Monday 30th November
Christchurch to Singapore.
Today was both sad and exciting. Sad to say goodbye to New Zealand - a country we loved in every way and which exceeded our high expectations time and again. It was also sad to say goodbye to Madge, our trusty motor home after 35 days and 6,734kms together.
It was also exciting to be moving on to Singapore and then India - uncharted territory for both of us.
The transition from campground to Christchurch was easy, as was the packing up. I felt self conscious about wandering into the motor home terminal clutching a few bags of household items such as cling film, olive oil, tea-bags, mustard, salt and pepper, but the couple I gave them too were as happy as we were to receive our 'starter pack'!
The airport and Singapore airlines were charming and efficient.
We had a chance to catch up with Barwood, Elmgrove and Brock, and leave a message for Chris. It seemed strange to be making plans for Christmas so far away from all the things that we associate with the festive season. Mike supplied us with a photo of Saturday's Telegraph crossword to keep us entertained!
As we flew north over New Zealand the sun was shining over the snow covered southern Alps giving a lovely view of Mount Cook.
It seemed no time at all (actually 10 hours, 40 minutes) before we were watching the appearance of Singapore, the sun low in the sky, the bay full of boats, the city full of skyscrapers.
We landed at 5.45pm local time, 10.45pm kiwi time.
It was 32 degrees with overcast skies and light rain.
The drive to The Grand Park City Hall Hotel took about 30 minutes down tree lined 3 or 4 carriageway road.
It was cool and spacious and we spent a happy hour stretched out in our room with cups of tea, before venturing out to briefly explore our surroundings, and then to give in to our jet lag, and retire early.