Finaly leaving Darwin
We jumped in the car with Chris and Paul and got to the airport departures. When we went to check in the lady on the desk informed us that the flight was delayed by about one hour and we would be looking at a 02:25 take off. Then she proceeded to weigh all our stuff and then charged us $60 in excess baggage! She also said that Joe’s didgeridoo would need to be taken to a special loading area for oversized luggage and told us that it was a grey door a bit further down. We picked up our hand luggage and headed off in the direction that she had advised. Joe being Joe walked towards the first grey door that he saw and Emma had to point out the sign that was on the door in big yellow letters ’THIS IS NOT THE OVERSIZED BAGGAGE DEPARTMENT’. We found the place where we had to put it in the end and went to the airport security to get through to the departures lounge. We put all our things through the metal detector and Joe was then asked to step to the side so they could do a random bomb search of him and his bags (Irish surname strikes again). This was basically a swab that was then fed into the computer he wasn’t considered a threat this time. But Emma had a different problem the security guard pulled her aside and said that she had too many lighters on her possession and that she was only allowed one. She went through her bag and pulled out five lighters having to pick which colour she wanted handing the others to the guard telling him not to throw them away but to keep them himself.
When we got through to the departures lounge we went into one of the shops and grabbed a couple of bottles of coke. We then thought that it would be a good idea to take advantage of being able to smoke inside one last time and went to the designated area. After an hour of waiting we thought that we would get a coffee/hot chocolate and Joe ran off to the coffee shop leaving Emma to guard the bags. He also came back with a big slice of caramel cheesecake and two forks. We waited for the flight for about another hour and then boarded the plane.
Each of the seats on the plane had a TV and Joe was straight away flicking through the channels to see what was on. The flight attendant came round asking if anyone needed earphones to listen to the TV and we said in true backpacker style when asked if you want free stuff – yes.
The flight would take us around 5 hours and was relatively easy with no turbulence. The only time we were both worried was during the landing as there must have been some cross wind and the landing was a tad bumpy. We were finally in Brisbane (without having to show any ID once! So much for security) and Emma was quite excited that we were now on the same bit of coast as her uncles.
When we got to the baggage conveyor belt our bags were pretty much the first bags out and as soon as we had grabbed them Joe’s didgeridoo arrived. We then went outside to find the train that would take us to the gold coast. This was going to be leaving in 25 minutes so we didn’t need to run which was a good thing as we had 8 pieces of luggage between us! The train took us about 80 minutes to get to the stop at the other end of the line that we needed. We then needed to find the bus that would take us to the Hotel in Coolangatta, we walked up to the first bus that we saw and asked the driver. ‘Yes but bloody hurry up I’m already 2 minutes late!’ was the old guys response. We thought that he was a bit rude but got on, the driver then proceeded to drive the whole way there at about 90km an hour like he was in the film speed! We were getting close and Emma got a bit excited when she saw (what she thought was) the apartment building so we quickly jumped off the bus. As soon as we were off Emma realised that she’d made a mistake and the apartment was actually the next beach along! Luckily it was only a short walk and we were finally at the Mantra. We then had a bit of a problem as Rob and Karl (Emma’s uncles) were meeting us at the bus stop. Emma text them and then we waited. A while went by and still nothing (except some idiots shouting out of their jeep ‘we don’t want backpackers!’). Eventually after about 40 minutes Karl called and asked where we were, they hadn’t got the text so were still at the bus stop. They were outside with us in a couple of minutes and we all had big hugs and kisses and photos out the front. Then we went up to the 10th floor apartment where we’d be staying. When we got in the door we dumped all our things and then walked down the hall into the living room. Just hidden around the corner were Emma’s grandparents! Emma screamed she was so surprised as she didn’t know they were coming. We spent the next couple of hours chatting but we were both so tired as we hadn’t had any sleep the night before. When Freda and Allen (Karl’s parents) came over we both sloped off to bed. When we woke at around 7.30 in the evening everyone had already gone out for dinner so we made ourselves some toast and relaxed until they were back. Rob had bought some Vodka at the airport duty free so we all had a couple of glasses. Soon enough it was around midnight and everyone was tired so we went to bed.