Today we headed out west for the next leg of our road trip. We boarded buses and headed to the Sydney Airport for the five-hour flight to Perth. We would be doing so on a Virgin chartered flight, all GFC players and staff in our travelling party present on board, as well as the umpires that are heading into the hub. The flight was comfortable with lots of spare seats making the trip very different to that we are more accustomed to. Seeing so many planes grounded at the Sydney airport is a sight I hope we don’t see for much longer as our world continues to battle the coronavirus. Travel is a sign of prosperity and let’s hope that those planes are back out flying around soon.
Upon arrival at the Perth airport protocols are very strict and thorough. We require G2GPasses, a form of passport to gain entry into the state. We move straight from the plane through the international terminal where we are all temperature checked and provided necessary documentation, before boarding buses to our home for the next 14 days, the Crown Promenade hotel.
Police ensure that transit protocols through the airport and to our hotel are exacting, the collaboration of so many people through this time is a shining light in a troubled period of our lives. At the hotel we check-in and start to become acquainted with our ‘new digs.’ AFL staff brief us on the required protocols for the duration of our stay. Their efforts to make our trip as comfortable as possible is justified when we begin to explore what is available to us. There is a customised gym, large dining and meeting rooms and a common room with lots of toys.
Crown Promenade have done an amazing job in reconfiguring their hotel into a high-performance centre for the foreseeable future. In my room I make sure to unpack and use closet space and draws to house clothes; creating an environment that resembles something like home an important part of mentally adjusting to the new surroundings.
I am a light traveller, only packing the bare minimum of attire needed. The staples such as jocks and socks, a few pairs of training shorts and shirts and a couple of casual t-shirts and pants. One jumper finds its way into my bag in case of a cold Perth day, my youth reminding me these days are rare. Other packed items include books and a laptop, the tools I need to study and educate myself over the next few weeks. My golf clubs accompany me on many of my travels and this trip is no exception. I am not sure if I will be able to use them but they made the trip just in case.
The next part of the adventure has begun as we prepare for a tough stretch of games in WA. Bring on the week ahead.