T – 1, Blastoff and Safe Landing
Posted by TravellingStrom on April 20, 2012
The Gallipoli Countdown and the Mayan Prophecy Countdown
GutenTag from Deutschland
Well, it was a bit of a rush and a lot of worry, but with the passport in my hands I had some brekky then set off from Rocky at the nice and early time of 6am. The reason for this was to allow at least 10 hours to go 650km to Brisbane, knowing the roadworks were rampant between here and there. I also needed time once there to do an oil change and repack the bike, yet again.
Anyway, thanks once again to my parents who have been very supportive of my travels and once again saw me off, probably to make sure I actually left and didn’t sneak in the back way(just kidding) ;)
It was a tad cool as I left but I figured it would warm up in time, so did not bother putting too much on, but as I was going south and into cooler climes, I maybe shoulda added some layers? I had quite a good run with roadworks to start with, my ex work was doing a toolbox on this Wednesday morning, as usual, so by the time I got there they were only just thinking about setting up. :) I did hit some later on down the road, but this was a different company and they use traffic lights all the time, but use human controllers to push the button, has it s good points, and its bad points.
I took the whole trip quite easy, had some Kentucky Duck in Gympie, they had none, so had to wait 10 minutes while more was cooked, should have went somewhere else, it was finger drippin bad!!! Anyway, I got to Brisbane around 3.30pm and lucky for me Jarrod was at his fathers place and let me in, so I could do the oil change that was needed. :)
It was an afternoon of bike work, with Jarrod washing his enduro bike after last weekends race meet, he is doing very well and placing top of his class and nudging up into the higher ones, good on ya :) Also there was a German girl called Talia(not sure of spelling), she was couch surfing, and was riding a Suzuki 250cc gsx. She will be off to China soon after selling this bike in Sydney, may meet up with her over there, never know :)
After making a mess, I managed to get most things packed the way I needed them ready for tomorrows tight timeline of shipping the bike, then myself!!
Guy, Talia and myself picked up Dan(from Hobart) who was up here for work and went to the Breakfast Creek Hotel for a feed and a few beers, very tasty, then met Sam again when she finished work late, before crashing ready for Blastoff day.
Thursday and I woke up early and managed to get some stuff done on the pute before final packing and saying my farewells, mainly to Sam and Talia( I would see Guy again soon)
I headed to the Dangerous Goods place, I needed to be there on 9am, but planned on being early, lucky for me as I got there at 08.30 and they processed me right away. It only cost me $200 and they allowed everything I had with me except the glue that comes with the tyre repair strings, which I can replace later :) Then I was shown to the customs building, before going back to Qantas to confirm that the bike weighed only 300kg, otherwise the DGC would need to be modified. Well, my guess was good, it was 302kg, so no need to change anything. Back over to customs, where I was told not to bother. Basically, I have to hand over the bike to Qantas freight, with the Carnet and DGC, they then pass all that info on to customs once they issue a waybill. I will not see the bike, nor carnet until it lands and I recieve the bike in Frankfurt.
So, there was a bit of riding back and forth, but in the end, the bike was packed and locked with me only carrying what I need for 4 days, which was one set of clothes and a few other bits and bobs.
Well, a bit of drama because the price just went up!!! I had been quoted approximately $2000 for the bike to Frankfurt, plus a bit of extra, but they now charged me $4200, saying that the dimensions of the bike makes it a volumetric weight of 455kg which is that above price. I was stuck between a rock and a hard place, and although I showed the original quote(by two people who were not there) they said they would try and get me some reduction but that was what it was going to cost!!! I was on a tight schedule, Guy was already here(10.45am) to pick me up and drop me at the domestic terminal, I had a midday flight to catch. I paid, no choice really, but I am seriously pissed off. Especially as I had knocked back a $2800 quote to get my bike to bloody Istanbul, but I got that 3 days after booking my Frankfurt flight.
Anyway, thanks for the lift Guy, I caught the plane and even had time for some Red Rooster for lunch, because the fire alarm had gone off in the Virgin lounge and no flights were being boarded!! I needed to get to Sydney to meet up with my International flight, there was only 1.5 hours between landing and taking off, so I was a tad nervous, but eventually with the alarm still sounding they allowed us to board and we took off only 40 minutes late!!
So, we arrived in Sydney in the rain, grabbed a shuttle bus to the international side, found the correct gate and managed to bypass all the queues because they had given us express tickets and booked into the correct flight, with most of the passengers already loaded. Then it was flight time, 12,000kms at 1,000km/h backwards towards the dateline chasing the sun and headed to Abu Dahbi for the connection flight :)
The flight was uneventful, the challenge was at Abu Dahbi, a massive airport, but they have no plane hookups at terminal buildings that I could see, we had to deplane, grab a bus to the transit lounge(gave me a chance for an update with free wireless and to send a message to IB, the bike rider in Germany who was picking me up) then go through security before another bus to about the same place we started at, but a different plane and different company, not Virgin but Etihad. Another 8 hours later we landed in Frankfurt, where the line up for customs was long, about an hour here. I finally got out, found my bag on the carousal and then tried to get some WiFi(free) It took some effort and still could not manage it, but the nice chap at the Info booth allowed me to use his PC to login to VSRI where I found the message from IB with his phone number. This is where I found out that the TravelSim I bought worked as advertised and after a quick phone call, Ib(real name Igor – no hump or lisp) picked me up.
Because his wife was working at the airport, she needed the car, so we used monorail, then comuter rail, then snail rail and a bus to reach his home in a small village north west of Frankfurt called Ruppertshain around 11am local time where a hot shower was very welcome :)
Hooking up to the internet was easy, with a nice fat pipeline to go with it :) A small issue with Facebook, I had to jump through some hoops because the last time I connected was a long way a way and it needed to be sure I was who I was. , sorted that and back online.
It has been a very unrestful week, so I am hoping to relax over the next day or so acting as a tourist, before processing the bike and then getting on the road towards Gallipoli. It is a bit cool here, lucky I bought my electric heated gear, so I should have no issues being comfortable riding :)
Chow for now