I got the ferry back from Macau direct to HK airport. I enquired whether the more expensive ticket allowed you to go out on deck. It doesn’t. I wondered if this is because the ferry crosses from Macau, into China and then into Hong Kong. Perhaps the Chinese are paranoid people will jump off the ferry and swim to China if allowed.
Once at the airport, they have special check in areas from the ferry so you don’t have to go out to the main departures area. Had quite a bit of time to kill but spent quite a bit of it asking a succession of people where the post box was and not finding it. Also had some spaghetti at an airport restaurant.
Watched the Hobbit on the flight, which I guess was quite an appropriate choice. Started to think that New Zealand is the Aberystwyth of countries – not really anywhere near anywhere else and seems to take forever to get to. Was looking at the interactive map and was thinking I’ve finally made it all the way to Australia and it’s still another 3 hours to go!
So got into Auckland about 11. Immigration seemed friendly, got my bag but then had to go through bio hazard check. Had been given a very long form on the plane – are you bringing in food, have you been in the forest, have you touched any animals? Guy in this section gave me a very disbelieving look that I had ticked ‘no’ to everything.
Still got away and was told to go to section A to check again. Did this and was then told to go outside and follow the green line. I did – through a car park, past a taxi firm, through another car park (starting to wonder if I was following the right line at this point) and finally after about a 10 min walk got to the domestic terminal. Got the flight to Nelson – a 2 turboprop plane with about 30 passengers. Some nice views and only took about an hour and a bit.
Arrived but sadly without my luggage. Had to put the luggage label in. Went to the nursery where Dave is working. Thought this was going to be a garden centre but in fact he is working in childcare. Being paid to look after his own child! The nursery was quite interesting as they try to teach the children some words in Maori (even though there aren’t any Maori children there)
Sadly Aidan doesn’t seem to remember me or even our old favourite Agadoo. Still seems to have a new game of horsy, which is not entirely dissimilar from 1-2-3 wee.
Regular calls to the airport but first they couldn’t find my luggage and then it turned out to have ended back in the bio hazard section and could they have the combination.
Went down the pub for a few birthday drinks with Dave and then back for a delicious dinner of roast lamb. Was a bit tired so went to bed at 9:30. Dave and Robyn’s neighbours were moving out so got to sleep in their flat for the night.
The next morning got up and went to the airport and finally got my luggage back. Hurrah. Went back and finally had a much needed shower. Then went into Richmond and I met up with Jeremy from my Peru trip 3 years ago for a coffee. Went for a little drive and had tea with Robyn’s friend. Then went to pick up Dave
We then went to Nelson and had fish and chips. Dave and I then climbed up a hill to the Centre of New Zealand (which has a little monument but isn’t actually the centre of New Zealand). Pretty hot day. We then met Robyn and I had a quick look at the Cathedral. This is reasonably modern as one of the previous versions was destroyed in an earthquake. It had the following advice on this: “if the walls start to sway the service will be cancelled”
We then went back home and then out to Rabbit Island just off the coast where we had a BBQ and built a sandcastle on the beach
Off on the road tomorrow – first to Greymouth.