Four Days of Travel Hell for a Half Hour Meeting

January 10, 2016

in Odds & Ends Stories

So I leave Perth on a 0530 flight to Kununurra (fine)… threeish hours there, only to drive five hours inland and swag in the bush for the night, 200 km from the nearest roadhouse (that means fuel, food, water, and people – all 20 of them). I am travelling at this point on my own (SWF – nevermind that!).

I find the Aboriginal fellas for the meeting, all half an hour of it, and make the five hour drive back to Kununurra. I stay there the night, as my flight the next day back to Perth is in the morning. When I arrive at the “airport” (which is the size of an average house), the flight is full, so I get bumped off the flight. My only option is to go via Darwin, then Alice Springs (I needed to fly due southwest – this was taking me out of Western Australia and into the Northern Territory due northeast).

Due to the Ord River Muster, there were no seats to Perth for another FIVE days, and I have two boys at home… luckily my partner was there (he works away)… but at least I should be able to get to Darwin and leave at 1200 hrs (midday). Ah, nope. By 1800 hrs, our plane still hadn’t left Kununurra to go to Broome first (which Air North always does, then returns for the Darwin leg). So I let my anger seep out, along with the four litres of sweat I had already lost that day in the monsoon heat, and went into town to watch the rugby.

I finally boarded that twin prop at 2250 hrs and arrived in Darwin well after midnight where I checked into a hotel. I missed my alarm as my BlackBerry wasn’t plugged in, the time codes had changed between states/territory, and the battery was dead. I would have missed that precious seat out of Darwin if it wasn’t for me being ultra nice to the girls at the front desk only three hours earlier. They personally came up and banged on my door, and got the taxi driver to come back for the fourth time and ram it to the airport. The nicest bit was that our pilot circled Uluru, and I somehow had my wits about me to take a couple of snaps of the Rock with the sunrise behind it.

I finally landed in Perth, four days after I left. All for that half an hour meeting. And in case you are wondering about the distances travelled for that 30 minute meeting, I probably travelled 10,000 km. Yep. For a 30 minute meeting. And no… we DO NOT SKYPE with ABORIGINAL COMMUNITIES!!! 🙂

– Jane

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Zombie January 11, 2016 at 1:22 pm
patsytp January 11, 2016 at 4:46 pm

@Zombie, thanks, I knew there would be be someone that would diligently work out the air kms 😉 however, given the land kms also travelled, yes, it is still just under 10k, but not far under.


patsytp January 11, 2016 at 4:49 pm

Actaully, I think it might be over 10k. But whose counting, eh, zombie.


Zombie January 12, 2016 at 12:39 am

I am imprressed witj hoe the roads must have improved. You sait it was f hours back from the village to Kunnunnuraa — so you covered 2671 km in ten hours: 267kph. That's almost as fast as the fastest bullet trains.


patsytp January 12, 2016 at 2:57 am

I was hoping you'd pick up on my sarcasm. Thanks for the pat on the proverbial back;)


flywithfred January 16, 2016 at 8:59 pm

Awesome thanks for sharing


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