The long way to get to NZ, so not a long haul traveller !!!
27.12.2008 - 29.12.2008 -17 °C
I left Santiago early on 27th December, flying first to Buenos Aires then onto Sydney ( after a wee bit of a wait in BA airport) and finally on to Auckland.
Kind of a bit sick of the whole flying thing now - and although things started out well they deteriorated big time at Buenos Aires where I seemed to queue for ages to get through Passport control, customs, then check in and finally even had to queue for ages to pay the departure tax (which is a complete con by the way !!!). In total I was queueing for almost two and a half hours.
The final straw came at the gate where Quantas staff confiscated a bottle of water that Id just bought ( from a kiosk in the departure lounge right next to the gate !!!). As if that wasnt enough, a girl then asked to re-check my bag before boarding and decided that she had to confiscate the travel sized toiletries I had in my hand luggage cause they werent in a see thru polythere bag - and this was AFTER getting the bag screened and checked 3 times already !!!
To say I was biting my tongue was a complete understatement.
I also missed one of my meals on the long flight ( I was asleep) - which annoyed me too as everyone knows how much I love Airline food !! No seriously, reckon I'd paid enough for the tickets so wanted to get everything that was due to me. I asked one of the cabin crew if I could have my meal now that I was awake, but he politely but firmly said they were no longer serving food. Put my gas at a peep I can tell you !!!
The cabin crew were the 'old workhorse types' - relegated to the long haul flights cause they were no longer glamourous. Very efficient but tough as nails LOL !!! Amused myself by watching lots of obscure Aussie stuff on the personal TV screens in flight - including a documentary about a guy who tried to kayak between Tasmania and NZ but got lost at sea just off the Milford Sound ( very interesting but quite sad) and a film about surfer dudes - that was pretty crap really.
Finally got to Australia and completely forgot that I was in transit to New Zealand ( well, I was half asleep)- first thing I did was withdraw £300 worth of dollars from the ATM. Completely useless to me now - have added them to the pile of currency that I'll need to get changed back into sterling.
I arrived in Auckland minus all my luggage so had to hang about filing in report forms for a bit then decided to have a Mcdonalds before heading to the hotel ( and I cant even blame that one on Chris as he wasnt with me LOL). It tasted pretty grim to be honest - wish I hadnt bothered.
I got to the hotel at 1.15am on 29th December - managed to wake Valerie up, who had arrived earlier in the afternoon. We then spent the next 4 hours chatting and catching up so didnt get to bed til just after 5.10am. Am still reeling from the fact that Valerie managed to get upgraded to business class on the way out - cant believe that. So jealous - although she did only get it for one leg of the journey.
Hotel is nice - complete with bathrobes and fancy toiletries. Makes South America seem like it didnt happen. Hoping that New Zealand lives up to my expectations - if its even half as good as South America I'll be more than happy. Just need to do a bit of battery recarging first LOL.