We left our wonderful friends home in Tahiti, and once again entered the airport doors.
We were flying Air New Zealand and were met with some pretty hefty additional check in luggage fees. All other airlines allowed Aidan and Jude to leave their skateboards attached to their backpacks and for us to take the guitars on as carry ons, but here we found that each of those items had to be checked in as checked luggage. Jude was a ninja at doing some shuffling when their scales differed to ours by a pound or so and luggage had to be shifted around to other lighter duffels.
Once we were on board with carry ons stowed we breathed a sigh of relief and settled in to enjoy 5 1/2 hours of doing absolutely nothing! I curled up against Danny and fell asleep for a while, and dreamed of billowing white sails and pacific blue waters. The creatures all sat together in a row and enjoyed the excellent comfort and services offered by New Zealand Air. They have been amazing little (taller than me), troopers and were ready for some relaxation.
The trip through customs and immigration went smoothly, and soon we walked out into the arrivals area where I spotted my friend, Teri, that I hadn’t seen since I was 14. We greeted each other with big hugs and I proudly introduced her to my sweetheart and creatures. Her husband, Conrad, is a wonderful man, and they led us out to their van where we were able to load 3 of our children and all but 2 of our checked bags and a couple of backpacks. Aidan, Danny and I called for an Uber, and followed them home.
We slept so soundly, and the following day set out to find a few things to replace those that we had lost in the shipwreck – the most important being a charger for my camera battery. Anyone that knows me well, knows that my camera is an extension of my arm, and I had missed using it.
The buildings in Aukland were so huge, and 100’s of boats sat quietly in the water tied to docks in the marinas.
After running errands, Conrad took us to a beautiful beach named Browns Bay Beach, where we sat and enjoyed the sound of waves coming in to shore. I walked to the waters edge and breathed in deep. I felt so homesick and whispered across the waves to Tanda Malaika. One day, I told myself. One day in the not too distant future, I would be looking at this beautiful beach once more, but this time next it would be from the deck of our home.
The following day we took a drive to a place called Hamilton, and passed through beautiful green countryside. This, was winter time, and though the temperature was a bit nippy, the fields remained absolutely gorgeous at the foot of an equally spectacular clouded sky.
We drove to the Temple out in the country and walked the grounds before stopping at a quaint little store for the most delicious ice cream.
As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, our primary purpose in coming to New Zealand, is to check in at the Indonesian Embassy in Wellington to apply for visas. We decided that given the exchange rate which is in our favor and the fact that school is back in session which means RV’s are rented for much lower rates, we would rent an RV to travel to Wellington so we could save money by avoiding staying in hotels and eating out. Today we begin that journey. We will travel about 8 hours (490 km) to Wellington, meet with the embassy first thing Monday morning, and hopefully within a few days have our visas. In the meantime we’d do some exploring and catch a few places of interest on our return route to Aukland afterward. We have no doubt, adventures await…