Preamble: It has taken me a very long time to write these up and I do apologise. Work Keeps getting in the way…. The events below took place in April/May 2021.
Part 1 is here, for those that missed it.
It’s not often a man clocks up a lazy half century of solar circumnavigations.
Once in a lifetime, generally… At least for most people. Slightly more often for Okinawans.
Kristian is not from Okinawa.
As much as I personally detest the practise of celebrating getting older and try to avoid it wherever possible, the Big Fiddy™ is an exception. It’s something of a rule that you simply must throw a gigantic party for your 50th birthday. Furthermore… if someone invites you to one, you must attend.
To not would be downright rude.
Also, anyone that old is bound to have a lengthy list of associates they’ve accumulated over the years. To be chosen from that pool of potential guests is a priviledge, and should be respected.
So when our Esteemed Overlord/Company Director Herr Appelt was about to hit the big 5-0 and requested our presence to recognise the occasion, we of course RSVPed in the affirmative immediately, and set about making plans to attend.
Logistically, this presented some challenges and opportunities.
We have staff all over the country, so getting everyone together in the same place at the same time wasn’t going to be easy. Everyone had commitments to shuffle around, flights to book, pandemic restrictions to consider.
I live in Cairns (most of the time) so I organised to fly down.
Ben, our impractically tall IT guru, had to find his own flights at times when exit row seats were available.
Matt and Melissa elected to drive from Brisbane to Adelaide.
Which brings us back to the Blade.
The quickest and easiest way to drive from Brisbane to Adelaide is west to Toowoomba, then south through outback NSW and into Victoria, before crossing into SA and all the disappointment that entails when you arrive.
A trip we’d do later on, in a different car… But that’s another story I still need to write.
On this occasion though, M&M had a bit of spare time so chose to take the scenic route.
A very appropriate test for this relatively fresh import.
We know it performs well as a city car, but how would it fare out on the open highway?
One way to find out.
Rather than me waffle on about the trip (especially as I wasn’t part of it) I shall instead let Mel’s awesome photography speak the required thousand words.
First stop was Sydney.
With our most populous metropolis conquered, it was onwards and upwards towards the nation’s capital.
Having engaged in a bit spirited driving with some other supercars en route to an insufficiently heated AirBnB near Mt Kosciuszko, our duo then headed south to Melbourne. Presumably in search of a soul-warming coffee with a big dollop of pretentious wank in it.
They didn’t find one (yet) but did encounter some sheep, which I’m told have a very similar warming effect. These ones weren’t ripe yet, and stayed well back from the fence. Something in their DNA encoding tells them to stay away from Blades, which are common in New Zealand.
Civilisation reached again.
Ye olde Melbourne Towne.
You can’t go to Melbourne without sampling its delightfully colourful alleyways. It’s the law.
Melbourne done, time to head west.
As is tradition, along the Great Ocean Road.
There was nothing worth photographing between the GOR and Adelaide.
But finally, they arrived.
The car of course, performed faultlessly.
Matt and Mel collected me from the airport in Adelaide, and it was at this point I was re-united with my now utterly filthy Blade.
We collected Ben a bit later in the day.
The next evening was Kristian’s birthday bash, the reason we were all there.
I won’t be sharing any photos of that, because you weren’t invited so you don’t get to see.
Suffice to say though, it was amazing. I expected the music playlist to run from 1990 to 2010 (and was not disappointed) but what I did not expect, were the flamenco dancers and the rest.
What a show. Emma did an amazing job putting everything together.
Nor did I expect to meet someone who randomly showed up from Japan, in the middle of a global pandemic, who would later become very important…
Oh and also, there was cake.
Kristian had been hyping up this bloody cake for weeks beforehand.
Apparently its called ‘Tres Leches’ and they make it with three kinds of milk. He had to bribe a local Mexican restaurant to make enough of it for 250 people.
Party over, job done, hangovers being nursed… We gave ourselves a rest day.
The next morning, Ben and Mel flew back to Brisbane.
Matt and I however, had other plans.
We weren’t flying anywhere. The Blade’s journey wasn’t even half over yet.
In fact, it was just starting to get interesting.
Continued in part 3, which can be found here