It’s 9pm, and almost 12 hours since we left Dubbo. We’re finally on the plane, seated, refresher towel has been used, a babies still screaming, the noise cancelling headphones set up, movies previewed ready for watching when we get under way while listening to the emergency procedures in Arabic. There’s a small backwards shudder, this means the plane is off the air bridge and we’re close to takeoff. About 5 minutes late but a small burst of the afterburner and we’ll catch that up.
A recap on the day, not without a few challenges for one of my fellow travellers.
Genelle is up early, walks to the cemetery and leaves a fresh bunch of flowers at Tim’s grave, them home for breakfast and the final , final, final pack. To the airport, Mark is already there with Simone, Paul and Liz are there too, check in and then through security. Or not through security, depending on who has titanium knees now! Dave and Alison arrive and as we go through security check I set the alarms off, then take my belt and shoes off, then a scan with a metal detector then frisked by a smiling security person. It’s buckets of fun. A coffee and we’re on the plane, Sydney in no time and then over to International terminal to drop our backpacks off, train into Sydney, off at Central, bus to Broadway, lunch at a little cafe, shopping, it’s all going swimmingly well. Except Genelle has a bit of a headache, so does Mark. Drugs fixes Genelle’s head, but Mark’s yawning a sure sign he’s about regurgitate lunch and maybe a bit more. He looks green, so a short sleep on the grass doesn’t cure him, and Plan B Genelle organises an Uber out to Roselands to John and Annette’s. The Uber driver arrives promptly and we’re about half a kilometre down the road, near Sydney Uni Vet Department and Genelle calls the driver to pull over. He wheels into Sydney uni grounds, near the rugby ground, Sydney Uni are playing Gordon, and Marks on the grass outside the football ground with about 5 litres of spew in a plastic bag. Not a drop of chuck in the Uber, he’s a very neat spewer that Mark.
Our driver is very patient and pretty considerate and I think thankful that his Subaru Uber doesn’t smell like the vomit comet.
Roseland’s and 9 Katrina Place is a welcome sight, especially for Mark who’s eyes have rolled back into his head and face a greener green, the headache clearly has a grip on him and the good drugs are in our backpacks back at the airport.
A catch up with Annette while Mark sleeps, has a shower and gets his mojo back before Annette drops us at Birchgrove train station and the ride to International terminal.
We recover the backpacks, race through imigration without any security issues, much easier than Dubbo for me and my metal knees. Our Qatar Airlines flight is pretty full, very few spare seats, and unfortunately we have a screaming baby on the other side of the plane. It screams the whole to Doha, the noise cancelling headphones aren’t good enough to cancel the sound out, I’d like to suggest drugs to the parents but I guess that’s a bit inappropriate and not my place.
14 hours in a plane is a long time. I’ll say no more. But the plane is very new, very modern, service is good, the food ok and if you’re in economy that’s all you can hope for except maybe a few empty seats around you.
It’s 11.30 am in NSW and 4.30am when we see the lights of Doha. The map shows Shiraz and other names that tell me the right hand side of the plane, over a bit of sea is Iran.
Shortly we get a short break before the last leg from Doha to Dublin.
Doha airport is a beautiful modern airport, lots of seats, lots of shops, friendly staff. Much nicer to stop in than Abu Dhabi.
Ciao from Doha