7th Apr 2013 - 10th Apr 2013 - New Zealand 3
Leaving New Zealand - delayed...
Up early on Sunday morning and checked into our Emirates flight. Went to the airport to get our flight from Nelson to Auckland. Very sad day for me as leaving gets harder each time. Great to see Carol and kids, Mum and Di and some of the kids at the airport. Lovely flight via Wellington to Auckland. wonderful that my baggage wasn't overweight as Air new Zealand are terrors for charging excess baggage - allowed 23kgs on Air NZ but allowed 30kgs on Emirates.
Tim picked us and our bags up and took us to a Mangere shopping mall for lunch. Last bit of shopping (brought two tops) and then back to Auckland International Airport. Sad saying goodbye Tim - very proud of him and love him so much.
Just inside the airport started getting vibes and they were correct. Quickly learned that the first of our flights - to Melbourne had been cancelled earlier that day. No new aircraft and a full plane due to being late Sunday afternoon, end of Easter week and end of Australian school holidays. had to stand in an incredibly long queue to get a hotel voucher and an update on what was happening. Well the hotel voucher and being told Emirates would contact us in the morning with new flight details.
Shuttle bus to Sudima Airport Hotel - lovely 4* hotel and lovely room. Not too upset re the delay except for the loss of perfect seats carefully chosen months ago. Had realised the day before that we were arriving back in UK a day earlier than I thought so no great loos to be delayed a day. Free dinner and breakfast. Dinner was appalling - buffet - cheap and nasty and not enough. I am sure the cheesecake for dessert was frozen Pak n Save.
Breakfast however was good. Waited and waited and waited for Emirates to contact us. Tried the phone number they gave us several times but it was never answered. Went down to hotel reception who advised that some people had been contacted. Asked re what time we had to check out to then find out we had been booked for 2 night with a few others. That gave us a clue that we wouldn't be flying out that day. Decided not to waste the good weather and caught a shuttle to the airport to catch the bus into downtown Auckland. Spent a lovely afternoon wandering around the Viaduct Basin. Tim came and picked us up and took us back to the airport via his house. Stood in line at the Emirates desk to see what was happening - after some time we were told but flying into Heathrow not Gatwick. complained re this in a nice way and asked that they arrange a transfer to Gatwick. After more time on the phone eventually they got us on a flight to Gatwick that left Dubai earlier than the Heathrow one. However still not leaving til the following afternoon.
Dinner that night was much better than previous night - obviously a conference was being held there and our buffet was after the conference dinner.
Re packed Tuesday morning and headed back to the airport. Flying Air New Zealand to Perth and then Emirates to Gatwick via Dubai. was excited re travelling Air NZ and Martin's first time. Long flight and hassles once we got there due to the transit. Officials weren't aware we were on the flight and Martin's English passport meant for a long wait standing in a corridor as they decided what to do with us. Baggage was fortunately booked all the way through. Eventually we went through to the transit area for a 4 hour wait til our next flight. By this stage we had been up for 18 hours and I was starting to lose it and having to try hard to not be irritable as so bored and tired. the rest of the journey was relatively smooth - ok seats although full flights.
Back to UK to the cold, rain and grey skies that we had left 3.5 weeks ago :(.
Still that weather is going to be the deciding factor apart from his love for me of course to make Martin decide that immigration will be one of the best decisions he ever makes.
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