Mon, 21 Sep 1998
Leaving Melbourne // at 00:00
Woohoo! The adventure begins!!
Evan and I sat around chatting at breakfast then he headed off to work, and I bummed around making time pass for the rest of the morning.
I decided that the easiest way to get myself, bag and bike to the airport was to ride down to Chappell street with my bag on my back, then head to Flinders street before catching a cab to the airport... I made it to the bank, and successfully transferred $1500 into my Visa account, before heading on. Wouldn't believe it, heading up St Kilda road I punctured my front tyre! Not the tyre really — the second of the expensive new michelin tubes burst where it may have been caught against a spoke nipple!
My newish Axiom pump started falling apart too — a truly auspicious start to the trip!
One of the worlds most garrulous cab drivers then drove me to the airport, talking of when he and his brothers had ridden up to Queensland as youngsters and all the pranks that they had played, on each other and anyone else around...
Once at the airport there came the task of fitting norky bike into a bike box — not a problem really, the Qantas bike boxes are enormous. I think I could fit two bikes in one with a bit of effort! I just hope the bike doesn't rattle around too much. The staff didn't charge me, since both of them assumed that the person at the other counter had done so.
Another good start, I left my passport at the check-in counter with the attendant and she had to come running after me to hand it back. Felt very foolish as a result, although she claimed it was her fault for getting distracted when handling the extra-large bicycle box.
Sat around in the airport reading the Lonely Planet guide to Portugal and waiting for my flight. I'm glad I bought the book this morning, I hadn't realised just how different Portugal and Spain are... Sitting around it all seemed so unreal, I know I'm sitting in the departure lounge about to go overseas, but it still doesn't seem to have sunk in or make much sense.