Location: California, United States

There are no random acts. We are all connected. You can no more separate one life from another than you can separate a breeze from the wind. (the five people you meet in heaven)

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Avalon airport - a bridge too far?
For unsuspecting non-Aussies like myself, beware. If you are traveling to Melbourne, there are two airports in the city. One is the normal airport (Tullamarine). The other (Avalon) is out in the middle of nowhere and only serviced by JetStar (the Ozzie equivalent of Southwest.) I didn't know until too late. M, a true friend, made the trip to the far reaches of nowhere to come get me. His commentary...

As anyone who lives on the Southern side of Melbourne will attest, Avalon Airport is a long way from home. Here I recount a trip to pick up a friend from Avalon during her recent visit to Melbourne…

Day 1
Laid out a plan of attack, purchased 5 camels and a donkey. Enlisted a couple of small but durable guys from “Sherpas ‘R’ Us” – Melbourne sub-branch. Bought beef jerky, freeze dried food packs, water, compass and two dozen Krispy Kreme doughnuts – set out for Avalon!

Day 2
Distance covered – 38 km. Established base camp in Melbourne CBD. One of the camels is now lame and one of the sherpas is telling lame jokes (or is it the other way around? Either way, one of them will be shot if this continues…) Finished last of the Krispy Kremes; tried beef jerky in ration pack but eschewed this in favour of a delightful grilled vegetable foccacia and a latte from a café in Federation square (note: enduring unbelievable hardships, must remember to ask for no alfalfa sprouts in future, the heartburn is excruciating!) Sherpas drank water from a storm water drain and ate one of the legs on the lead camel. “They only need three!” they gleefully proclaimed between mouthfuls. (Mental note – DO NOT allow sherpas to use my toothbrush!)

Day 3
Distance covered 25 km. Crossed Westgate Bridge today. I have discovered Melbourne motorists are very disparaging towards camel caravans as they are constantly blowing their horns and “flicking the bird” at the camels as they pass. (What could they possibly have against these noble beasts of burden?)

Day 4
A camel farted this morning so I shot them all. Supplies running low so we contemplated eating the donkey. After a vigorous debate, we decided to get Burger King instead – turned out to be the wrong call. After the demise of the camels I discovered one of the sherpas has terrible flatulence; it appears I was a bit hasty with the judgment call on the camels; shot two sherpas.

Day 5
Distance covered 20 km. Woke up thinking I had gone blind overnight – I then remembered to take off my facial mask. Each day has had both good and bad - on the plus side, I now had beautiful smooth skin, on the negative side I now had no sherpas and no beasts of burden except the donkey. I decided to sell the donkey for AUD 40, which co-incidentally is EXACTLY the taxi fare to Avalon airport from Hopper’s Crossing! Met my friend and we took the bus back – took about an hour - very civilized! Upon arrival we were greeted by an angry mob consisting of folks from the RSPCA and the agent from “Sherpas ‘R’ Us” refusing to give me my bond back....


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