Friday, October 01, 2010

ALIA Access 2010


Part 1 - Travel and Brisbane

Attended the ALIA Access 2010 Conference in Brisbane.
MPOW supported my application to go and they were very generous to do so.
I was co-presenting a paper with @flexnib and we were going to get together on the Wednesday. The reason, we live 600kms from each other.

Day 1 Travel Day
Tuesday 31st August - flight to Adelaide and then to Brisbane

Delayed at the Kalgoorlie airport as the cloud cover was low and the planes cannot land without a visual confirmation of runway.
There are a lot of people on the flight to Adelaide and we all had coffee/other drinks, and go to know each other while waiting. (eventually we ordered Pizza!)
The plane circled for a while and then went back to Perth and we all went home. (apparently the people at the other end in Adelaide were flown back to Melbourne and then to Perth.)You can plan for everything apart from the weather. I still wonder if the people I was talking to actually made their appointment on the Gold Coast.

Day 2 Tour day and Conference (not really - Travel day 'Take 2')
Wednesday 1st September - flight to Perth and then to Brisbane

Fortunatelty for me the airline sent me new tickets for the next days flight and I was set to travel again. The weather was still 'filthy', however this time the pilot decided to land. Thank you to the crew as it was still heavy cloud cover and rain rain rain.

(To convey how unusual the rain was, we had 6.8mm for the rest of August and 7.8mm on 31st. September's rainfall so far has been 31.6mm on the 1st and 2nd. Nothing else for the entire month so I consider myself lucky to be able to actually fly out on that date.)

I won't say much about the 4 hour flight from Perth to Brisbane apart from,I was
down the back near the toilet,I had seen the movie and Brisbane looks lovely at night from the air. Arrived at the Brisbane airport as it was shutting down for the night - cleaners directed me to the exit and a taxi. Saw the couple I had been talking to sorting out their hire car they were a day late picking up - they still had an hours drive to the Gold Coast. Nice taxi driver into the city and the Hotel reception were glad to welcome me as they said I had been considered 'Missing In Action'. (I did phone them..)

Had been texting and emailing @flexnib throught all of this as she may have had to present on her own if I could't get out of the desert 'because of the rain'. I was feeling bad about that,as we could have got together on skype, but we thought the Wednesday was ours.

Got into the hotel about 12:30am and it is a nice room, yay! Arranged to meet @flexnib for breakfast at her hotel at 7:00am and fell into bed. I was 1/2 an hour late, but she forgave me.

Day 3&4 Brisbane
Brisbane city is bright and shiny - most importantly WARM! and I found it easy to get around. I taxied, walked and ferried around the city. I missed all the tours on the day before so I peeked into a few buildings and walked around as much as I could in the two days.
Not that I had far to go, as the Convention Centre was just across the river.
Walked on the Friday and you could get to the conference centre from my hotel in 15 minutes, walking fast.

The dinner was 'choose a resturant from the list and book', my choice was "Alchemy Resturant and bar" -Alchemy Resturant which I strongly recommend. I had a lovely meal and chat with Librarians from all over the country, including one from our Perth Campus and two from the State Library of Western Australia. The food was good! The owner made a special treat at the end - he cooked some honey comb and a cherry bite in liquid nitrogen - very unusual, I liked the cherry one as it was sour and full of flavour. The Ferry ride back to the Hotel after the conference dinner was wonderful.(Sorry for my 'childlike joy' -desert girl here - we don't have rivers :-)The ferry wove back and forth across the river like a bus letting people off on either bank. It was comfortable and refreshing on a warm evening.

Day 5 travel back to WA
I had an eleven o'clock flight from Brisbane airport and I left early as I was warned traffic can get heavy, even on Saturday.
The taxi driver took me straight to the airline departure terminal and I glimpsed a docked cruise liner in the river on the way, which left me musing what exotic ports it may be travelling too.
The flight home to Perth was fantastic - near the front of economy, no one in the seat next to me. In-flight movie was new and Kobo was working fine. Relaxed.
Spent a couple of hours at the Perth airport and purchased JB an outrageous single malt for Fathers day. 1 hour flight home to Kalgoorlie in 50 minutes - I think the pilot was in a hurry.

Thats the travel - next installment - 'the conference'

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