I'm not proud of it. I'm not even sure how it happened. As I woke up I felt instinctively that something had gone horribly wrong.

"Sleep well?" asked the not unatrractive complete stranger beside me.

Just kidding.

Somehow I managed to stuff up my alarm two nights in a row. Instead of waking at six, I had woken at half past seven and my flight left at half past eight. Thankfully everything was already packed, so it was just a matter of dashing out the door and calling a taxi instead of walking to the train station. It was going to be tight, but experience told me I had just enough time to reach the airport before boarding closed.

Experience hadn't accounted for the inner city charity bike ride that passed through Coronation Drive and held us up for fifteen minutes, or the road works on the expressway that cost us another ten. Fortunately I only had carry on luggage, so I was hopeful of being able to just check in at the extremely helpful self service machines and then dash through security and onto the plane. Unfortunately the machine threw a tantrum because I was five minutes late and told me where to go (I returned the favour). Unfortunately it told me the wrong thing, and by the time I had been redirected to a different service counter at the other end of the check in lounge my plane had already left.

The Qantas staff were able to rebook me on a flight via Cairns. It meant I had five hours to kill at Brisbane airport and another three in Cairns on top of two two and a half hour flights. But that was alright. That's what airport bookshops are for.

By now my head had managed to completely fill itself with snot. Landing in Cairns, and again in Darwin, I felt like my sinuses were preparing to go critical all over the seat in front me, which is a safety hazard during takeoff and landing.

Finally, just fourteen and a half hours after cursing the births of all recreational cyclists everywhere, I dumped my backpack onto my bed and dumped myself into the shower. Later, as I quietly sneezed myself to sleep, I looked back on 2011's most action packed weekend yet, satisfied in the knowledge that I'm just as awesome as ever.

Make of that what you will.




Garry with 2 Rs

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