Auckland to Newcastle
We checked out of our hotel at 11 o'clock and really didn't have time to do any proper sight seeing before getting the rental car back. We found a park nearby on the edge of a lake and enjoyed the sunshine for a while before hunting down some lunch. The food on the flights over had been really tasty so we didn't think we needed to eat a huge lunch. A mistake, as it turned out!
Before we left the hotel we'd tried to check in online but there was some error and we were told that we'd have to see someone from the airline. We seemed to be checked in, alright, but the process hadn't gone as far as producing the boarding passes we needed to print. We knew we were a little overweight with our baggage as we had three bottles of wine in each of our bags - we'd been planning on taking home three but we never got round to drinking the others during the week! And we couldn't leave them, not when they're within the duty free allowances. So, we decided that we'd just pay the overweight costs. (It's £10.00 per kilogram over the allowance.)
In the event, we had a really lovely check-in lady who commented that her weighing machine didn't seem to be working properly and let us through with three kilos over weight. Emirates are apparently really strict, so it was very sweet of her! She even put a 'Fragile' sticker on both bags to try and protect our wine.
And then we just hung around waiting for the flight to be called. Always exciting.
We hadn't realised that the flight to Dubai was stopping at Brisbane en route and, even when we realised, we assumed that we'd stay on the plane. But no, we had to disembark, walk miles into Brisbane Terminal and then wait about an hour for the connecting flight. By that stage, it was nearly eleven o'clock, New Zealand time. Going by the number of transit passengers they had to page, quite a few had decided a trip to a bar in the main terminal would be more fun than sitting in an empty lounge. Wish we'd thought of that!
With the clocks going back fours hours to Australian time, we took off again for Dubai around twelve thirty, after a bit of a sit on the tarmac.
We'd had one 'dinner' en route from Auckland and we got another one on the way to Dubai! As I mentioned, the food had been really good on all the flights over so we were expecting something really nice. I'd ordered a low cholesterol meal on the way over and it had been great but, having done the same this time for both of us, and to Iain's total disgust, we were extremely disappointed this time round. As well as hungry, even after we'd eaten. Not what we're used it, as you know!
As Iain would say, 'no matter'. It's probably good to do a little penance after all we've eaten over the last three weeks! However, breakfast was a little odd: baked beans, cooked spinach, mushrooms with diced tomato and peppers! Iain's also had some green beans in his. Yum! I think what hurt Iain the most was having to watch the other passengers getting their croissant. He'd had an extra one on the way over, when there were some left over, so it was a double disappointment! See what I have to try and save him from?
We got some fitful sleep, despite the chorus of two screeching children - and were very glad we weren't sitting closer to them than we were!
Brisbane to Dubai is 14 hours in flight, which sounds really long. And then we had the four hours from Auckland plus the last seven hours from Dubai home. So, that's 25 hours in the air, with time in the various airports on top of that. It's a long way from home to New Zealand, that's for sure.
We had another breakfast on our way from Dubai! This time we had the normal breakfast, and had fruit, a croissant, and a fruit bun - plus fruit juice and tea or coffee! Oh, and a little square of chocolate. Very odd combinations. It was a 'Continental breakfast', apparently. We were starving at this point, even after we'd eaten it all, and Iain asked if they had any nibbles or something else to snack on. The girl said there were more breakfasts and she brought us each another tray of the same! Sweet.
It was absolutely pouring in Dubai - warm, but very wet! Newcastle, on the other hand, was dead sunny. It was only 5 degrees, admittedly, but it looked great!
Iain had misled Tom on when we would be arriving - so Tom had stayed up last night waiting to pick us up after midnight and then thinking we were delayed when it got to two o'clock and he hadn't heard from us! Consequently, with the hour going forward confusing things even more, Tom didn't meet us at midday when we got in today! So, we got a taxi and got home around one o'clock. I was unaware of this confusion or I could have put them right!!
Cracker holiday; absolutely fabulous.We're going to start saving for the next time!!
(Just got to stay awake now and try and avoid jet lag.....)