Monday, 28 May 2012

Canberra trip

Who doesn't loves surprises? Pleasant ones that is.  There we were on Friday evening contemplating the weekend ahead when the phone rang.  It was my brother.  He had been given a couple of corporate box tickets to watch one of the more important rugby games of the season in Canberra the next evening.  Would I like to join him, flying down, accommodation, meals, hire car, etc all taken care of.  I didn't take much convincing.

First thing the next morning I took the chili chicken out of the freezer for Mr Fudge's Saturday evening meal, with careful instructions on how to push the microwave button.  I secretly prayed that it was the chili chicken and not the frozen egg whites, as that could have turned out to be a very disappointing meal indeed.

Now, as a general rule I never to travel on anything flying through the air with less than four jet engines, so I really had to take a leap of faith when we were confronted with our aircraft of choice.  It was a twin-engine turboprop, and since my brother had earlier recalled a classic cartoon involving a spare propeller being carried down the aisle past startled passengers mid-flight, we had to laugh.  But the trip only took 45 minutes, so I figured if the worst came to the worst,we could probably glide into Canberra.

My brother had booked us into two separate rooms, so the second surprise was to discover that each room had been upgraded to a two bedroom suite.  Luxury. 

We were first in the dining room that evening.  We didn't want to be late for the game and only had time for the main course before hopping into the rental car for the drive to the stadium.  A few minutes after we settled into our seats, you can imagine our surprise (No 3) when our friendly host distributed the evening meal.  We felt like Hobbits having Second Breakfast and thanked our lucky stars that we didn't have the full three-course meal back at the hotel.

The game was very close and I think I must have been the only person in the stadium barracking against the home team, but after 21 years living in Queensland, the Queensland Reds had my undying support.  There was much delirious cheering during the final seconds of the game when the home team was given a penalty virtually in front of the goal posts.  As the never-miss goal shooter lined up in front of the ball, the final siren blasted and his boot simultaneously sent the ball on its way.  The delirium turned to stunned silence as the ball sailed slowly past the wrong side of one of the uprights.  In fact, the only sound to be heard was me madly cheering.  We won by one point.

There's nothing like a little drama to get the blood flowing through the veins.  The next morning, after a leisurely breakfast at the hotel, we decided to get to the airport early to avoid any last-minute problems returning the hire car.  My whole life flashed before my eyes as it became clear that the car was lifeless.  The headlights had been accidentally left on overnight and unlike many modern cars, this particular model didn't automatically turn the headlights off after a few minutes.  Internal screams.  My second name is Chicken Little, so it's just as well my brother is the calm, methodical type.  After a couple of phone calls, the road assist people advised that we had been bumped to the top of the list and within 10 minutes the friendly NRMA man was there and the car very swiftly breathed life once more.

We arrived at the airport a few minutes before the aircraft was due to leave, only to be advised that there was an hour's delay due to local fogs.  So we had Second Breakfast.

It was such a grand adventure. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That plane looks fine. I've only seen turboprops feature a few times on Air Crash Investigation.