My goal this year, in addition to buying rough Australian opals, was to experience the Australian tropics (or “top end” as it’s known in Oz) and see a bit of new scenery. And part of the Australian scenery I’ve missed on previous trips, but will be sure to visit this year, is Uluru (or Ayer’s Rock). Maybe I’ve bit off more than I could chew, but I decided early on, to drive the entire north-south distance of this beautiful sunburned continent…Darwin to Adelaide…3500km all told.
5/4/14: Caught a small United Express Embraer 175 out of Billings to Denver. Nice flight but no coffee service aboard…so I settled for a ginger ale. On time…even arrived in Denver 10 Minutes early. Left Denver in a spanking new 737-800. Very nice plane…clean and modern…again the flight was on time.
Once in LAX I picked up my suitcase at concourse 7 and walked to concourse 4 as instructed on my ticket. But Qantas was not at terminal 4. So I hiked to Tom Bradley international terminal to make it to Qantas QF16 at gate 154. The snafu was due to a newly completed international terminal which was quite classy and modern. The new Bradley West project was a 1.5 billion dollar addition of shops, restaurants and passenger lounges…1.25 million square feet in all. I will not complain about a little extra luxury and comfort .
Flight departed 1 hour late from LAX due to heavy plane traffic, but we made up all but 5 minutes into Brisbane on our 747-400. Smooth flight and I was able to get about 5-6 hours sleep as I had paid extra for an exit row seat with plenty of leg room for my lanky 6’2” frame.