2009 North to Alaska – Day 30

PORTLAND to SYDNEY – land down under here I come!

Friday – today is the last day of this great holiday.  To celebrate I have Vegemite toast and coffee and then finalize my packing.  We decide to laze around in front of the TV until it is time to go – about 1.30pm.

The weather has not improved as the rain has once again decided to fall but nothing can be done about that. We arrive at the airport unload the luggage and head to check-ins.  One of my bags is pulled up because it is 26kg. I explain to them about booking prior to December 2008 and after a few checks have been made everything is good.  I need to allow for all the security checks so after bidding a really tearful goodbye – I nearly knock over the guy in front (he is not pleased) as I look behind to wave goodbye – I am not watching where I am going of course not to mention I cannot see because of the tears in my eyes.

What’s this?  Through security in about 30 seconds so word must have spread that I am a trustworthy person.  I find my way to Gate B2 where I find a seat and catch up writing in my journal so that I can detail this part of the journey.

This part of the terminal in Portland is lovely.  There are a few shops around but I think that I am shopped out.  I put on the ipad and listed to some soothing music while I write.  Unfortunately I cannot sit still for too long and seeing that my trusty camera is not far from my hand I have to take some photos.  Is there such a thing as Canon withdrawal?  Maybe I have discovered a new disease.  As usual people start to look – who cares?  This is my Boarding Gate at Portland.  You can see that I am on flight 568 that boards at 4.30pm and departs at 5pm.

Yes I know – tragic tourist!  Nevermind – sitting down again I read part of my journal which reminds me of how fabulous this trip into Canada, Alaska and the Western USA has been.

We saw so many things and even though it was a bit rushed from time to time our Road Trips are always a sense of fun somewhere along the line.

Looking out of the window of the  terminal my plane has taxied in to the spot so out comes the camera again – just cannot help myself.  The sky is still threatening, let’s hope that there are no storms on the way down the coast.


Well that was an adventure.  Waited for about one and a half hours and then boarded.  The people in the seats in front had spread out their stuff all in the overhead lockers so I reorganised much to their annoyance and got my cabin bag (being very careful) up above my seat and also made room for other people.  Some people are just so inconsiderate and live by the principle ‘I’m alright Jack’.  My seating companions are an asian lady on the aisle who cannot speak english and a female medical student beside me who has spread out all her paperwork which looks like some form of questionnaire from a course in Portland.  Anyway, after discreetly moving papers I settle down to enjoy the flight.

No sooner are we in the air than the food comes around. Well, orange juice and cracker mix.  We are told that there are other beverages and snacks available but they are at a cash only basis if you want them.  No thanks – last thing on my mind is food.

It is a good trip so far and of course there just has to be the photos out the window.  At least the windows this time are relatively clean.


A smooth landing coming into LAX and then it is off to the Tom Bradley Terminal for my Qantas flight home.  Out the Alaska terminal and turn right then a long walk because of the terminal renovations.  The Qantas area is right down the end (figures).  I have to get the lift to Level 3 then another long walk to Gate 123 which is – yep – right down the end.  Obviously Qantas is not the flavour of the month at the moment.

Through security – shoes, jacket, watch, necklace off – through the gate and – the bloody beeper goes off.  The rather large attendant comes over and looks at me as if I am some sort of terrorist and says ‘do you have any metal object in your pockets’? ‘No’, says I and then I think oh cripes I forgot to take off my belt.  So the belt comes off and also had to empty my pockets of tissues, mints, take off my glasses.  Into the air chamber – feet on figure #1 and hands up – then feet on figure #2 and arms out.  Then wait until a voice says ‘she’s clear’ and I can exit the chamber and retrieve my belongings.  What a nightmare – and even though I don’t have anything illegal I am still made to feel that I do.  Back on the road to Qantas.

I sit at the terminal and then it is time to board.  My flight home is on an A380.  I thought this would be a good idea as I have only flown on the 747. Well, the plane is full, no spare seats.  Two rows behind me is a screaming brat of a kid whose parents do nothing except to say ‘he doesn’t like to fly’. Well next time take a boat.

The row in front is a noxious lady who knows everything.  This is going to be an interesting trip.  One good thing is that the screen in the seat is about twice the size of the 747 screen.

Local time LAX – 11.05pm – time to Sydney 13 hours and 44 minutes.  Speed is 763km per hour.  Distance to Sydney 12247km. Altitude 4700 metres.  Outside air temp -4 degrees celsius.

Had a bit of a sleep but this plane is definitely not comfortable.  The seats are jammed in and when the person in front of me reclines her chair she practically dislocates my knees.  Letters will be written to Qantas about this.

For the entire flight I cannot get out of my seat because I cannot stand up with the back of her chair in my lap.  I even try to give her a hint and get her to put the back up a bit but no luck.  I cannot get anything out of my bag on the floor and now the person behind me is snoring.  What else is going to happen – I just want to get home and out of this plane.  Never again will I fly in an A380.  Well, not unless I can fly First or Business class and that is not going to happen unless I win lotto.

This is the screen and no it is not taken with a zoom.  The screen is about 6 inches from my nose.

Even when meals are served she has to be told to put up her seat.  What a moron.  There is an A380 cam that you can tune into and see the nose of the plane and where we are going.  The photo is so blurry it could be anything anywhere.

We arrive in Sydney and yep – it is raining.  But nevermind I am home and can’t wait to get off this nightmare of a plane.

Collect my bags, through customs and the family is there to greet me.  So happy to be home and see everyone – will be good to sleep in my own bed tonight.

When I get home I unpack some of my trinkets acquired on the trip –

This is the whale statue that Kylie bought me in Juneau.  Isn’t is great.  Just a happy whale leaping about in the ocean.

The polar bears are just adorable and came from Vancouver.

The buffalo comes from the Crazy Horse Monument and is carved by a Native American Navajo by the name of Frank Tom.

The Christmas Tree decorations below  Kylie & Tyler bought me over the course of the trip.

So not only do I  have photos and this journal but these lovely trinkets to enjoy and remember the good times every time I look at them.


 Certainly was a great trip and now to start planning the next one – –

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *