Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Busselton Diary - Thursday & Friday

We arrived Perth Airport before 6 am where everyone had to go through a "strict" customs check. The officials were all very polite and professional (wow) doing their duty. They only checked my bicycle tyres and running shoes for mud. I'm not sure how all the flies got through customs though.
Took a taxi (AUD45) to my friend's place. Then we rented a car (about AUD33/day) and another AUD5/day for the "GPS". Its the most swank car I have ever driven.
Its the first time I ever used the GPS, very easy to use after a while. Enter "Busselton CBD" and a lovely voice guides you 100 kms right to the door step. Today (wednesday) I used it to meet someone in a city, I have never been to before. Its an amazing gadget.

I drove the rented Toyota to Busselton half asleep. Adhering to speed limits is a very big thing here. We went straight to registration and got our goodie bag.

I booked thru the internet and was pleasantly surprised the actual place was better than the photographs. We took a one room cabin and my wife simply squealed when she saw the shining pots and pans. The room, the whole place was spotlessly clean and I didn't see any cleaners. That means the residents cleaned whatever mess they made. Its maybe 9 km from registration, but with a car, not a problem. A number of participants also stayed there, the most famous I think is a Korean (Pak) who has won the Japan Ironman.
There are special places for laundry, BBQ, spots for caravans or camping, a lake, birds, animals. I simply loved the smell of the vegetation, put in a picture perfect blue sky, man this was heaven.

Unfortunately the first night we slept not knowing how to operate the heater.

The morning was sofa king cold. Vapour would be emitted when we speak and it was already 8 am. Gosh what about the swim at 6 am, I was worried. I went for a 49 min swim at 12.30 pm at the swim start place. I almost vomited from the very choppy sea. We chatted with expat triathletes from SAUDI ARABIA. People told me, on race day, conditions would be flat and sunny (they were right). GAFF No. 1. I told the EXPO people to assemble my bike from the bike case and got charged AUD40 (RM100). Bloody hell, Joo Ngan's boy serviced and packed the bike for free.
The parade of nations was at 4.30 pm. from the town centre to the Ironman Village. We again met the Saudi Triathletes (Riyadh Triathletes said their banner) and others from Thailand (male an female), Singapore and Malaysia (Koh who is from Kulim - 11 hrs 48 mins, Ken, living in Spore). I purchased a Msian flag from Central Market, it was so nice to hold it aloft with Ken throughout the parade.
At 5.45 pm immediately after the parade was the official carbo loading dinner. Expensive and the food was quite so so (not good la) but an occasion not to be missed. I realised the Aussies were very hospitable, nice and fun people. Actually everywhere we went, the service poeple were very nice to us. As a minimum it was "how are u doing". The participants from overseas were introduced by country with a short rendition of their national anthem. That moment alone was worth the expense. That was the first time I saw Gane when all Malaysians had to stand up.
We sat with the Riyadh Triathletes (they all went sub 13). Nancy has to train on very deserted roads with a taxi escort, wearing long sleeves at 4 a.m. She is subjected to being molested there.
Ken the Msian living in Spore is a very cheerful person to be with. He especially likes the Triathletes from Philippines. Koh was with his wife? We became friends with Germans who had participated in Langkawi.
There was speeches, a show, tips from the top Pros etc.

No comments: