Much of the day was spent in transit. By the time you get to the airport and relax, and then take a flight, and recover at the other end (checking into the hotel), it takes up the best part of the day, even if the flight is only short.
Many years ago, while working in Canberra, I took a weekend flight to Sydney. I was presenting the Late Morning Show on what was then 2CN (now ABC Radio Canberra). The flight between Sydney and Canberra is impossibly short, and as the flight was scheduled to arrive at 7.00am, I thought I’d be absolutely fine. I can’t recall the exact reason for the delay, but I still managed to make it to the studio by 10.03am, and was on air (sounding slightly puffed) at 10.05am. I remember the flight time was thirty-three minutes.
Today’s flight time was a little longer, though still short. “I’m sorry, because it’s such a short flight time we don’t do any hot drinks”, the flight attendant replied to my request for a cup of tea.
Ordinarily, I’d catch the bus to Canberra. By the time you get to the airport and back, the bus takes normally only slightly longer. It’s also considerably cheaper. But I managed to find a good deal, and so I booked a flight instead.
The other thing that’s slightly different this time around is I would normally do a fair bit of work on bus between Sydney and Canberra. But this time around, I was headed down on a Sunday, so I figured I’d keep the time to myself.
The bus also affords you time to take in the landscape. But so, too, does the plane, albeit from a different angle.
As expected, Sydney Airport was fairly deserted, and the flight was half-empty. I had three seats to myself.
On arrival at Canberra Airport, there were a couple of Federal Police officers who asked all passengers coming off the plane if they’d been in the Cumberland area of Sydney, the only area of significant COVID-19 concern.
The difference between Sydney and Canberra was significant: virtually no one is wearing a face-mask. I called in to the Canberra Centre to buy a new tie (I was having a bit of a fashion crisis). The restaurants in the Canberra Centre were close to full, and there didn’t seem to be much evidence of social distancing.