Results tagged “Aeroplanes” from Kazza the Blank One
I couldn't help myself. I had to go see it. In the rain.
Yes I was there for the first international flights both arriving and departing from Canberra!
Boeing 777-212(ER) 9V-SRP
David said they missed the planes and got the whole airport
I know that 737 is a lot further away but *damn* the 777 is big in comparison - it's like twice the size!
Planespotters! Not shown: the other guys with their SLRs
Lovely view up close on the taxi way
And as an extra added bonus, the car park had free parking from 7am to 11am for the event!
I had a crap day today. Epic fail.
So here's a photo of me at the controls of an A380
Wow, full on day today. 9:30pm and only just got back to our room..
So started with breakfast. It was pretty good, but a bit of a shamozzle. Another big tour group is staying here too, and they'd descended on the place just before us, which meant quite a few things had run out by the time we got there. They did eventually replenish things but it was a bit annoying.
Our first stop was the Longreach School of Distance Education (aka, school of the air). Radios are really not used anymore these days - everything is done over the internet or phone (or in print). Apparently 95% of station kids have access to the internet. It was school holidays so couldn't see any remote classes going on. They have a pretty good setup there and our tours help fund it.
Next up was the Stockman's Hall of Fame. You could easily spend all day there reading all the information that's there. We had an hour, because we're on a tour and all. There was also the horse/dog/sheep demo out the back which was a lot of fun. And I finally got to pat a brahman bull (after seeing them in the outback for the past week and a half). His name was Jigsaw and the dude rode in on him. So cool :)
Then a quick lunch in the park, and I submitted a few portals.
Then onto the whole (well, main) reason I came on this trip - the Qantas Founders Museum. We all did the plane tour, but sadly just the basic one, not the full "wing walk" and avionics tour the little brother did a few years ago. Oh well, I might just have to come back one day :) Then we had a nice chunk of time in the museum. Again you could easily spend a lot more time there if you read through all the info boards. I read some of them, but took photos of most of them to read later, since we were running out of time.
Raced back to the motel to do our hair, go to the loo etc, then out again. Our evening was a series of events put on by some locals (Kinnon & Co) to try and make ends meet. On account of farming being somewhat of a disaster at the moment, with the drought going on.
So there was a cruise in a paddle boat up and down the Thompson River for a while, with nibbles on board. And a possum and her baby in the toilet sink. Because that's where possums like to hang out apparently. Took entirely too many photos of the sunset. Because it was super pretty.
Then up for some hearty beef stew for dinner and entertainment provided by "Scottie" who recited some funny poems and told some jokes. It was all quite a lot of fun.
Then onto the river bank to watch a "sound and light" show (a dramatisation of Harry Readford and his infamous theft of some cattle).
And finally back up for some damper and billy tea (I didn't have any tea).
It was a fun night, and was good to support some of the locals who are doing it pretty tough here at the moment. They're probably making a lot more money out of us tourists than they would be on the land!
Had a pretty good night's sleep last night. Woke up about five past six and debated for about thirty seconds whether or not I should get up for the sunrise. In the end decided I would, and it was quite pretty.
Breakfast was pretty decent, but I restrained myself from eating too much of it.
After breakfast we headed south-west to the Dinosaur Stampede National Monument. Had a little walk around the place before going in for the 10am "tour". It's actually just a big shed protecting a large bed of dinosaur footprints. Very very cool thing to see.
Then back into town for lunch (it's an hour and half drive each way out to the stampede).
After lunch went to the Age of Dinosaurs museum. This is a "working" museum where they not only have some super cool original dinosaur bones, but also people working to extract the bones from the rock. Our guide, Kathrine, was super enthusiastic about the work going on there (and life in general actually).
Then onto Longreach. On the way we had another round of Bobs and Dollys, which we won rather convincingly. Also saw lots of emus.
Arrived at the motel in Longreach, raced to get our laundry put on, then went across the road to see the PLANES!! I might have squeed a lot. Seeing the planes was my main reason for even coming on this trip.
Back to the motel for a very yummy dinner of roast pork and lamb and veggies.
Then across to see the planes by night. Well, the 747 anyway.
And finally back to download everything and type this up.
So I always forget *something*. This time I forgot all the paperwork for the trip. Not super critical, but annoying. And the map. But mum brought hers. I also wish I'd brought a bottle opener. How is one meant to kick back with a beer at the end of the day, sitting overlooking the marina and typing up the day's blog entry? Unless one makes sure to get twist tops or cans. But I digress.
So I was up at 5am. The sweetie kindly took me to the airport.
The first flight was in a 717 (really a rebadged MD-95). I'd only ever been in a 717 at the Canberra Airport Open Day, and never flown in one before (I think I've been in other MD planes though). I had seat 22F, which is up near the back of the plane, as I prefer. However the wings on a 717 are *way* back. And the engines are *just there*. In fact if I'd been any further back all would have been able to see would have been the engines. Note to self: next time flying on a 717, get seats up the front, further forward than rows 13/14 which are the exit rows.
We didn't get much in the way of breakfast, just a slice of banana bread. Qantas have also relaxed the PED (Personal Electronic Device) rules. If they're switched to flight mode you can leave them on the entire trip (except laptops, they still want you turn those off for takeoff/landing). And they had these little iPad minis that you could play movies, music and tv on. Sadly no games, which was a bit of a downer. Also the home button was disabled so didn't take you home which was a bit of a poo. Anyway I watched a doco - the Twitter Revolution, which I didn't quite finish because we landed.
Also there were clouds most of the way, so the view was pretty boring for most of it.
Anyway. Arrived in Sydney then went in search of a bit more substantial breakfast. They don't have a Maccas inside T3 so I had to have Hungry Jacks hash browns :(
Then went and met up with mum. We also saw a couple that had Outback Spirit bags as well, so chatted to them a bit too. They were doing a Cape York tour.
Our next flight was on a 767. Up the back again, as per my preference. Mum was happy that she didn't have to sit in the middle seat next to a random because of the 767's 2-3-2 seat configuration.
We took off to the south, but again the clouds made the take off pretty boring.
They gave us a more substantial breakfast this time, but being at the back of the plane it was quite late arriving, so I was glad I'd had something else to eat earlier.
Watched The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet (on full iPads this time) which I quite enjoyed. Mum watched The Other Woman, which looked like it might have been fun. Sadly they didn't have Frozen. They didn't even have the Lego Movie on the iPads, although they had it on the minis on the short flight. Go figure.
After our movies finished we began our descent. Came in from the north but clouds prevented us seeing Cairns before we arrived.
So picked up our bags, checked the price of the shuttle ($28 for two people), then went and took a cab ($26).
Our hotel is lovely. We have a nice view of the marina and the mountains to the south.
Now if the sweetie had been here he would have flopped onto the bed and declared it a day. But it was only about midday, so mum and I decided to go for a wander. We got changed out of our winter clothes and into something more appropriate for the tropics and off we went.
After checking out the pool we meandered past the jetty, lagoon, war memorial etc, then headed through town up to the station. Stopped in Cairns Central for a *very* late lunch at Surf and Thai. Which was more like surf and western Chinese, but whatevs.
Then meandered back to the hotel to get changed to go for a swim in the lagoon! Mum has been to Cairns a couple of times but for one reason or another has never managed a swim in the lagoon. It turned out to be quite pleasant. So stayed in there for a little while, then came back to the hotel again.
So this is where I went on a little expedition to get beer, and sat down outside to type up what we've done so far today :)
It's been quite windy today actually. Which in the tropics is quite a blessing. I'd have been dying otherwise!
Moving on. So after typing up what we'd done so far we went out for another wander. Took some photos of the trees and the lagoon by night - very pretty.
Then battled the crowds in town. It had been the Amateurs day at the races, so there were a *lot* of short skirts, crazy high heels and fascinators. We had a quick wander through the Night Markets, Cairns attempt at an Asian-style market to keep the tourists happy. Then we ended up at Coffee Club for some calamari and chocolate cake.
The back to the hotel to crash.
Driving home from the club the other day and this plane was about to hit the ground .. so the little brother slammed on the brakes and we documented it.
My Dad turned 70 on Sunday.
So we trundled up to Sydney.
And I figured if I was going to be in Sydney, I'd try and catch up with some of my Sydney friends for part one of my birthday bash.
Stu wanted to fly (to get points so he can get Virgin lounge access). So we spent obscene amounts of money on flights and a hotel.
But let me backtrack a minute.
I'd decided that we should go to the Löwenbräu Keller, as it was central for everyone, it had pork, and it had beer. I thought that we could have a lunch, and people could stop in for a drink afterwards if they weren't able to make it to the lunch. Except when I made the tentative booking they said that they were a restaurant and everyone had to be dining. This they underlined. Well actually they said that everyone who made a reservation had to be dining. And they wanted a $20 deposit for everyone. And we had to order off one of the very restrictive set menus. So that was my drama last week. Anyways. I got my RSVPs and made the final booking and paid the deposit, and fortunately on the day everyone showed up who said they would, and no surprises. But more on lunch later.
So Saturday morning we got up and got ready and headed to the airport. And after complaining a couple of weeks ago about Stu getting to fly in one of Virgin Australia's ATR 72-600s, I got to go in one :)
Took off to the north, with a view of Canberra and the new Majura Parkway, but a lot of fog around still (delays all over the place because of heavy fog in the morning, and was a bit stressed that our plane would be late or cancelled).
Actually to say was a bit stressed was putting it very mildly. I was totally stressed out all morning - about the lunch, who would/wouldn't turn up, the restaurant being bumheads, getting to the airport on time, the plane being on time and on and on. Was feeling quite queasy until we got to the airport and our plane was going to be on time ..
But carrying on ..
Because it's such a little plane, they don't have the full food service where they sell food/drinks. Instead they have complimentary drinks and snackages for everyone! So that was pretty nice of them.
Flew almost right over the top of River Island (it was on the other side of the plane)
Then up over Campbelltown and in from the south-west.
Look Mum I can see your house from here.. and mine (under the clouds). Looking into the sun, so not much more in the way of good shots for the rest of the flight.
Bate Bay looking very blue
So off the plane and onto the Airport Train. I've never actually taken this train before. Reason being: it's a complete rip off! $31 for the two of us to get to the city. Absolutely ridiculous. And of course, there was trackwork, so we had to change trains at Central. At least there *was* a train to Circular Quay - when Stu went a couple of weeks ago, there were no trains at all in the CBD.
Walked up to our hotel, and were able to check in. Fairly basic hotel room, but very nice and a pretty decent view.
Then we wandered down to the Lowenbrau, and even though we were fifteen minutes early, we were only *just* the first ones there heh.
No good photos of Marc/Ryan and none at all of Emma/Charlotte.. doh!
So everyone arrived and they brought out meat. So. Much. Meat. This times four!
We got the "Schmankerlplatter" which was $39.50 and the cheapest of the options we were forced into having by the Lowenbrau. I was really annoyed by this, as it meant people couldn't go for a lighter lunch if they wanted to. One thing's for sure - I'll *never* be booking to go to the Lowenbrau again. If opportunity arose I'd still go there, but I'd never organise an event there again.
*Fortunately* they were happy to package up all the leftovers, and Stuart R and my brother took them home. So at least a quarter of all that food didn't end up going to waste.
And the pork was pretty damned good. And there was other meat too. For those that wanted it ;)
So after lunch, since the Lowenbrau were being buttheads about not wanting people to drop by casually, we headed up to the Argyle for drinks. Fiona, Stu, Chris, Daniel&Fi and me and the sweetie went, and were joined by Fran, Jake, Ric, David and Yvonne. Where we stayed til early evening :)
The Argyle's unisex bathroom. The funky pods at the far end are the urinals!
So all in all it was actually a wonderful afternoon. I hadn't seen Chris in twenty years, and I'd never even met Stuart R (except online, and he had actually thought I was a boy which gave everyone a good laugh ;) ). And all sorts of lengths of friendships in between. The only sad part was not having enough time to catch up with everyone for as long as I'd have liked. Oh well.. will have to make more effort on future trips! And convince people to come visit ;)
Stumbled back to the hotel.
Picked up some snackages on the way back to the hotel, thinking we might get hungry later on. But we never did. Too much meat!
However the hotel had put out a little bit of cake and a macaron for my birthday - how sweet of them :) (when they asked at checkin if I was up for a special occasion I said I was :) )
Enjoyed the view briefly before collapsing into (a very soft) bed.
So the last morning of our stay in South West Rocks and the sun comes out. Hrmmm.
So we went up to the gaol again to get a few photos of it in the sun.
On the way back to the highway I got some photos of some of the houses and how they elevated them to keep off the flood plain.
Some build their houses on a big mound
While others just go two stories
Had a maccas stop near Port Macquarie for lunch. This is on the roundabout next to it.
Saw some birds circling
The Rock! It's still there!
An F/A-18 near Williamtown
And arrival at our motel on Lake Macquarie around 4:30pm. It has a nice view of the lake.
Watched the storm roll in. Read a book. And just chilled out for a bit. Stepping out of the airconned-to-cold motel room was like stepping into a sauna. It was that hot/humid, even after the storm had passed.
So headed into Newcastle to meet up with Fiona. Was a lovely night and great to catch up with her again.
Went to Goldbergs on Darby Street.
There was cheesy olive bread
I had "black pepper marinated lamb fillet" on a smashed kipfler and apple rosti topped with sumac aioli. It was delish!
Stu had "lemon and thyme baked ricotta" with warm olive and pind nut salad, watercress, roasted capsicum and chilli jam
Fiona had a pretty amazing platter of goodies.
Then back to the motel to crash. The aircon worked super well and made the room lovely and cold to sleep!
It got pretty close!
Theme from Lost in Space
Theme from Jaws
Highlights from Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Adventures on Earth - Concert suite from E.T. (The Extra-Terrestrial)
Theme from Schindler's List
The Raiders March from Raiders of the Lost Ark
Theme from Jurassic Park
Theme from Superman
March from 1941
Hedwig's Theme from Harry Potter
Sayuri's Theme from Memoirs of a Geisha
Main Title from Star Wars
Imperial March from Star Wars
Princess Leia's Theme from Star Wars
Cantina Band Theme from Star Wars
Throne Room and End Titles from Star Wars
This story is fricken awesome!!
And all things being equal I might have gone to see it in Canberra today. But decided to offer a silent protest to the whole Tibet nonsense and not go at all.
I did however sneak a peak at the plane yesterday... (sorry about the crappy photo)
Saturday morning I headed down to the lake for the F/A-18 flyby. Took a photo of cannons while I waited..
Right on time (I think), the F/A-18s flew up from the south east. They were very fast and very loud. I didn't trust myself with burst mode, but did get this nice shot of them just as they were separating.
Then they fired the cannons. I could feel the shockwave from them from where I was standing some distance back.
On the way back to the car snapped this pic of a duck..
Then I headed off to Cancon, where Stu was competing. I got there in time to see him finish his first battle.
Damien requested this photo of an army in the "ancient" section. I don't know who ended up winning, but the line held remarkably well, and they'd killed three of the four elephants at one point when I looked over..
At lunch, Damien and Stu and I headed off to "New Asia" in Dickson. Damien is a regular there and now is on first name terms with the staff :) We had some delicious (if slightly *warm*) food there before heading back to Cancon for the afternoon session.
The beginning of Stu's second battle
A close up of one of Stu's guns
And some more of his guns
After the games, we came home, and Natalie and Andrew came over for pizza and movies. I slightly overcooked the pizzas, whoops. We watched Dr Strangelove, and Shakespeare in Love. I think they had a nice time.. :)
Sunday morning Stu headed off to Cancon while I painted and built model aeroplanes, washed the sheets, did several days worth of washing up, etc.
For dinner we went to Mamak Corner in Garran with some of the other war gamers. More good food there. I had some fried ice cream for dessert - haven't had that in ages.
Stu played both these dudes on his first day
Today was more of the same for me, and indeed more of the same for Stu.
Stu won this trophy - the Captain-General's trophy for chivalrous behaviour (or something like that) :)
Have to go back to work tomorrow. Doh!!