Welcome to America

It was a long day today!. We left Sydney late morning, flew for 12.5 hours, crossed the International Date Line and the Equator and landed at Los Angeles early the same morning as we had left. We then had a long stop over before finally arriving in San Francisco and driving up to the Napa Valley.

When we organised our holiday I decided to take my Bronica medium format camera as I would for once have time to experiment and take photographs. We shall see what the results are when we get home. But that meant I couldn’t take my cameras in my hand luggage and so I bought a marvellous toughened Peli bag which has travelled with us so far. But when it came out of the carousel at San Francisco it was open, everything was falling out, there was a note from the TSA saying they had inspected it, and the Bronica was badly damaged. My guess is that the TSA opened it (removing and not returning the padlock), shifted things, and then failed to shut it properly. When the baggage handlers then picked it up it would have opened and the contents spewed out. I know that the TSA are protecting our security but (i) why not use X-rays to examine contents and (ii) is ut unreasonable to ask that the bag be repacked properly and closed securely! It was a rather deflating moment.

We drove out on to the freeway and within the first half mile had seen more cars than in our three weeks in New Zealand. Fortunately we eventually made it to the comfort of the Napa Valley and everything started to look a good deal more cheerful.