I left Heathrow airport out of Terminal 4 at around 22.30 on Sunday 10th January flying to Guangzhou, China which took 11 hours and then I took a flight from there to Brisbane arriving at 08.30 Tuesday 12th January. I was met by Johnny Aungier, an old friend from my home village of Allenwood, Co. Kildare. Johnny now lives and works in Australia with his wife Sandra and he drove us to their lovely 3-bed home in the suburbs of Brisbane, Everton Park to be exact.
The last few days have been all about chilling out and acclimatising to the heat down here. Pale Irish skin needs to be coaxed into sunlight slowly!!! It is about 33 degrees during the day, glorious weather. We’ve been out and about, down around the city for a drive and look around. We also went up Mount Coot-Tha, which has amazing views over Brisbane, a restaurant and look out station which was cool.
Last night, Wednesday 13th, I caught up with a brother of my college buddy Ger. Enda Brady has been out here for over eight years, married to an Irish girl and they have an eight month old. He had some time so we hung out taking in Queen Street, a walk down by the river and then out to Kangaroo point for a few beers and a bite to eat looking out over the river. We took a drive down Southbank where the Maritime Museum is. Had a few drinks to wrap up the night in the Plough Inn.
It has been great to be able to chill out and relax and now I’m getting ready for a flight at 06.30 tomorrow morning, Friday 15th January. This brings me to Prosepine, a 90 minute flight and from there I grab a bus to Airlie Beach, which is about an hour or so drive when the fun will really begin!
Brisbane has been cool spending time with Johnny & Sandra. Johnny was on night shifts and Sandra working during the day so after two years great to have had this time to catch up with both.
So that’s it, it’s all kicking off now, to bed and catch my morning flight to go meet the crew, join Derry-Londonderry-Doire and get this party started. I’ll keep you posted.
JC signing off.