View From the Skies Above

I have this routine now when flying, if its a night flight I prefer to sit in an aisle seat and if it’s a day flight I prefer a window seat. I never prefer to seat in the middle seat in a row of three, but who really does, especially when travelling by yourself?

I’ve just completed a daytime flight of a little over four hours duration, so chose a window seat, and had a ball just looking out of the window for much of the flight, so much so that the flight didn’t seem to be that long, and I found that I could follow our flight path very easily just by observing the terrain that was over 30,000 feet below me.

Perhaps I am a nerd, but I do actually take an interest in both, flight paths and geography. Because I was seated near the rear of the plane, with the wings well forward of me I had a fantastic view of the land below.

In fact, I am also starting to prefer sitting up the back of the aircraft as it seems less crowded there, and even though you exit the plane quicker when you sit down front, your disembarkation is really only held up for a minute or two, and you still get to the luggage carousel at about the same time as everyone else.

On this trip I flew across Australia from Perth to Sydney, a flight I have done many times, but this trip was very interesting, especially when we began flying over New South Wales, because that state has had record rains after years of drought and the whole landscape had changed from when I’d flown over it before.

The mighty Darling River, in the far west of New South Wales, was looking very healthy after being almost dry several years ago. The Menindee Lakes looked to be bigger than I had seen them before, thanks to all of that water, and the soil had taken on a green hue from all the vegetation that was flourishing following the rains. It is normally a dusty brown colour when the water table is so much lower.

Flying over the Murrumbidgee River, which feeds abundant irrigation areas in the fruit bowl of the state around Leeton and Griffith, I could see its green, curling ribbon of sustenance giving life to large billabongs, and a series of small lakes, and the neatly laid out fields looked very lush.

We were put in a holding pattern right over Australia’s capital, Canberra and I could witness it’s well laid out streets, and the great size of its Parliament House. We then flew north east looking at Lake George and the city of Goulburn before crossing the hills and valleys of the Southern Highlands and to pass by Lake Illawarra and Wollongong, finally crossing the coast at Cronulla and heading out to sea before turning back and flying low over Bondi and Randwick to make a perfect landing at Sydney’s Kingsford Smith Airport.

While other passengers may have entertained themselves watching a movie, I was more than entranced watching the breadth of Australia literally pass below, before my eyes.

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