Day 1…

TITLE: Go Time!

Day one was a long time in the making, so long in fact that it was difficult to believe it was finally happening. I’d played this moment over in my head so many times since work began on this stage and now here I was standing at the airport checking in my overweight bag (no surprises there). A mere 28kg – those extra 5kg were of course essential.

Stage three was about to begin, but this time I would not be setting off alone. Goncalo, a friend from Portugal would be joining me to film the journey, to help me tell the story and provide further insight into my time on the road. It was a good feeling to have company, though the prospect of being filmed on a daily basis was daunting to say the least.

Filming had officially begun three days earlier on the evening of Dad’s Anniversary so I’d had a taste of it. From this introduction I’d gained a tiny bit of confidence, just enough to know that given time, I may become comfortable enough to ignore the camera and ‘act’ naturally.

I wasn’t quite there yet though and also needed to stop directing questions at Goncalo while he was filming.

“I’m not here.” He kindly reminded me. After I’d given him a big grin as I walked by wheeling my bag to the check in counter.

The first leg of the journey was the flight from Hobart to Sydney, uneventful and pleasant. It was nice to just be for a while, after so many months of planning I was exhausted well before this day! In Sydney we used the time to catch up on emails, calls and post on Facebook before getting some lunch. Due to board at 1.40pm we made our way to gate 45 and joined the line of people. Moments before having our tickets scanned a chirpy voice came over the PA, “Reminder, Virgin Australia flight 1421 is now departing from gate 34.” We were in the line to go to Australia’s country music capital, Tamworth. Not part of the plan.

On the right plane we stowed our carry on luggage of which we had three items each, Eye Spy signage for the vehicle came in one large bubble wrapped cylinder and a big flat bubble wrapped square, we had a camera bag each and our laptops as well as the jackets we’d each discarded as the temperature was 10 degrees warmer than Hobart, a balmy 17.

A child cried for much of the three plus hours in flight but this didn’t bother the man seated alongside Goncalo. He had his earphones in and was switching between reading comics on his iPad and play air guitar. Across the aisle was a women we’d spotted earlier in the bar where we’d eaten lunch. I don’t think she’d eaten lunch but she’d made up those missing calories in alcohol. This resultant inhibriated state turned her into the baby whisperer and even though the screaming child was three rows in front on the opposite side she instigated a game of “peek-a-boo” which was surprisingly successful. Either that or the child was in shock. Whichever it was, we were surrounded.

On the ground in Cairns we were met by Jason, he would be driving the support vehicle on this stage. Jason took us all to our accommodation in Cairns. Tropical North Queensland Tourism had put us up at the Mantra Trilogy for two nights which afforded us a wonderfully comfortable base from which to prepare the vehicles and gather supplies.

By this stage it’s 6.30pm, just enough time to have a quick shower and head to the Boatshed for dinner with friends. Over a well earned beer and a tasty meal of kangaroo we shared stories of adventure before walking back to the hotel to fall into bed.

TIP: You never need to be so rushed that you resort to peeling away the foil underneath the cap of the complimentary shampoo bottle with your teeth. More shampoo in ended up in my mouth than would’ve been required to wash my hair sufficiently.

KMS: Only 5 by road today

TRACK: Flight Facilities – Clair De Lune (feat. Christine Hoberg)

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