I'd like some empathy here. Over Christmas, it came to light over a festive cocktail, that I haven't taken my gorgeous sister, Randi, flying with me for ....oh, 15 years. It's fair to say I'm feeling extremely slack about that, so I decided to do something about it.
I can't actually take all the blame here, as she's had a bit on over the past three years doing ten rounds with a hearty dose of Leukaemia. It's been the first thing I can remember that's managed to slow her down. Anyway, here we are at the end of all that and she's beaten it hands-down. Problem is, she's now rearing to go again, and make up for lost time. And Randi in catch-up mode is a force to be reckoned with, let me tell you.
So, no sooner had I mentioned the suggestion of taking her flying, than she's reporting back to me that, yep, all three of them are available over Easter and can't wait. Long story short, I'm now battening down the hatches in preparation to take Randi and two other girlfriends away in C182 BMX to the outback over Easter. It's a kind of Thelma, Louise, Louise & Louise road trip, only it's up on that highway in the sky at 5,000 ft.
All three of the girls are new to light aircraft flying. In fact Jenny mentioned the other day she's petrified of it. Oh great - might this have been something to mention at the time she signed up? Anyway, I'm told she's had a epiphany (is that a word?) and she's absolutely fine about it now. Must have been some epiphany .... anyway, we'll see ...
The final Louise is our mate Jules, who's still recovering from my news that each of them is allowed to bring only seven kilo's of baggage - including the handbag. Jules is quite the fashion queen, never sets foot out the door unless she's wearing The Story - you know, the hot pink power suit with matching stilletos & eight piece jewellery ensemble. She wailed about needing the seven kilo's just for her earrings. Anyway, she's got a cunning plan. "Shell, I've GOT it. Jenny doesn't care about clothes, can I buy some of her seven kilo's off her? That'll work!" Bloody hell, wait till I break it to her there's no cabin crew.
What I do have, though, are some mates coming along in their planes for the first half of the trip. Richard & Steve from Sydney, and Richard from Melbourne, all with passengers - so that should be enormous fun. We're all just praying the dirt strips dry out by then - Mungo Lodge and Commodore near Parachilna - and we'd like to pre-order some blue sky days and tailwinds too thanks.
Here's the itinerary:
Good Friday: Camden - Mungo Lodge (near Mildura, Vic)
Sat: Mungo Lodge - Broken Hill - Wilpena Pound - Parachilna (Population 4, Flinders Ranges, SA)
Sun: Parachilna - White Cliffs (the girls haven't slept underground before. As a matter of fact, they probably haven't come across anywhere quite like the White Cliffs pub either.)
Mon: White Cliffs - Parkes (wanted to stay at Trilby Station on the Darling River near Bourke but the bloody Darling River is currently staying on Trilby Station - it's flooded, so we're popping in to Elvis Town and staying at The Old Parkes Convent B&B)
Tues: Parkes - home.
Wish me luck - I'm not sure the outback is ready for this.