Rotorua to Auckland
The day started off really sunny but, by the time we were ready to leave, it was overcast and quite cool. A good day for driving, though.
We figured it would take about three hours or so to get up to Auckland, more if we stopped to see anything interesting.
We stopped in Cambridge for an early lunch, mainly because we wanted to see what a New Zealand Cambridge would be like, and because it looked quite big on the map! Deep reasoning.
There really hadn't been very much on the way up until then to stop and see! And there wasn't in Cambridge, either! Not very exciting.
After Cambridge, we just steamed on to Auckland. It was a pretty straightforward road and we'd deliberately found a hotel near the airport to make things easy. No dwarves to divert us, just lovely scenery and more mountains - in the distance. And the sun had come out. There have been quite a few road works on our travels, with new roads either being built or improved and widened; interesting in the current financial climate.
There was also a lot more traffic from about Hamilton onwards, towards Auckland, and it was all much more modern-city and less oldie-worldie, for want of a better phrase! The motorway on the south side was at a standstill and it was only 3pm, not what we were used to!
We did have the excitement of seeing an actual moving train. A moving train in New Zealand! This is a first for us in the whole time we've been in New Zealand. True bill. There have been rail tracks all over the place, crossing roads, running parallel to the road, even going across a roundabout in one place, but we've never actually seen a train moving on the track! Very weird. We saw one stationary train up on Aurthur's Pass that gave us the idea that there might be a rail service, but we'd had no hard evidence up until now. So, that was exciting! Going out on a high.
So, we're ensconced in the hotel, about to have a shower before dinner and wondering if we should have heard from Emirates about checking in online. Not a dickie bird from them.
Speaking of Emirates, I was reading a story in the paper that caught my eye when we were in Blenheim. There'd been a wee 'incident' concerning an Emirates flight from Melourne to Dubai the day before, when the plane had had to make an emergency landing thirty minutes after taking off. Apparently, one of the wings had touched the ground when taxiing out (and how scary would that have been, in itself?), the cabin started to fill with smoke and passengers were screaming and panicking; that thirty minutes in the air must have seemed like a lifetime! I'm just hoping that the pilot on that flight is still on a sickie! Looking at the airport in Auckland, there's an awful lot of water around it, so not much room for error, there! We'll be fine; it's a small-scale map.
We're both quite looking forward to the flight home - or flights, as we stop briefly in Dubai before flying on to Newcastle. No, really. We'll have to find our anti-thrombosis socks to put on - Iain kept a pair of the cracker white ones he was given after his operation, and they're particularly sexy. Mine aren't white, but they're not a fashion accessory you'd want to boast about, that's for sure.