Flights from Hobart to Darwin
Trip Start Feb 26, 2013
29Trip End Apr 15, 2013
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Where I stayed
Not a lot to write up for today. Doreen and I packed up and checked out of the Quality Hotel - Hobart Airport after breakfasting on our assorted foodstuffs and hotel instant coffee. The checking out process was a bit longer because the check-out staffperson was doing the airport shuttle run. We later surmised that the lady who took over from the shuttle driver was late coming in. I wanted to give them my Choices number so I could get points that I will probably never be able to use, but I thought I should try.
Somehow when we drove out of the hotel parking lot, we got on the road going the wrong way and we headed out to the East Coast. I knew quite soon that we were off because the airport should have been just around the corner. When we came to a bridge I recognized as heading to the East Coast, it confirmed my conviction. Plus I hadn't seen any small airplanes on the road signs. After going for awhile, Doreen realized it must be the wrong way, so we turned back and found the right road. We turned in the car and no one noticed the scape I put in the bumper. So we headed off to the check-in counter, which was mercifully quick. So was the security line. Here, trying to be polite and efficient, I told the man behind he could go ahead as I was fishing out my computer, but then I had all my stuff in the bins and on the belt while he was still fishing things out of his pockets.
While we waited in the gate area, I went to look at some woodwork for gifts but it was about 50% higher than what it had been in the tourist shops outside the airport so I balked. Then Doreen went to the bookshop and they had some lovely wooden apples and other things at more reasonable prices so I bought something else to carry around. The gate had an odd arrangement whereby a Sydney flight I think was boarding at the gate we were supposed to be using and our flight said it was boarding at that same gate. I was very confused. But we boarded and things were fine. This airline - JetStar - doesn't even supply complimentary beverages - you have to pay for your cokes etc. And another odd thing was that I had to pick up my bag in Melbourne even though I was continuing on to Darwin with the same airline. Doreen said domestic flights were always like this. Later, though, I heard them say if you were going on to Singapore, you could check your bag from Melbourne to Singapore. I guess this would not be a domestic flight then. Maybe the check-in person misunderstood me. Who knows.
After I collected my bag in Melbourne, Doreen said goodbye and wished me good luck in Darwin. She has given me her son's contact info and I will try to get in touch with them if I get back to Darwin over the weekend. It was wonderful to have Doreen to travel with in Tasmania - I could pump her for information on how people do things in Australia. I hope I didn't annoy her with too many questions all the time.
The flight to Darwin was not too memorable. I looked out the window and saw lots of green below me. At first leaving Melbourne, there were brown fields and stewed celery green ones. Later when I looked down, things were pretty green - I think I saw some roads, streams, some major digging with quite a bit of brown. Then finally toward the Northern Coast I saw a green with what looked like waves - we were over a green sea. The colors changed to different shades of green and a yellow color as well.A I wondered what that was. I saw a line in the water and then saw the boat that made it. Finally I saw the coast line and a deep dark green. We went through a bunch of towering cumulus clouds before landing at 5:30 pm. It is the wet season, so it had rained earlier and the pavement was still wet.
After collecting my bag, I looked for a tourist info, but couldn't find one. I checked out prices in various car rental companies and ended up with a silver Toyota Yaris from Budget. Hope it works out OK. I get 100 km allowance per day, but it is 33 cents per km after that. So I will have to keep track of my mileage.
So now I was faced with my biggest challenge - finding a place to rest my head for the night. I wanted someplace near the airport with wi-fi and not too expensive. I got 2 out of 3 so I guess it is not too bad. I went over to the restaurant. They have a gate around the hotel and your room key unlocks and locks the gate so you can go out. I got a take-out salad from the restaurant next door and then I went to the Thirsty Camel bottle shop next to the restaurant and bought a bottle each of beer, water, and gatorade-type drink. I spent some time trying to regulate the temperature of the room and reading Thornbirds and now back onto this blog.