Flying on Jetstar is always an interesting experience. It’s the budget of budget airlines. Cheap seats usually mean you are perched on a crate of live chickens somewhere in the cargo hold, right next to a family from Chechnya and across from a pile of strange canisters with radioactive stickers on them.
This flight was no different. Already almost two hours late as the captain tried to reassure us with “just fixing a mechanical difficulty”. Always a promising statement as we’re hurtling down the runway. I’ve seen Wesley Snipes get off a plane later than this via the landing gear and I start wondering if I’m too old to pull off the same manoeuvre?
The two things going my way was that I was stoked to be heading to Sydney to join up with rally photographer Michael Vettas to head to Canberra for the opening ARC round. The other was that I was sitting right at the back of the plane. You don’t hear of too many planes reversing into a mountain. #winning.
Strangely we were only ten minutes into the flight and literally everyone around me was already asleep. All six people in the rows in front of me, the three to the left, the three just behind me and opposite. Even the Hello Kitty girls I was sharing a row with. I know it’s 1am in the morning but with all the shakes, noises and the fact it was only a few minutes ago we took off and hurtled directly up in the air, banked right into an almost vertical roll, I was WIDE awake. They must either be seasoned travellers or there was a door ajar somewhere and everyone was dead from decompression but I was yet to notice. I always knew my 40 year diet of cheeseburgers and soft drinks would turn me into some sort of science experiment that would render me invincible.
Landing in Sydney, thankfully safely, reminded me of the rich culture and diversity I’d been missing in Perth. There was the vacant stares of fellow travellers passing each other up and down the passenger bridges at the terminal, the early morning coffee induced zombi businessmen, and my personal favourite, the woman wearing the gold leaf puffy jacket and spandex straight from a 1980′s Dire Straights video.
Mr Vettas’ Subaru was a welcome sight and we spent no time doing what most greeting snappers do – finding the nearest coffee shop and talking cameras for the next two hours!
Making the most of my Canon Professional Services membership we headed across to Sun Studios to pick up some loan gear for the coming rally. When Rick emerged from the storage room with a Canon 1DX, 300mm L 2.8 (the new light-as-a-feather-version) and the 70-200 2.8L it was similar to the scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark where there was a religiously bright light appearing and angels singing. Albeit without the skin melting aftermath. Those pesky Nazis.
Next it was off to Honda to collect our media car. A spankingly neat CR-V CT-I VIP R2D2 CCVT…or something or other. Anyway it’s quite pretty and will be a nice ride down to Canberra tomorrow.
Fast forward a bit and I’ve had a little nap and a sandwich and looking forward to stage two of my February adventure. Oh and I met Michael and Brenda’s cat. He’s an old ginger named Tigger. I like Gingers. Here’s his picture. I’d like to put him in my pocket and keep him.