Wednesday was nothing more than an overnight time zone change with us scheduled to leave Los Angeles just before midnight on Tuesday and crossing the International Date Line during the flight and arriving in Brisbane on Thursday local time
While waiting to board, I decided that I'd replace the USA phone chips with the Australian ones as we were only a few minutes from boarding and no further need for the phones until we had to make contact with family for the pick-up to get home. Easier at that time than trying to do it in the plane and dropping bits on the floor. Not the best decision I've ever made.
We boarded the aircraft a few minutes late, delayed until around 10:40pm but it was still refueling so we were in for a further delay. We were surprised when two of our fellow passengers were one of Daniel's groomsmen and his partner. The plane, loaded with 173 tonnes of fuel, headed to the taxiway about 11:45pm, 40 minutes late. No sooner in the take-off queue but out of order due to the delay when things started to go wrong. Some sort of medical emergency at the rear of the plane, shades of the flight to Canada. That meant pulling back out of the queue while that was resolved and we were allowed to take off. Seemed like we taxied right around the airport, this took about an hour or more by which time we had to return and get another 3 tonne of fuel on board.
Decided to send a message home to advise of the delay. Should have been a simple process but I had changed the phones over hadn't I. I told you it wasn't a good decision. Eventually getting it sorted and hopefully getting the message home. Finally, three hours behind schedule we again hit the taxiway and were in the air. At this point, after a short snooze, I'm using an opportunity to write this, taking advantage of being awake while the majority of passengers in this section have the sense and ability to stay asleep. I'll pay for it when I get home. We are currently about half-way through the flight, flying at 10,000 metres, 914 km/h and it's -38 degrees C outside.
After the dramas of getting into the air, the flight itself was uneventful and we landed in Brisbane at 9:45am, 2 hrs 40mins late. Through and out of Customs and Immigration very quickly and finally able to get a good Australian Flat White coffee. We still beat Marg and Mick back but only by 10 minutes but it meant we caught up with them again before going home our separate ways.
Daughter-in-law Krystal arrived to pick us up and we were home by 11:15am. 28 degrees C and humid, a bit of a change from the past 9 weeks. Now to get the refrigerators turned on, gear unpacked, clothes washed, vehicle batteries topped up and go out to restock the perishable food requirements.
So endeth a great holiday. I have to admit I was concerned and a bit stressed out when we started out on our 18,000 km motorcycle journey, in a different country, driving on the right-hand side of the road and not really knowing what to expect of either the country or the bike but everything has worked out perfectly. The trip was completed as planned and safely with no accidents, apart from the sprained wrist, or bike problems. Meeting people who will remain friends, particularly John and Terry, Jack and Linda and Astrid's family, has been a great part of the journey. Then to have the trip culminate with a week in Guadalajara and finishing with Daniel and Astrid's Mexican wedding was a fantastic finale.
Thank you to all who have followed this tale, I hope you have enjoyed it. Special thanks to those who dropped us an email to let us know they were there following us and enjoying it. That makes it worth the effort. I will try to get some of the trip statistics up on the header page in the near future once I sort them all out.
Until next trip...