FNQ: Day 1: Monday 24 April

25 04 2006

My American friend and colleague, Dave, was on the same flights as us from LA to Sydney to Cairns, and is spending a week with us in Palm Cove before we all head to Cairns for the next conference. Palm Cove is about 25kms north of Cairns and we're staying in a holiday villa right on the esplanade, overlooking the beach through the large melaleucas and palm trees.

FNQ (Far North Queensland) has had a LOT of rain in the 5 weeks since Cyclone Larry went through, according to the locals, and today (Monday) was one of the first fine days they had. Of course, you get rain in a tropical rainforest… that's to be expected (as is the humidity), but I hope we get some more fine days so Dave can enjoy this little part of the world in the sunshine.

So far we haven't made any plans for the week – we'll do that tomorrow. Today was all about arriving in Cairns from the US, getting the shuttle to Palm Cove, checking in, unpacking, renting a car to get us around, and doing some grocery shopping before the shops closed because tomorrow (Tuesday) is Anzac Day and almost everything will be closed, either for the whole day or until at least noon. And going for a dip in the pool and watching the fruit bats in the palm trees and flying overhead!

As the day drew to a close and we sat out facing the ocean with a red wine for me and beers for the guys, we wondered what the rich people were doing!

Elapsed time

25 04 2006

I figured I went almost 45 hours without sleep (except for a few very short cat naps on the long flight from the USA to Australia):

  • Chicago: getting up to departing: 10 hours
  • Chicago to LA: 5 hours
  • Waiting for next flight at LAX: 4 hours
  • LAX to Sydney: 14 hours
  • Waiting for next flight at Sydney: 2 hours
  • Sydney to Cairns: 3 hours
  • Staying awake until 7:30pm in Cairns: 6.5 hours

I think the only thing that kept me from being totally ragged was the shower I had at LAX and the one again in Sydney. There's just something about a shower that recharges the batteries. These days it's about the only benefit I get from being in the Qantas Club. Sure, there's the snack food (and I must say Qantas beats the American Airlines' Admiral's Club hands down on that score), and the free drinks, but it's the showers that really do it for me!