4th September – Killing time at Sydney Airport   Leave a comment

One of the big problems with travel is the amount of time you spend doing absolutely nothing. Of course there are books to read, movies to watch and music to listen to on long plane journeys, but the reality is you are too knackered to really enjoy those things and too uncomfortable to get a decent kip.

I am on my way to New Caledonia, a French overseas territory in the Pacific. I left home before 1400 on the 2nd, took a bus to Heathrow which was delayed due to a problem with the aircon. At the airport I found I couldn’t board the plane to Sydney because I didn’t have a visa. But I protested ‘I’m not going to Australia, I’m staying in transit’. It transpired that because I was more than eight hours in transit I would have to pay £40 for a visa, although I could have got it for free if I had done it on line earlier. Nice of the travel agency to let me know! Anyway an hour later it was sorted and I could check in.

Seven hours later the plane stopped at Dubai where we all had to disembark. Once back on board we were told there was a problem with the aircon (what else?) Two hours later we were off and 14 hours after that I was in Sydney. Now due to the delay I didn’t have to wait more than eight hours for my connection so I wouldn’t have needed a visa after all (but I can’t get a refund). Oh the joys of travel, but as they say you can’t make an omelette without cracking an egg.

Its now 1000 on the 4th of September on a beautiful morning in Sydney (whatever happened to the 3rd of September) and in the afternoon I fly to Noumea, the capital of New Caledonia. As there were no British bird tour group going to this region in 2013, I have joined an American outfit, Field Guides and this is my first trip with them. The main reason for visiting New Caledonia is to see the Kagu, a chicken sized bird found only there that has such an ancient ancestry that it has no close relatives and is placed in a family of its own.

After visiting New Caledonia we travel on to the island groups of Vanuatu and Fiji for more gripping birds. It is very unlikely I will get either wi-fi or spare time once there so I will probably not be able to post updates until I return.


As we left Dubai there was a good view of the Burg Khalifa, at 830m the tallest building in the world. Desert haze and thick glass have reduced the image quality.


Another view of the Dubai skyline with the Arabian Gulf behind.


Approaching Sydney Harbour. The famous bridge can just be see in the lower left of the picture, whilst the sun is reflecting off Bondi Beach to the right.

Posted September 4, 2013 by gryllosblog in Uncategorized

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