Day 9

Jen's Account of the Day

It didn’t go well. I was awake for at least half the night, with itchy bites, sore calves, and huge knots in my back. I think I am ready to go somewhere else. Matt got up and said he was going down to Ned’s beach for a minute. A minute ended up being an hour, so I was left to do most of the packing and cleaning up myself.

After he finally came back we had our last Anchorage breakfast. I went for a blueberry muffin this time. We tried checking the internet at the museum and it wasn’t working, so we went back to the room to wait for our transfer to the airport for our flight to Brisbane.

We checked in uneventfully, though they did weigh each of us with our bags. Security was tight: there was no screening equipment of any kind and they didn’t even ask for ID. They were amused by my bright purple duffel bag.

The flight was uneventful; the fun began when we landed. Our bags came in when Matt and Ashley were in the bathroom, and instead of putting them down one at a time at an interval on the belt, all of the bags were dumped on there more or less simultaneously. One guy’s even fell off. I ran off to catch our bags, and when that was over Matt came in and said that there was some sort of problem with our reservation and we had to check into their main office in the parking garage. Of course, there is a line out the door at the main office. Fortunately, Matt got into the Gold line (I’m not sure if he’s a member or not, but oh well) and we weren’t there as long as I was afraid we’d be.

Our Toyota RAV-4 or equivalent turned out to be the Australian version of a Nissan Pathfinder, which is another full-sized SUV. Which Matt hates driving in big cities for obvious reasons. Oh, and we’re getting charged a $15 “processing fee” on top of all tolls. And we spent a lot of time in the toll tunnels, since we got lost on the way there.

Nick was using Apple Maps instead of Google Maps, which apparently didn’t tell him we were under ground and gave him the wrong directions. We went under our hotel, crossed the river, came back up on the other side, made a zillion wrong turns trying to get on the bridge back over the river (between Nick’s bad directions and Matt’s bad listening). We somehow made it without killing anyone inside or outside of the car.

Our hotel looks like the Tower of Evil, here in this sparsely populated mixed residential district that looks like a failed housing redevelopment project. We’re on the 69th floor, with a stunning view of the mountains and the city. And we have to pay $35 a night for parking the land boat. Go figure.

I wanted to rest after traveling; when I was climbing onto the boat after diving I slipped on the narrow rungs and managed to severely bruise the inside of my arch, which was a new one. It hurt like hell to walk for long distances, and there’s more hiking up tomorrow. So I took a hot bath and read while the others went out to the Ferris Wheel and found some place for dinner.

We went to this place called the Groove or something, along the river near the water taxi they took. The food was mediocre, but it wasn’t busy and I got cider. Even though it was early, everyone pretty much crashed after that.

Mouse over the pictures for commentary.

Day 10