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  • Writer's pictureClaire

22/02/24 Airlie Beach to Brisbane

I booked an airport pick up last night with "Gloria" who gave us the time we needed to be waiting outside the apartment. The minibus pulled on time and Si loaded all our stuff into the little trailer on the back. We had a few more pick ups and the last ones were a young couple, just going to Brisbane for the weekend. We had to wait a minute of two for the bloke to get in, and when he did, he realised he'd left his phone in the house, so had to go back. Then followed a small domestic in front of everyone. We booted him out to go and collect it, and the minibus went and turned around. Once he was back on board, he came in for a bit of ribbing from some of the guys on the bus, and we were back on track for the airport.

We were departing from the same airport we had our Barrier Reef flight from on monday, so we knew the way! The Internatal Airport is far from big, but they have a lot of daily flights out of there all around the country. We lined up and were soon at the checkin desk. This flight was with Qantas, and the first time we had flown with them. The two girls on check in were sweethearts, and couldnt have done any more for us than they did. They gave us a time to be at the gate to get on the plane and we had enough time for a drink.

Boarding was a great experience, and was on one of the little forklifts. I dont think its had much in the way of use, because there were spiders webs all over it. I assumed they weren't dangerous ones, the chap loading me on was new at the job, and was being trained on the lift thing. The aircraft had a small set of drop down steps, and the lift had to be pushed up to it manually. The lady performing that particular task was shot putter material.

The plane itself was a twin propeller, and was what can only be described as 'dooty'. Our seats were in the 4th row and as per I had the window seat. This is not a selfish move on my part it's purely for the fact that people don't have to climb over me in the event of anything going wrong. It also means that I'd be last off the plane. We were blessed with two lovely cabin crew, who couldn't do enough for us, and they were the friendliest ones we've encountered to date. They were both young, but just loving life and their jobs. Take off was a little different, it seemed to take the plane a while to get airbourne, but that could have just been my imagination. The flight was almost two hours all bar 5 minutes which is longer than the flight from Brisbane to Townsville, despite it being a shorter trip mileage wise. To my great delight we were bought some of the tastiest white chocolate and blueberry cookies and some drinks . The best bit was that the girls bought around seconds because they like to use up all their supplies on their flights. We both felt it would have been extremely rude to decline their very kind offer, and as a result our bags were loaded up with enough snacks to last us days. Yhey literally emptied the tray into our laps. They were on the last shift so looking forward to going home, and whilst waiting to unload me came and chatted with us like old friends untill we were collected.

We were taken off the plane by a guy called Rod, a Kiwi, who was also incredibly helpful and gave us a lift to the airport in a golf buggy, depositing us right outside the door for the baggage collection. It has to be said that for customer service quantas are the best weve encoutered to date. The plane was clean, and actually very comfortable, the seats definitely wider than a Ryan Air one.

As it was an internal flight there were no security checks, so we were able to walk out of the airport and straight on to the train platform. Every single member of staff were supremely helpful, and when we asked if the train was going to central we were told yes. When we got to central station the doors opened and there was a guy there with a ramp ready to assist us off. We were getting off at the next one but had asked for central because the station name we needed had evaporated in a puff of pink glitter from my brain. We apologised and said we were getting off at the next one, Roma Street, and when we arrived there was another man with a ramp waiting to get us off. I was seriously impressed again!! They have an app and whenever they assist anyone on to the train or tram, they log the carriage number and destination so when we arrive there is assistance always available. The Uk could learn a lot from the Aussie public transport system.

From the Roma Street Platform we were shown the lift and given directions on how to get out of the Station. As we exited the Station we were looking around for the accommodation. I knew it was close by, but even i hadnt anticipated how close it would be. It was right opposite the entrance to the station. I mean could we have got any closer??

So we crossed the street, went up the ramp and checked in. We were on the 11th floor and had a view out over the city. The accomodation is an apartment, with everything we needed and more. It was also very clean and delightfully cool, I was pleased with it as some of the reviews had been a scathing. As it was still early in the day we went for a walk up the street and to locate a food store ready for supper.

We are in the busines district so its very busy during working hours. The cafes and coffee shops open in accordance to the business hours. We needed to find a post office, to post on some bits and bobs so we didnt have to take them to Fiji with us. The lady in the post office was really helpful and assisted us in filling out the customs forms, doing it for us and ensuring the cost was kept down. Damn, I like that woman! With that little task complete, we carried on up the street and found Queen street mall. I've an issue with retainer and needed some glue to stick it back to my teeth. Finally we found a chemist that sold it and got that sorted. Also we had a look about for some shoes/ daps my flip flops are fine for now, and I obviously dont need anything more at the moment , but it would be beneficial when we get to new zealand, where i fear it may be a little cooler than what we have become accustomed to! I failed to find some, i don't need or even want running trainers, because I don't run and can't see the point in wasting the money on a specialist pair. I just need a really comfortable pair of general purpose trainers. You would not believe how difficult it is proving to be to locate such a simple little thing.

We contemplated going to the pub, but I really needed to stretch out a lot more than i needed a beer. So we went back to the apartemnt and picked up snacks on the way. Much better idea from my point of view. The apartment, as i said is very nice and the bed is awesome, so comfy. We had milk in the fridge, and plenty of tea and coffee. What more could we need. I think today was our 14th flight in 3 months which is not bad going really. There wont be too many more now, its practically home time.

Tomorrows little jolly is all booked and paid for, and we have decided rather than faff about with the bus, we will get an uber. Much simpler and significantly more comfortable, particularily as the temperature is forecast to be high 30's.

Much love


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