Day 17 Fiji - New Zealand
The day dawned bright and sunny again after last nights rain but really humid; the sort of weather that when you get out of the shower you are as wet again 5 mins later! Breakfast then a lovely walk along the beach. Got talking to some Canadians in the next villa who were from Nova Scotia also escaping the winter; they were also travelling to South Island NZ for their daughters wedding. Eleven o'clock pick up arrived far too quickly and then it was a 20 minute taxi ride back to Nadi airport. Not quite sure why they had to collect us quite so early as our flight didn't leave until two, but I guess it's the same the world over, but once we had checked in we went outside again to get the last of the Fijian sunshine.
It was a frustrating flight to Auckland, smooth but full of delays. I guess we shouldn't complain as this was the first delay we have experienced and we have done 10 flights now. Firstly there was a problem with the suitcase count so they had to do that again which delayed take off by 20 mins, how hard is it to count bags; then once we had left the stand there was an electrical fault and the engineer had to be called to fix so another delay, finally when we arrived in Auckland there was no gate for us so yet more time on the tarmac. Just as well we had the 2 ½ hr stopover though as by the time we had collected our bags, gone through customs and bio screening and walked the 12mins to the domestic terminal we only had about ½ hr left. Just time for a quick update on the wifi and then onboard.
Well I had heard that Kiwis were very friendly and the young chap, Richard Bruce sitting in the window seat certainly bore that out; not only did he give me his seat as we were visitors and he does the trip regularly, but he then went on to advise of places to visit, including recommending his aunt's homestay. He even offered to put us up for the night if we had nowhere to stay but as we had a hotel booked his girlfriend Sarah who was meeting him gave us a lift from the airport straight to our hotel and we'd only been chatting for around an hour. He was in marketing for a new mosquito product and gave us some samples to try as well - result!
On arriving at the Heritage which is in Cathedral Sq, right in the heart of Christchurch they informed us they were upgrading us to a suite - yippee. Well not so much a suite as a duplex. There is a large living, dining, kitchen downstairs with a downstairs bathroom complete with washing machine, tumble drier, and then upstairs there are two bedrooms on a mezzanine and another bathroom. Absolutely fantastic. We've really fallen on our feet……..