Destination: Australia, 27 00 S, 133 00 E.
Charlie’s propeller was a bit sluggish in starting this morning, but I persisted and his stubbornness changed to excitement over our 18 hour journey to Australia. I chose to land in Alice Springs because it is “smack dab” in the central part of the country, plus Alice is the name of my friend at school. During our flight I could not help but think of all those hours some of our pilots of the past flew, especially to show that flight was possible for a long distance. Charles Lindbergh, Beryl Markham, Amelia Earhart, and yes, the Wright Brothers, just to mention some. How those flyers remained awake after 20, even 30 hours I will never know. Though I do remember how a housefly in Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis persisted in “bugging” Mr. Lindbergh, preventing him from falling asleep and inevitable tragedy. My secret to staying awake is chewing gum.
We landed on a neat stretch of hard packed clay beneath a scorching morning sun. It was cool on approaching the Australian continent to see the Great Barrier Reef from Charlie’s cockpit. What a natural wonder it is. Our landing was soft; Charlie sounded very healthy after all those hours in the air. Several kangaroo wobbled by us; they seemed more curious than afraid. They are great animals. I also like the koala bear. This time, though, we did not see any. I love Australia and all its richness. From armadillos to vegemite, Australia is a country you must see. Read more in my fun fact card. We needed to refuel for our next stop in what would be the country of India.