Leaving Home

18 Sep

After weeks of tidying up the garden, packing up the house and storing it all in the garage, and generally cleaning up the place ready for tenants, we left Wellington on Monday, 12 September.

Departure from Wellington

We had a tearful goodbye from the family at Wellington Airport.  We were thrilled to see all the children, partners and grandchildren make the effort and come and wave us off at the start of our adventure.  Terence managed to make it just in time before we made our way through to the departing lounge.

Wee Jimmy!

First stop was Christchurch to say goodbye to wee Jimmy!   We stayed with Andre and Anita Holtsalg for two nights and were spoilt by their hospitality. James made us a meal on our second night and we met the other 5 flatmates at his home.  A fun bunch of men.  I was impressed with the clean and tidy status of the flat!  We were so sad to see the state of central Christchurch after the earthquakes.  We spent 3 hours wandering around the streets that weren’t cordoned off and it was sobering.

Earthquake damaged building

Earthquake damaged building

Then on 14 September at 7.30p.m. we flew out of Christchurch bound for London …………  Spent a couple of hours in Auckland, transferring to the larger international aircraft.  The plane wasn’t full and we were advised that when the seatbelt sign went off we could move around the plane to select 3 vacant seats which would make sleeping easier.  Unfortunately we were too slow off the mark and ended up remaining in our own allocated seats!  Obviously, experienced travellers take these suggestions to heart and act quickly!  Anyway, it wasn’t too bad to share our block of 3 seats with just the two of us.  We both sleep well, maybe 5 or 6 hours before touching down at Hong Kong 11 hours later.  We had a walk around the transit lounge for 2 hours before finding our same seats again on the same plane.  This time the entire plane was full and I had a Asian gentleman, who couldn’t speak English seated next to me.  Not having the ability to stretch out all 4 limbs at once made me feel quite cramped and uncomfortable and I was glad when the 12 hour flight was over!  AirNZ is to be highly recommended though, for their service, food and personal entertainment system!

Upon leaving the aircraft we bumped into our accountant from Masterton and his wife, who had been on the same flight!  What a small world…..

We made our way via the Underground system to North Greenwich where our friend, Rob Boere had organised to meet us.  By this time it was peak commuter time on the trains and it was so busy!  We were squashed into the carriages desperately hanging on to our luggage and with every new station becoming more and more separated, being pushed along the carriage in opposite directions.  But we managed and left the train at the correct station after all.

Rob’s smart car

Rob meet us in his smart little car, a bright yellow Renault Sports Megane RST250 .  He has been a wonderful taxi driver, with a running commentary to go with the views!  And as you know Dennis soaks up all the information.

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4 Responses to “Leaving Home”

  1. John and Maria September 18, 2011 at 10:07 pm #

    So good to make contact with you, and read of your adventure. Yes, Christchurch is awful really. Our granddaughter Laura was here six weeks ago and we drove through wellington at night. All has been spruced up for the Rugby World Cup and she said to us “Oma we do not have a city”. However it will be rebuilt. Just today I was going to make contact with Anna, but so good to see your email. Looking forward to the running commentry. Keep well and safe. God is everywhere and we can “be close” before His throne. Love from Maria and John

  2. Eliza September 18, 2011 at 10:28 pm #

    Sounds a great start! We are quite jealous and trying to plan ways to visit next year… All the new and exciting things! How wonderful. Don’t start any riots. C has his first tooth. xx

  3. k September 18, 2011 at 11:48 pm #

    I’ll read this out to Isis and show her the photos after school today , she was very chuffed to be skyping with you this morning. Pleased it has begun so well xx K

  4. Beaven and Viv September 19, 2011 at 8:39 am #

    Great to read your blog – will look forward to the next…

    Have fun – another southerly on it’s way here!!

    Georgian Rugby Team arrived in Masterton today – great excitement.

    Cheers Viv and Beaven

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