Day 1: Leaving on a Jet Plane

We jet off for Australia. It seems like a long time to travel … by today’s standards. We will spend 16 hours in the air from Los Angeles to Melbourne, and another 5 hours flying to L.A., where we wait just a few movements of the little hand on the clock for that epic flight to Melbourne.

That’s no big deal compared to the first European settlers sent by boat to Australia that sailed 11 boats for 9 months in 1787 to a land virtually nobody had visited. I read about the first 100 years of this continent in a book by Robert Hughes, “The Fatal Shore.” You might think about loading 11 space ships with 800 to 1000 people and sending them to Mars to start a new colony. At least the first settlers, or the people who sent them, knew that Australia was inhabitable.

Preparing and packing kept us busy. We checked the weather forecasts, which gave us some inkling, but still had to ponder, “What is appropriate Down-Under-Wear?” 🙂

We have updated passports, some Australian dollars from our local bank, government visas to allow us entry,  and those other (plastic) Visa things that we can use as payment.

About half of our trip has tours planned, and the rest we are free to explore on our own, which we love to do. After starting in Melbourne for a few days, we go to the northeast coast and the warm tropical area that features “The Great Barrier Reef” feature sitting in the Pacific Ocean. We finish in Sydney, situated between those other two stops . Two weeks was what we felt comfortable giving to this travel, so we won’t see the “outback” interior of the country/continent, nor any of the West Coast.

Others that make the trek to Australia also put New Zealand on their itinerary, but that’s another destination that will have to wait for a future trip, if we ever go there at all.

And so our antipodean adventure begins (I learned that word from Hughes’ book, once I looked it up!).

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