Saturday, 1 November 2008

Part of the theory behind the research was the need to fill in the time between finishing packing (approximately ten in the morning with a few last-minute items to be added once the clothes line had done its job) and the arrival of the Bowen Transit Airport Shuttle. 

When the shuttle turned up on schedule around 3:45 for a 6:30 departure from Whitsunday Coast it looked like there were only the two of us on board but checking at Bowen Travel produced a third paying customer.

We’d spent several years without a bus connection between Bowen and the airport, and the service has only resumed relatively recently. 

Hopefully, the numbers on board reflected the fact that we were leaving town on Festival Saturday rather than lack of demand because the option of your front door > airport > front door seems like a much better option than leaving the car at the Airport while you’re away.

As far as the actual details of the journey are concerned, there’s not much to say. A change of seat to avoid the afternoon sun allowed me to avoid the Christian radio over the speakers. 

An announcement at the airport alerted us to the remarkable fact that a Jetstar flight was, for once, running ahead of time.

That unexpected occurrence was more than countered by the fact that the Gold Coast Airport shuttle was running more than three-quarters of an hour late.

Flights from Whitsunday Coast usually depart in mid- to late afternoon rather than the early evening, so we weren’t quite anticipating that the food outlets around the Baggage Claim area were universally closed which meant that the advertised “thirty-five minutes wait” for the shuttle wasn’t spent indoors, sitting down. Instead, we stood around outside the terminal watching the off-duty airport staff wander off homewards while we scanned the horizon for the shuttle.

Fortunately, once aboard, the journey to Southport was straightforward and uneventful, but it was still well after ten-thirty when we alighted in front of the unit which would be our base for the next forty hours.

Given the lateness of the hour, we took a rain-check on eating and crashed, figuring that skipping a meal after a substantial breakfast and a late lunch probably wouldn’t prove fatal.



© Ian Hughes 2017