“So, we are finally here at the Great Ocean Road,” I thought, as I took this photo. It had been nearly a year since a co-worker had returned from a visit to Australia for the Australian Open. He had shown some great photos of the Great Ocean Road as well as the Melbourne area. Needless to say, a desire to visit the area had been awakened.
My initial research had led me to believe that round-trip tickets could be had for no less than $1500. I concluded that there was no way I was going to visit Australia – that chance had slipped through my fingers the minute I boarded that first flight westbound to the USA for graduate school from India a long time back.
Imagine my excitement when, one April morning, I checked Clark Howard’s website and found out that fares to Australia were available for less than $600 ex-Atlanta! We were looking at a busy summer ahead of us. Waves of relatives were planning to visiting us for a day, week or month. In between those waves, we had hardly much time to spare.
Given that it takes about a day of travel to get to Australia (and another to return), I really wanted to spend at least two weeks in Australia. However, there was no way I could see us managing that much time what with school commencing within a couple of days after the last of our visitors left.
So, I did the best thing I could and sounded out Baab if he would be OK with missing a week or so of school in return for a trip to Australia. While he was thrilled at the prospect of the trip, he did have some misgivings about missing class. Nevertheless, he said OK.
I met with stiff resistance with the rest of the family though. Mrs. Porcupyn and Katya were not in favor of making the trip. After a lot of cajoling, I managed to convince them that spending a week in Australia would not be the end of the world! The trip almost got shot down a second time when I had to (parenthetically) add that it would entail a seven hour drive before and after the flights!
Just before I bought the tickets, I had this thought about the weather! Whoops, I said to myself, it would be winter there … and winter there would be cold, wouldn’t it? Now look, at this point in time, I had no clue how far down south Australia was (though Geography was one of my pet subjects in school, every now and then I get this little nugget of information that I never knew before) nor where each of the big cities was geographically located – though I at least knew their names. Some quick research convinced me that it would probably be no colder than Paris had been during Thanksgiving time (November), which is when we had spent two days there! So, I went ahead and purchased the tickets, though it took more than a day for it all to sink in, by which time I had a) received the ticket information and b) called United and confirmed that everything was A-OK with the tickets!