in terms of coming indoors to forage for food, or to just, as you can see here, have a seat on the couches.


Here's a picture of the outdoor Chess game in the daylight.


At 12:25, I checked in for my 12:55 helicopter flight, which didn't seem like it was going to leave at 12:55, but ended up pretty much on time. I got a few shots from the air.

Here's the money shot. It's a lot like the photograph I got off the Internet before going (and posted in an earlier blog entry), but this one was taken with my own camera. :-)


Here's Heron Island from the side.


We passed over two other little islands that are nearby to Heron Island. This smaller one is a retreat for turtle reproduction only; humans are not allowed on it.


And this one, humans are allowed on, but but you have to bring your own provisions if you want to stay on it as there are no places to stay on it or anything.



Also, we passed over a big coral reef area, and I snapped these two pics, the second is a close-up picture in the same area.



These final shots are approaching the airport, passing by the marina, from which we departed on the catamaran, and at which Robert will be arriving in a few hours. Bless that boys heart for taking that excruciating ride back.



All in all, it was a lovely 30-minute ride.



At the airport, I uploaded the very pictures in this blog entry, resized them to upload later this evening, and devised this blog entry to this point.

Just as I was approaching it, the one little concession stand that's here at this tiny airport was closing, as was the entire airport little did I know, until 3:30, which is when the next flights come in.

I asked the lady working at the Australian Helicopters kiosk, who was very, very nice, and helpful, if there were any little places nearby that I could walk to to grab a little something to eat.

She pointed me down the road, and offered to store my carry-on bag and my laptop for me while I was gone.

Just down the road, I came to a BP station that also had a little deli in it, and I bought a couple of egg salad sandwiches, a bag of chips and two sodas to take back to the airport. There were totally obnoxious little flies that followed me for the last half of the way there and all the way back. Little fuckers.

Once back, I retrieved my bags, and the lady told me that they should be up from the marina at about 3:45, about an hour away.

While I waited, I did a lit bit of ENG 583 work, segmenting some of Jason's data. Tedious.

While I was doing it, what song should come on over the airport music system?

Down Under

Traveling in a fried-out combie
On a hippie trail, head full of zombie
I met a strange lady, she made me nervous
She took me in and gave me breakfast
And she said,

"Do you come from a land down under?
Where women glow and men plunder?
Can't you hear, can't you hear the thunder?
You better run, you better take cover."

Buying bread from a man in Brussels
He was six foot four and full of muscles
I said, "Do you speak-a my language?"
He just smiled and gave me a vegemite sandwich
And he said,

"I come from a land down under
Where beer does flow and men chunder
Can't you hear, can't you hear the thunder?
You better run, you better take cover."

Lying in a den in Bombay
With a slack jaw, and not much to say
I said to the man, "Are you trying to tempt me
Because I come from the land of plenty?"
And he said,

"Oh! Do you come from a land down under? (oh yeah yeah)
Where women glow and men plunder?
Can't you hear, can't you hear the thunder?
You better run, you better take cover."

Robert arrived without incident, and he had his snack, while I waited in line to check us in for our 5:30 flight to Brisbane. Our flight to Brisbane was uneventful.


We had a two-hour layover in Brisbane, where I postcard-shopped, and wrote out about 12 of the 20 I bought, before we had to board for the Brisbane to Sydney flight.

This flight was our favorite flight in the trip so far. The plane was probably half-full, if that, and after take-off we had room to spread out. I finished writing out my remaining postcards, so the one-hour, fifteen-minute ride just flew by—no pun intended.



Our bags come fairly quickly in Sydney, and we got the nicest, not to mention cutest, taxi driver to take us to the Westin downtown, our old haunt of a week ago.

Some of the people there actually remembered us, and welcomed us back. After plopping our stuff in the room, I ran down to the lobby, where I posted these last three days' worth of journal entries.

It's quarter-til-one now, and we have to leave for the airport tomorrow morning at 8:30. Our 21 hours worth of flying starts at 11AM tomorrow. Wish us luck.

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