Graz´s Update - Arriving Down Under
Things did not start well, on check in we found that we had been split up for the second flight, Adele and Rhys were in their original seats near the front of economy, me and Callum were 12 rows further back we were passed around between the Emirates desks with each on telling us someone else needed to sort it out, not a good start but something we could not sort until Dubai.
The take off was smooth, the boys excited especially with the built in screens showing forward and below cameras for them to watch everything go by. As soon as we were over Sheffield the food came out, It was edible but I would not recommend it for any Michelin stars :-p, Once food was cleared Callum sat and watched the cartoons (he loved the Jungle Book and laughed his way through it at least 4 times throughout the whole trip), We had bags full of colouring, stickers and books for the boys to keep entertained and they did entertain themselves wonderfully. I was surprised by the leg room, I had some although my adjustable head rest did not adjust and my lumber support was set for Quasimodo, but the first 7 hours to Dubai went without incident.
Dubai was humid, it smelt like a old laundrette and the terminal is still being built so it was onto a bus to the airport. Our plan was to get to the desk and sort the seats, then find some food, then clean up and change the boys (all in the 2.5 hours given). The man on the desk was sympathetic but the check in was not open yet and he would need his supervisor to do any rearrangment. Task 1 failed then, there were no sandwich shops that we could find on the top level and the boys were too tired to do a sit down restaurant (they thought it was 21:00) so task 2 failed, we got them changed and headed back to check in where somebody moved around people and got all four of us together (actually in the seats we had booked ???) at last something had worked. The second plane was a Boeing (we had started on the Airbus) and the size difference showed, more space, more legroom. We had the middle section with the children between us, as soon as the seatbelt light came on Callum was asleep and Rhys had gone as soon as the light went out. Me and Adele were not so lucky, Rhys was laid on me, this meant that everytime he moved he woke me, if I tried to move he shuffled and woke me, and then as I was on the aisle side anytime anyone came past with a trolley or to the toilet they cracked my arm. To top it off the idiot sat beside us kept binging his little light and chime for service (why it had to bing on an overnight flight I do not know but I would have happily helped him from his seat after an hour of bing, bing, bing). I gave up and watched the films being shown and played games, Adele catnapped at the other end but she could not move for Callums head, the outcome, around 2 hours sleep split between the two of us over the trip to Singapore. On the plus side I was awake for breakfast (and hungry). Rhys slept the whole leg and Callum had four hours straight watched the Jungle Book again and then fell asleep as we landed (typical).
Landing in Singapore a rain storm had hit, Very hot, very Humid, no sleep and and turbulent landing meant we came off the plane with skin the colour of tripe. We were not healthy, Rhys felt sick, I looked like I was going to pass out under 3 lots of handluggage and Callum was asleep on Adele, and we had an hour to pass! Luckily we all survived and got back onto the plane for the final leg. Sitting at Singapore we seemed to drive up and down each runway in turn (evidentally the pilot needed some directions) before informing us the weather front would delay us for 10 minutes. Finally we were up again and heading for Oz.
The final leg started better, both boys went back to sleep and we both managed to nap to freshen up a little, then it was a case of watching the miles to go count down and looking for our first glance of the land Down Under! It was dark before we crossed the Indian Ocean so the cameras were useless then out of the cabin window we started to notice that the sea had become the most fabulous colours, it was a sunset on the top end, a vertiable rainbow from black, thorough purple and then through the reds and oranges, and the backdrop of the land silhouetted below. It was a wonderful first impression. We still had 4 hours to go to Melbourne so it was back on trying to keep the kids occupied who were starting to show the strain, Callum was bored, Rhys was grumpy and we were in no state to be sympathetic parents full of understanding. Landing at Melbourne we were already to stop but with the prospect of customs and the baggage carousel our spirits were flagging. Customs was wonderfully quick then it was a case of finding out how many cases had survived and got to Melbourne with us, The answer all eight. The pushchair was the last thing off the plane putting us at the back of the baggage scans but these went without a hitch (even though we had forgotten to declare the wooden toys). We had arrived and our Visa's were stamped!
We left the airport and walked over to the Holiday Inn, (we could see it and we had signs but on getting there we should have cut across the car park rather than doing a massive loop over 3 main junctions that we were directed around. The rooms was basic, two double beds and a bathroom but it was bliss. We washed the boys and put them to bed with a DVD to calm down and then peeled ourselves out of stinking sweaty clothes, 10 minutes later with hot drinks and clean underwear we all felt slightly better, A quick text to parents to tell them we had arrived and it was time for sleep. It was 04:00.
The next morning we were awake at 07:30, it was only 3:30 of sleep but we all felt better and ready to start, opening the curtains gave a view of the airport so the boys sat in the window watching planes taking off and landing, yellow taxis (much to Callums delight) swept by underneath and every so often a shout of "A Ute a Ute" was to be heard as we tried to organise some of the cases a bit better. Looking over the vista of gum trees and rolling greenary past the airport it suddenly dawned that we had made it, after 2 years of planning and waiting. We had been so focused and tired the night before our arrival had been an anticlimax to the point of a complete non-event. We sat and watched for a bit taking in the sight before rumbling tummy's took the better of us and breakfast called.
Following breakfast and the arrival of Eric (Adele can give the relations - Her mam's cousin (I am led to believe) we collected out hire car after a bit of bartering (I do not think they expected us to check the car over so carefully our make so many notes to be signed off but we were loaded and following Eric orange SUV to the Mornington Peninsula an hours drive away. The drive was fabulous, warm sun (23 degrees) wide roads, gum trees and skyscrapers in the same view and classic gold on the radio, we even coped with cars overtaking on both sides and crossing junctions on solid white lines but we arrived in Bittern.
The rest of the day was spent unpacking and resorting, trying to stay awake, fending off the dogs and having our first antipodean bar-b-q before sleep overcame and we retired early only.
We have arrived in Oz and we can now start to work out where that is.
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