Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Days 1-3 - Travelling to New Zealand (Boxing Day - Friday 29th December- 13 hour time difference in between!)

We got off to an early start, our alarm went off at 6:00, we got dressed and ate a very quick pain au chocolat to put us on. We were on the transfer minibus for 6:30! We flew at 8:00 with Aer Lingus to Dublin to meet our Emirates flight. We had a few hours between flights so checked in, collected our hotel voucher for Dubai and went through security. We were ready for breakfast by then and ended up in Burger King! Once full we had a look around some shops and bought a couple of magazines for the flight. The time there passed really quickly and it was time to board our 12:55 flight to Dubai. These TV's were fantastic entertainment!

The flight went smoothly apart from at the end, we'd made good time but it came over the tannoy that 40 flights we ahead of us for landing so we ended up circling Dubai for a while! That was a little frustrating as we'd been on board around 7 hours and we due to land at 00:25 local time. We eventually landed just before 01:00. We were pleased to have a hotel booked, we were so ready for sleep by then. (UK time was 21:00 so it was way past bedtime and only Courtney had napped on the plane.) Imagine our reaction when we walked up to Passport control and basically saw what must have been the 40 planes before us passengers!!!! It was a cattle market and took over an hour to get through. Then we made our way to the Emirates desk for the transfer bus to find we'd just missed one and it was a 20 minute wait for the next! After checking in we finally crawled into bed at 02:50! Our alarm call was for 07:45 so although we were meant to get a couple of hours more we were grateful for 5 hours of proper sleep! Breakfast was included at the hotel but turned into a quick breakfast as we needed to be on the transfer but for 08:25! We made our way back to the airport.

Charlie innocently made a funny comment about the traditional dress in Dubai, he thought the men looked like Shepherds from the Nativity, LOL!!!  So cute, it tickled me for some time after!

We boarded our next flight, the long one! In all on this flight we are travelling just over 19 hours but our journey is broken up with a fuel stop in Brisbane. As I type this we have approx. 7 hours 43 minutes left until Brisbane. (We have about 2 hours there for a leg stretch then the last leg of our journey down to Auckland should be around 4 hours.)
At Brisbane Airport (taken on the iPad)

We knew the journey to New Zealand would be long and although it was frustrating in Dubai it is, so far, going very well. Time seems to be passing quickly, Charlie and Courtney have been exceptionally well behaved  (touches wood, lol) and we're all still going strong!

WooHoo, here we are! The last leg was actually only 2 1/2 hours so that was a bonus! Courtney slept the entire flight, even for landing! Jen, Daniel and Noah were at the airport to meet us, it was so lovely to see them all again. Our first glimpse of New Zealand was beautiful. It was only about a half hour drive to Jen's house, we talked the whole way! We settled into our room (which has stunning views) then Grant came home from work, it was lovely to see him too. After dinner we all bathed and showered, that felt so nice after being on such a long journey. Charlie and Courtney went to bed, Mark followed soon after. I was then introduced to the delights of 'An Idiot Abroad.' (the first series) I'd heard of it but didn't know what it was about, well it's about a chap called Karl Pilkington who is sent abroad to see the 'Seven Wonders of the World' by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant but it's never straight forward for him and he is set up with quite unpleasant things many times during his stay! I was really enjoying it but soon started feeling too tired and had to give up about half way through! Off to bed I went too!

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