Thursday, 25 August 2011

Aotearoa. The Land of the Long White Cloud

Kiwiburger at GBK in WimbledonOur last Kiwiburger at GBK in Wimbledon before heading home.

The first leg of our journey from London to Singapore was an eleven and a half hour journey aboard a Qantas Airbus A380-800. Having never flown in one of these aircraft it was an interesting experience. The on board entertainment was a touch screen TV in the back of each seat. Along with the usual flight path maps there is a “Skycam” which is a camera mounted in the tail of the aircraft looking along the length of the fuselage encompassing the majority of the wings and engines. This is very interesting upon take off and landings but rather boring in flight. The only complaint we had about it was the air conditioning unit which was very efficient but the temperature was too low as we had to keep the blanket wrapped around us the whole time. Being a night flight we tried to get some sleep with limited success.

IMG_4635-1Bored stiff at Heathrow and we haven’t even started yet.

After a three hour wait in Singapore we boarded our next aircraft to Brisbane, This was supposed to be a Boeing 767 but was changed to a 747-400. Being an older aircraft and not quite so swish the entertainment unit was the old TV in the back of the seat but with a remote control in the armrest. This again was a night flight but only 7½ hour duration. Long enough to watch a movie during supper and then try and get some sleep.

Again we had a 3 hour wait between flights which at least gave us a break to stretch our legs. Other than watching the planes coming and going we could watch the local train service which ran along behind the airport. Plane number 3 was a new series Boeing 737 with the upturned wing tips flown by a woman pilot. Prior to take off she warned us that there were strong winds out over the Tasman Sea and she would attempt to fly around them but we could be in for a bumpy ride. Half way through serving lunch somewhere around Lord Howe Island we started to bounce around like corks on the ocean. Thankfully this only lasted about 10 –15 minutes and the remainder of this 2½ hour flight was very smooth.

Upon arrival in Auckland we tried to pass through Customs using our new self scan passports but the machine refused to recognise us but we still got fast tracked through with first class passengers. We were met by Dot’s sister Mary and husband Tony with whom we will be staying until next Wednesday when we make the final leg of our trip to Wellington.


Jenny and Robin said...

Welcome Home to the happy travellers.

Tom and Jan said...

New suitcases on the airport trolley? :-)

Northern Pride said...

Haere Mai! Welcome home! Hope to see you both at some stage, you're always welcome in sunny Gisborne :-)
Sandra & Barry

Derek and Dot said...

Hi Jenny and Robin
Happy and tired, this jetlag is a killer

Derek and Dot said...

Hi Tom and Jan
No! suitcases are seasoned travellers and due for retirement at least 3 return trips under their belts..

Derek and Dot said...

Hi Sandra and Barry
Feels unusual, will head your way sometime when we get organised. Enjoy sunny Gisborne.