The Far Side of the World

Well, I’ve reached my destination and unpacked my suitcase – after setting out from home 55 hours ago.  I started with a full day of work on Friday, then to Heathrow to begin my antipodal journey.  There was just about 20 hours of flying time in total (so maybe 22 hours on airplanes) to travel just about 10,300 miles (or more than 16,500 km if you swing that way).

The Queen of the Skies – London to Hong Kong on the upper deck of a Cathay Pacific 747-400.  In case you didn’t know, Cathay Pacific is the flag carrier of Hong Kong but was co-founded there in 1946 by an American and an Australian, both of whom were ex-Air Force pilots from WWII.  In some ways it is considered the world’s third-largest airline, and is the largest international cargo airline.  

After a night in a hotel in Hong Kong – and a quick reminder of why the Hong Kong MTR is so great but also so profitable (i.e. really, really crowded all of the time!) – I continued with Cathay Pacific on an A330 to Brisbane.  There were two notable aspects of the second flight: significant turbulence navigating Typhoon Tembin around Taiwan and the fact that The Beach Boys were flying on the same plane and in the same cabin as me (I didn’t realize this until after the flight, or I would have asked them if they thought the turbulence was good vibrations…).  If you don’t believe me, see the details of their 50th anniversary tour schedule, which happened to fit perfectly into my itinerary.

I’ve got a full week of work here in Brisbane, so I must try to get some sleep now.  At the moment, HK is 7 hours ahead of London and Brisbane 2 hours further in the future, so the time difference and jet lag are a pretty lethal combination.  My initial impressions of Australia – albeit in the dark from the windows of a dodgy minibus after Midnight on a Sunday night – are that it is strikingly like southern California.  I guess this is to be expected in terms of geography, but also weather and some Wild West-type element.  I probably won’t have any time during the week, but hopefully on the long journey back I can perhaps post some pictures and observations…stay tuned.




Posted on 26/08/2012, in travel and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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