Friday, November 16, 2012

Travelling to Port Douglas

Friday 9th November 2012

Started packing yesterday  evening after returning from a night taking some footage at Parramasala. The evening was full of color and sound and watched Kamahl knock out a rendition of "love is in the air". Packing is something I love to hate and always leave it to the last minute to complete. But this time there was going to be a bit more than just clothes. I had to pack in tripods, ball heads/ fluid heads, gimbal mounts.

Fortunately when I resumed packing this morning that everything fit, albeit a little tight and a wee heavy. A quick weighty check showed me around the 24-25 kilos. Qantas sets a limit of around 23 kg but the option to leave items behind was not a option.

Finalised packing mid morning and then persuaded myself to catch a cab rather than bus, train & train. Cab arrived at 11.15am and headed off towards the airport. Traffic was heavy but not a problem. My only concern was the cab driver.

There were a number of times where we had stopped at intersections and then the green light went and he just sat there. We were only a short distance from the airport when I actually saw him having a nap. I kept it cool but a few blasphemous words were spoken.

Arrived at the airport in around one hour. I warned the guy that "my life is in his hands" and was receptive to my statement. Qantas domestic was quiet and had no issues checking in via a kiosk and then putting the checked bag in. They were going to make me pay $20 extra but the guy at the sales desk told me to put my money in my wallet which was quite nice.

Security checks were quick considering the amount of tech that I am carrying. Chilling out prior to the flight at gate 1.  Looks like the plane is named "Newcastle", a Boeing 737-800. It was only last night that I had watched Air Crash Investigations on the same model.

Boarded the flight bang on 1.25pm. Everyone was on time which was great. The thing about flying Qantas is that the clientele would not be described as  the "all stations to Penrith" but instead this train was on it's way to "Woolstonecraft".  Flight was delayed for around 30 mins whilst heavy rain hit the airport. Once that had passed we joined the queue for departure.

After takeoff we headed north west over the burbs and then a direct line towards Cairns. The flight was a little bumpy as we dealt with more storms but once we hit cruising  altitude I sat back and watched a  couple of films. A light meal was served and overall it was an enjoyable flight.

On landing at Cairns I made my way through to the baggage claim area. No bags we out yet at this stage so went straight over to the car hire desk and sorted out the car hire. No huge dramas there and had the keys on hand in about 10 minutes. Headed back over to the baggage claim area and waited for my bag to arrive. I was glad I opted to sort out the car hire first.

Picked up the bag the headed out to the car. Before leaving I whipped out the parents satnav and took a few photos of the car for proverbial covering. Then was on my way towards Port Douglas. Traffic was light and the journey enjoyable. The road hugged the coast with some nice vistas along the way. I suspect that the road will be very busy come eclipse time.

Arrived at the QT Resort just after 6pm and checked in with no dramas. The hotel is very nice indeed with a open plan reception, bar and restaurant. The pool is next with villas all around. I have a garden view room at the rear of the complex but still a very short distance from where it is all happening.

After settling in and freshening up I headed down to the restaurant to check out what was on offer. For $65 you get a new age buffet style gorge fest. Essentially "Sizzler" style eating where you can speak with the chefs. Plus I don't believe Sizzler ever offer cous cous.

I opted for a light meal at the bar. I had a nice piece of barramundi, fries and salad. Don't want to pig out this trip so ideal. Followed this up with a couple of vodkas and by this time it was time to go to bed. Set the alarm early to do some reconnaissance for places to setup for the eclipse.

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