Thursday, 24 September 2009

...avalon airport

Being an interstate man of mystery, I recently used Melbourne's only other airport capable of accommodating something larger than a Fokker Friendship, Avalon Airport.

You know your airport is on the quaint side when you drive straight past the gate before chucking a uey to investigate if that wooden railing fence you just passed is an airport or a horse stud. And you know it's a tad no-frills as you drive up the dirt track lined with large, painted boulders that tell you in a not too subtle fashion that driving off the track for a split second would be a very expensive exercise.

I like quaint airports. I once bought a plane ticket off a kid on a BMX. I waited under a huge mango tree as I watched the tiny craft buzz over the landing strip at 10,000ft. I was cheerfully assured it would stop to pick me up on it's way back, like I was waiting for a bus or something and the driver just forgot to see me. An hour or so later, I again saw the tiny white speck zooming through the clouds... then out across the azure South Pacific and over the horizon. When I eventually tracked down the kid for a refund at a nearby village, he apologised, saying that the pilot couldn't pick me up because someone forgot to mow the grass on the landing strip. (After an unsuccessful attempt to flag down an ADF helicopter to take me to my impending connecting flight on a faraway island, I ended up having quite an adventure involving a steely-faced ex-guerilla from the Bougainville Revolutionary Army, a tropical thunderstorm, two large outboard motors and a very sore arse*. Contrary to all my predictions at the time, I made it home alive.)

But despite the distinct lack of large mango trees, Avalon Airport has all the wonderful things you would expect from any of the world's great airports; overpriced and awful food, rude security staff, 48hrs 'discount' parking for $50, what's not to love? It even has several bronze sculptures out the front of oversized young 1940's type schoolboys playing with rockets and toy planes. They are actually kind of cute, but smack of some rich old bastard trucking magnate's fantasy, "When I gwow up, I'm gonna have an airwoport!"

Avalon Airport. 3.5 packets of beer nuts.

*the sore arse relates to the lack of conventional seating in the small, fast boat, coupled with the lolling swell of the South Pacific... not the price of the ticket.




At 24 September 2009 at 13:01 , Blogger the projectivist said...

thank god you made it out alive!
were you also in Kathmandu rescuing orphans from that chimney sweeping scam?

i bet that airport doesn't have a single travelator, does it?

At 24 September 2009 at 19:46 , Blogger Baino said...

Sounds pretty much like Melbourne Airport where you can get a toasted cheese sandwich for $7! WTF

At 24 September 2009 at 20:43 , Blogger Terence McDanger said...

Are places like that still legal?

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