Springs and Sydney
November 7, 1998 - November 8, 1998
At last it was time to say goodbye: many members of the group were staying
on, but for a great number of us this was the end of the road! There were lots of
hugs, exchanges of e-mail, and everyone waved "bye!" as the bus left for parts
Mike, Marco and I had the same flight out of Alice Springs, but it wasn't
going to leave until later that afternoon, so we put our bags in the storage locker and
walked into Alice Springs for a look around and some shopping. I picked up a few
things I had been waiting for on the trip: a didjeridu, which make those sort of low
humming sound you hear in a lot of commercials, some boomerangs (can't got to Australia
without getting a boomerang) and a few other assorted items.
We also stopped at an Internet Cafe to catch up on the latest news (It was
surprising how many of them were in Alice Springs: I guess that was better than getting one
on your own).
Marco got our tickets changed so that we could all sit together on the
flight back to Sydney that evening: we flew over some storms and had quite a bit of
turbulence as we came in: unlike the first day I arrived, Sydney was fairly cloudy by the
time we got in: we had to circle around a bit before finally making a landing. The
landing reminded me of National Airport (Now called Ronald Reagan International): you see
nothing but water below you until you are seconds from landing. A little nerve
Marco had a friend of his pick us up from the airport, and she gave Mike
and I rides back to our respective hotels (Thanks!) I said my goodbyes, and I was on
my own again back at Aarons Hotel. I grabbed some dinner and went to bed, falling
asleep watching a movie on T.V.
Appropriately enough, it was "Crocodile Dundee II."
Last Day in Sydney
Getting up early the next morning, I performed a few last-minute tasks
that I had not completed my first time around in Sydney. I mailed out postcards
(which I was to beat home by about a week), and took the elevator up to the AMP Tower. Sadly, because of the overcast sky, my
view was not as good as it could have been, but at least I made it to the top! After
lunch, I had to hurry back to catch my transfer to the airport: customs people are hell to
One surprise: I ran into David
and Elizabeth at the airport! They had the same flight to L.A. as I did,
afterwards they would catch a flight to San Diego. We chatted for a bit before
boarding the plane: I would see them again at the luggage carousel in L.A. before flying
back to Dulles International.
The End? Or Only the Beginning?
Relaxing on the plane, I pondered my experiences and thought about the new
friends I had made. I hoped I would be able to keep in touch: being a Navy brat, I
know how people tend to lose contact with each other over time. Thanks to modern
technology, I have e-mail and web sites (like this one!) to help, but there are so many
distractions in life: your job, your home, your life! So I put up these pages to
remember, for I don't want to forget any part of my trip to Australia or any of the faces
of anyone I had met on this trip!
Their names, though... now THAT is another matter...
Happy Traveling, Everyone! Thanks for Everything!
|William Geoffrey Shotts
December 5, 1998
On the Threshold of a New Day