Tuesday, September 06, 2005

"The Alpha Team Has Landed!!" - Greg

Greg is right! Tom And I (Imran) landed in Sydney at 6:09 am on Monday September 5th. What a trip it was! Took off from Toronto on Saturday afternoon around 5pm. The in-flight movie on our Air Canada Airbus A-320 was "Mr. And Mrs. Smith". Funny movie..... For a while, then it just got painful to watch! :) So we flew 5 hours and arrived at LAX Airport at 8pm local! No problems with U.S. Customs or any of that, which was awesome! .. Waited around for a few hours and then took off from LAX to Sydney on our 14 hour flight, on the smallest 747 known to mankind! It was packed to the limit and Tom and I were in the rear cabin, in the two middle seats. Lets just say, it was an experience I will never forget! I can't sit in one sport for more than 1 hour... What in the world was I going to do for 14 hours!!! And all 14 hours were in the dark!! Thankfully, we were told there would be plenty of movies on........ Movie # 1, ""Mr. And Mrs. Smith" :( Joy. Movie # 2 " Herbie, something or another" the Lindsey Lohan movie. Well... Thanks to the fine folks at United Airlines, the sound barely worked for that movie... So 1 hour into it they went into some movie about the first U.S. World up soccer team movie. Joy. Movie # 3 was probably the most interesting of them all, however we were too tired to care at this point. They showed "The Interpreter". Pretty interesting film, but again, too tired to care!!!

So now that the movie review is done... On to SYDNEY! .. So 6:30am in an airport, and nowhere to go! Well just one stop.... Aussie Customs! They picked me out of a crowd of 500 and decided I was going to be the only "bloke" to have any trouble! Thankfully, we were wearing our SunStang Golf Shirts (recognized all around the world, probably has something to do with Greg ;) ). The gentleman who was supposed to inspect our baggage says "solar cars? You have sun in Canada??" At that point, we knew it was all going to be clear sailing! Few minutes later, and some X-Rays too, we were on our way. We picked up a cell phone from the VodaPhone Outlet at the airport. I'll list my number on here some time when I get a chance :).

So we headed down to the rental place. First thing I noticed is how polite all the Aussies are around here! Friendly Faces everywhere, willing to lend us 'mates' a hand! We picked up a kickin' Mitsubishi Pajero 4X4. Man is this thing big! Just one problem, I've never driven a right hand steer vehicle or for that matter, driven on the wrong side of the road!!!! Lots of learning to do!

All this, without sleeping much for the previous 36 hours! Well, one again we made it! Now seeing it was noon in Sydney, (10 pm the previous night in London Ont., ) we felt the best thing to do was to stay up till the evening in Sydney and hit the sack. That way we can get accustomed to the time difference. Tom and I headed out to see the world! We needed to find a Hungry Jack's! On to the trains we go! Amazing rail network here in Sydney and surrounding areas! Toronto has much to learn! We were in the downtown core in less than 10 minutes from where we started (near the airport). Sydney is an absolutely beautiful city. Parks EVERYWHERE. Public Squares for shopping and just hanging out all through out the city. We walked around and finally made it to Sydney Harbour and took some pictures of the opera house and Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Today, we started up and took care of some shipping stuff. Our freight Forwarder here is awesome! Jochem at AMI Wholesale Freight really helped us out with sorting out our customs and quarantine clearance! It took less time to get the clearance of our car and equipment, than it took me to get through the airport customs! The car is cleared for us to pick up and we are ready to get it! We picked up our trailer rental today as well. Another learning experience since I've never pulled a trailer before.. And all on the wrong side of the road!!! Took out a few curbs :D... And maybe some stray kangaroos ;) ... Which reminds me, I can't believe the number of people that have warned us about Roo's jumping in front of cars!! Apparently, just like deer in Canada, 'Roos tend to jump in front of vehicles and stare into the headlights!

So onto Adelaide for us two blokes! We'll be headed out west on Wednesday afternoon (local time of course - we're 14 hours ahead of you all ). Will pack up the trailer in the morning and head out.

that's about all I got to say about that. I'll keep in touch and please feel free to forward this along to your friends and family!

Imran

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