We have arrived! It has taken us a day of travelling to London, waiting in the airport for hours, an 11 hour flight to China, 5 and a half hours sitting in Guangzhou airport and then another 7 hour flight to Perth. All this on only a few hours sleep but we are finally here! I can’t believe it! We got to Australia at 6am Sunday 16th October 2016 (today).
I don’t think I realised how much went into preparing to leave the country for the foreseeable future. You need to pack SO much! You have to prepare for anything so you end up taking loads of first aid stuff that you just hope you’ll never need to use! Not to mention the fact that the ‘aim of the game’ is to not have to buy supplies for as long as possible – this leads to a lot of extra toiletries! (Unfortunately for us China Southern airlines, for some strange reason, don’t allow gas canisters in checked luggage so we had to throw away our deodorants at the airport – note to self, choose a different airline for your next long haul flight!) And then you pack and repack your bag just to try and get everything to fit – it all takes a lot of time – please say this is not just what it was like for me?!
So… we’re all packed and sorted so all that’s left are last goodbye’s. Me and Niall had very different approaches to our last night in the UK. After spending the past couple of weeks meeting with friends to say goodbye, I spent my last evening chilling and catching up with my family (they will read this so HI!)
Niall’s approach was a bit more risky… he went on a night out and got mortal (drunk to the non-Geordies out there) with his friends! An evening at the pub led to lots of drinks and shots being bought for him and an increasingly anxious girlfriend (me) picturing him sleeping in and missing the train after not getting in until the crack of dawn! (Thankfully this didn’t happen). I think his mum, Deb, needs a shout out for going into town in the early hours of the morning to pick him up! Thank you Deb! He handled the hangover better than I would of, that’s for sure!
The first proper step in our travels didn’t exactly go according to plan. We got to the station in plenty of time – so far so good – and started the hugs and goodbyes with enough time to get to our platform and get our train. The problem arose when, amongst saying goodbye, we didn’t check the train that had come onto the platform, a train guard told us to get onto the train quickly so that it wouldn’t be late leaving and with that we were suddenly on a train heading in completely the wrong direction (towards Scotland)!
Another shout out, this time, to my mum for calling us and making us aware of what we had done pretty soon after we had left. Good job we left ourselves the full day to get to London – thankfully! A lovely train guard helped us get on a different train back in the right direction and he didn’t charge us anything extra! That train was delayed by a couple of hours but we were still able to get to Heathrow with hours to spare! Crisis averted!
The rest of our trip was pretty uneventful, just very long. I unluckily got a bad cold a few days before we left so it wasn’t the easiest flight but there were decent films and no delays so can’t complain.
Our first glimpse of Australia was an amazing sunrise over some misty mountains… so pretty great. Everyone has been super friendly too, even customs who were making jokes to us while we were ‘processed’! It was 6am when we got off the flight though so maybe we just caught the airport at a quiet time!
All in all the trip could have gone a whole lot worse and, apart from our train fiasco was relatively straightforward! Just the jet lag to fight off now! I’ll post again soon once we have explored Perth a bit more.
Sending love x