Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Thursday 4th December

After a very pleasant night we arrived at Sydney Airport. What a town to fly over – every house seemed to have a swimming pool and the harbour looked beautiful early morning (7 am). On arrival an Australian came into the plane and sprayed the entire inside with an aerosol. Nothing personal we were assured, just to kill overseas bugs.

Annie just began another period of the trots and so the 5 hours spent in Sydney Airport were grim. Nobody seemed well dressed and after buying duty-free booze we thankfully boarded a Qantas Boeing for NZ. 

Great flight and at 3.45 pm we landed at Christchurch. Through Customs – very embarrassing with all our dirty washing – and met in-laws.

Well that’s that, our trip of a lifetime. From near North Pole to near South Pole. The past 3 plus months have been worth all the saving (cost about £1300). At times it has been very miserable but well, well worth it. Neither of us would have missed it for the world. A super way to start a new life down under. 

[That's the end. I have enjoyed copying the diary into this blog - and chuffed that I did not miss a date!! The main thing is that our journey is now recorded in the "clouds". Our children and grandchildren and .... can now have confirmed what they have thought all along.
 The olds do do some strange things]

Monday, December 3, 2012

Wednesday 3rd December

Off at 10 to the airport – haven’t yet got used to no car yet - we to pay airport taxes of $1 each – ugh!

We got into a Philippine plane to Manila. On arrival we found that we had seven hours to wait before catching the plane to Sydney but surprise Philippine airline whisked us off to the Manila Sheraton (about equivalent to a Hilton) where we were booked into a super suit overlooking Manila Bay and watched the sun set. 

Free dinner in one of the restaurants. Then the provided car to the airport for the night flight to Sydney. The plane (a DC8) was beautifully finished inside, super looking air hostess and has 12 people in it, so we all stretched out over 3 seats for sleeping. 

[Airlines seem to have lost the plot nowadays concerning true customer service]

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Tuesday 2nd December

A very early start 5.30 saw us in a bus bound for the airport.

After a final dust up with Indian officialdom when changing money – you cannot take rupees out of the country – we left horrible Calcutta bound for Bangkok. Three quarters of an hour there and off again to Hong Kong. The hotel paid for by Lufthansa was super and before and after our dinner we wandered up and down the shops. 

The department store of the “Peoples Democratic Republic of China” even took dollars! We bought plenty of Christmas presents – could of bought lots more but money was short. A great place and could have spent a lot more time there (and money!!). 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Monday 1st December

Early down to shipping company where after much to do, we left our little VW locked up in a shop (this was under custom supervision so that we could have our passports and other documents cleared before leaving the country). Hope we see it again.

It looked very sad all covered in protective wax and stripped of everything removable (‘cos of dockers' light fingers etc). I was really doubtful whether we would see it again in one piece as there’s a dock strike on – no one knows when it will be settled.

We joined Bani and a very attractive friend for Chinese nosh and spent the afternoon finally packing and taking cases to Lufthansa office. For dinner we took a taxi to the Luft’ engineer’s house for a great meal. His wife was in Australia visiting her mother so the bloke was making hay while the sun shone. Another friend of his was there and the four of us had a very pleasant evening.