August 24, 2008
My flight over to Australia was uneventful. However, I felt I was flying forever though. While on the airplane from Los Angeles to Brisbane, I ate two meals, fell asleep three times, and watched at least four full-length movies. Having enough fuel did cross my mind a few times. Flying to Australia I lost a day. Maybe you can figure that one out!
When I got to Brisbane in the early morning, I had another 1.5-hour flight north to a small town called Gladstone. I could not believe I was in a foreign country and for the first time in the southern hemisphere. Everyone spoke English, but it was difficult for me to understand their accent and they used some different words like "skippy" for kangaroo and "chooks" for chickens. There was another item I had to take care of...exchanging my USA dollars to Australian dollars (what is the current exchange rate?). This was not a problem for there were a couple of money exchange places at the airport.
Gladstone's airport terminal consisted of a two-room building. One semi-large room was for ticketing and car rentals, the other housed a bar and baggage claim. This quaint town was the place where I was going to spent my first night because there was only one boat that leaves here for Heron Island each day and I had missed it. The hotel I stayed at was not glamorous. In fact, it looked like small apartment complex. Housing only twenty rooms, it had an unheated pool and a very small restaurant. Since it was Sunday, most of the town was shut down so I spent my evening quietly reading up on Heron Island.