Arrived and safely too. It was a long haul from Vancouver to Brisbane. 14 hours. It was one of our better Air Canada experiences. The planes were on time, the ground staff was nice and helpful, and the in-flight crew were, to say the least, outstanding. Not able to slag AC for any reason whatsoever this time. RATS!

A few weird things though. On most flights, any free in flight meals have been discontinued but on this flight we were served 3 times??? A midnight dinner, literally midnight, then a couple of hours later, while we are asleep, a sandwich is dropped off on the tray table, and then just before we landed breakfast is brought around. Way more food then necessary. I really only eat breakfast.

Getting into Aus is a little more complicated than we expected for a Commonwealth country. We need a visa??? Then our papers get checked again before we can board the plane that is going to land on Australian soil. We land and patience is a commodity required in vast amounts as we sit at the gate. We have to sit and wait while the plane is sprayed with “non-toxic” insecticide. I think by definition insecticide is toxic, so I don’t really know what they are talking about but it sure makes you feel secure.

Off the plane and it is breeze through immigration and customs. The pre entry rigmarole seems like a scare tactic but I am not the guy that is going to push the envelope and test the system.

We take the AirTrain from the Brisbane airport south to Gold Coast. The train system is a bit screwed up and you would think in an English speaking country it would be easy to navigate the transportation system. First we barely missed the train we needed to take, which was just bad timing. Two different employees gave us two different times for the next train. 15 minutes later a train arrives with ‘Gold Coast’ indicated on the front. The train lady says it is the train we need and it will go all the way to our stop. We board the train. Others headed south also board. Once we are moving an announcement is made informing all passengers that were told the train would go to the Gold Coast that in fact it would not go there and we would have to disembark at Brisbane Central and catch the next train. We did and we arrived at the appointed station. I think our first urban train ride in Kolkuta was easier.

M meets us at Helensvale station and it is good to see him in person. Skype is not too tactile. Debbie hugs M at least four times before we can get into to the car. We are tired as we plunk ourselves down in M & D’s condo and then head out for a walk, the bank, lunch, and the ocean.

Gold coast

I’ve been here before but I don’t remember details, even large ones. The beach is big, real big. We are at the 30.4 km mark and it goes as far as we can see in the opposite direction.

gold Coast

The water looks powerful and inviting. We walk in the surf, the water is quite cold but I think we’ll survive a dip or two.

Gold coast

We’re tired. Only a few hours of sleep in the last 2 days or so. Need to turn our clocks around in 2 days. We’ll be on the dive boat on Monday morning. So, are going to try to stay awake until 9 pm. It is now 5 and 9 looks a mile away.

Hanging out with M for the day, and then D when she gets home from school, was worth the long trip to get here and it is only day one. Looks like the rest of the month is going to be good.

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