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Water Lily Dreams

AUSTRALIA | Wednesday, 16 May 2012 | Views [1815]

It's like sleeping on a Monet painting, Darwin Int'l Airport

It's like sleeping on a Monet painting, Darwin Int'l Airport

The floor of Darwin International Airport is carpeted.  Giant water lilies, very Monet-esque float upon blue-green water.  Attractive, yes but it doesn't make for a good mattress or a good night's sleep!

We arrived at the airport and settled in for the seven hours before our flight to Brisbane was due to depart.  The air-con was set at "Arctic," so cold we changed from shorts and sandals into trousers and fleece.  Finally we checked in and made our way to the gate, only to be called back to the counter.  The flight, which had been running a little late, was "rescheduled" at the last minute - rescheduled for 12 hours!

The Virgin Australia attendants (that's the airline name, not a description of the attendants) were as calm and helpful as could be.  They rerouted those with connections through Sydney and even Melbourne.  They sent locals home to sleep until the rescheduled flight would depart and even tried vainly to find lodging for the rest of us.  We had to settle for $50 food vouchers and coupons for a future flight, which we won't be able to use, and find a place to sleep.

The true "backpackers" simply spread out pads and climbed into their sleeping bags.  I sprawled out on the water lilies and covered myself with a down jacket and managed a few hours of intermittent sleep between incessant security alerts and flight announcements.  The upside of the experience, is there is an upside, is that many people found other flight options and we had lots of room on the plane that eventually left for Brisbane.


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