……sitting here at 3.30am (Melbourne time) over eastern Northern Territory listening to Avenged Sevenfold, Nine Inch Nails, Def Leppard and Hush in the dark with just the flickering of TV monitors around me…the turbulence in the vicinity of the tropical low in northern Australia is just now making itself felt as we cruise at 36,000′ with an outside temperature of -40C (or -40F) and a headwind of 24mph…… that should start waking a few people up!! Needless to say Clyve and I are sitting here grinning like a pair of kids!!
Cathay Pacific has acquitted itself well on this flight..my first with them since 1982 and Clyve’s first since 1988, although the hot towels have been replaced with moist towelettes in packets with an allergy warning on them…the menu for dinner (served at 1.30am Melbourne time) was interesting, very tasty and rated a solid 8 out of 10. The mineral water was Perrier no less!! Clyve had the black pepper beef and I had the Mediterranean chicken, both followed with a mango Weis bar.
The cabin staff have been doing this for a while judging by the expert and rapid service which included a couple of maneuvers which would have rated a score of 9 in the “Server Olympics” (if there was such a thing) where a glass of wine was poured and handed to a customer who was behind the steward while she took the order of the passenger in front of her…not a drop was spilled and the wine was presented intact to the correct passenger!!!!
6 hours to go…….
Blackness in the moonlight….
We flew over Darwin as it was disappearing under a veil of cirrus…bet none of you TopEnders waved as we went over did you…..lol…
I’ve walked around as much of the plane as I could…as this is a small plane, an Airbus 330, Cathay limits your wanderings by installing curtains down the back to give some temporary privacy to the crew who sit there to eat their sandwiches as the passengers sleep or watch movies…I interrupted them to do some stretching exercises. Virgin Australia are far more generous..you can lap half the plane in one go and the stewards on duty are happy to have your company while the rest of their crew members are upstairs doing whatever they do up there…..can’t do that in a 300…there’s no upstairs to hide in!!
The bloke behind us is snoring loudly so I’ve escaped into my headphones and a song list on my iPhone of 94 songs which will more than see me out to Hong Kong….just need to be interrupted for breakfast in the meantime.
…….and then I notice that we are in the northern hemisphere and that there is only 3.5 hours of an 8.5 hour flight to go..we are currently weaving our way through the Moluccan Sea and around islands barely visible in the moonlight…we are flying at 38,000′ and the outside temperature is -56F…..
the next flight is in daylight all the way…up over China and Russia and following the great circle through Scandinavia and down to Heathrow.