We finally left New Zealand yesterday after two happy, if a little chilly months there.
Our flight took us from Christchurch to Brisbane, where we had an hour to go through Customs and Immigration, Baggage Reclaim, then jump on a train to take us to the domestic departure terminal where we would catch our connecting flight to Cairns.
Myself and Andy breezed through Customs in no time at all, thanks mainly to an unfriendly official who's skills in small talk were non-existent ('Take ya hat off mate....ok, go.') whereas Lewis managed to get himself embroiled in a conversation with the guy behind the desk he went through, who seemed to be interested in all the important events in the last 27 years of his life.
After he'd got past this guy another customs official stopped him at random for further questioning. I suppose he must have an untrustworthy face to your average Australian.
While all this was going on me and Andy were waiting for the bags. Mine turned up in no time at all, and Lewis's arrived a minute later. One by one we saw the bags disappear and people move off towards the x-ray machines until eventually we found ourselves stood alone watching an empty carousel rotating at an excruciating pace. Andy's bag was yet to appear.
Things did not look good, so while I checked the other carousels Andy and Lewis went to the Baggage Reclaim desk and asked the vacant looking chap behind the counter if they had any bags round the back that hadn't come on yet. As I joined them after my fruitless search the guy was explaining that all the bags were up, and it was probably there but we'd missed it. He then took the little barcoded baggage receipt and went to check the number against the tags on the few remaining bags to see if we'd had a sudden atttack of thick, forgotten what Andy's luggage looked like and had been watching it repeatedly pass us on the conveyor belt without realising it was his.
While this tie-wearing shaved monkey was off wasting precious minutes busying himself with his little errand we asked his supervisor (who seemed to have a bit more brains and sense of urgency) what to do. He told us that we should get on our connection, fill out a report at Cairns and get it sorted from there.
Andy at this point had a face like thunder. We have a nickname for him when he gets in a mood, namely 'Mummra', due to his similar personality traits to those of the baddy in Thundercats. This was a definite Mummra moment. 'Croikey!' I thought in my best Steve Irwin accent 'take it easy little fella! He's gitting a bit little bit loively!' but sensibly kept my mouth shut and hence avoided getting my ass Jujitsu'd into 2006. He stayed in Mummra phase for the rest of the journey, so me and Lewis treated him with kid gloves.
Having said that, to be fair to Andy he took it very well considering the situation, and seemed remarkably unconcerned this morning to find out that his backpack had turned up in Sydney. (I think the thought of buying a new outfit and getting Quantas to pay for it may have helped towards keeping his temper in check) Apparently they're flying it here tonight and it will get delivered to the hostel, although we've seen no sign of it yet.
So anyway, we had a wander round Cairns today and it seems very nice and chilled out. Unfortunately, the most dangerous creatures I've seen so far were a flock of birds flying along the pedestrianised part of the town centre at eye level. I could hardly 'cloimb a tree, poke um with a stick, and see how they reict!' though, so I'm rather disappointed.
If you want to see a photo of Andy at Brisbane airport yesterday, click here