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Arriving in Australia

September 16th, 2000 · No Comments

Landing in Canberra

Day 260 traveling the world

We landed just after sunrise, after seeing 6 movies, eating 5 meals (kind of) and taking numerous melatonin (natural sleeping pills). It was a long flight.

Spraying the airplane prior to landing in  AustraliaJust prior to arrival, one of the flight attendants opened all the overhead baggage compartments and sprayed the plane for bugs. They said it was a harmless spay, but we should cover our faces just as well. Welcome to Australia!

It was a matter of interest to learn that we were the first DC-10 to ever land in Canberra’s airport. We would be processing at the RAF terminal adjacent to the airport. They are not an international airport and were not equipped to handle a group of our size all at once. We were told that we could exit the plane only after all the luggage and bikes had been removed, and then only 5 rows at a time. It would take up to 2 more hours before the entire plane would be vacated!

As soon as the doors opened a quarantine officer boarded. His job was to interview us to see what sort of food stuff we were bringing into the country. They have so many rules and fears that it took a pamphlet to cover all of them. He was a jolly gentleman and performed his job with such jest, he had us all laughing. When he found a “contraband food” the owner was given a choice to either consume it or relinquish it. When the owner decided to consume it, he patiently waited for them to finish before he would move on to the next person.

Larry and I had anticipated this routine, so we made sure we had eaten all of our food stuff prior to landing. The only thing we had was a bottle of Mosel wine. Of course even though this was not contraband, the officer did joke that he would share it with us.

So far, if Australia is as warm and friendly as these folks at the airport, I can tell we are going to love it here.

As we exited the plane, a dog sniffed us. I felt sorry for the poor dog having to sniff the bunch of us after we had been traveling for a day and a half. What a nasty job! He was a drug sniffing dog, just doing his job. I’m sorry to say, he sniffed one of our group and sat down. This particular rider was carrying some marijuana into the country. This being a no-no, the rider has now been bumped from the trip and has to appear in court in a few weeks.

I can’t imagine what the rider was thinking.

Tags: Australia