Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Back home!

With my combo of stand-by and waitlisting, I had a long wait in Singapore, but there were a few things that made it easier. I was able to take a shower in the transit hotel. Then there were a couple of 'rest areas' in Terminal 3 with big long stretch out chairs so I was able to lie there quietly for a while with my eyemask on, even though sleep still eluded me.

And they have some excellent services for stand-by passengers in Singapore, run through the Tourist Board. You can get a free shuttle to a couple of places in the city if you want. (I felt a bit too jaded for that one.) They also have a couple of free tours, and I took the "cultural" one at 4pm. They take you out through immigration, then onto an air-conditioned bus. We had an excellent guide who gave a real insight into Singapore's history. And it was amazing to be driven through Chinatown and Little India by bus. I had been to both places before, but in Singapore's heat, you tend to wander them slowly, not going too far away from the MRT station: in the bus we saw interesting parts of these areas that I hadn't passed through before.

Then when we got back to the airport, I didn't need to go airside straight away, and I was able to take advantage of the greater range of cheaper eating options in the basement of T3.

Finally it was time to board the flight back to Auckland. It was slightly shorter than the one from Europe and time seemed to pass a little more quickly, though sleep still eluded me! We had a strong tailwind across much of Australia and made good time. I found it strange that it was possible to cover more than 1000km in an hour when I had just taken many weeks to walk the same!!

In Auckland the people at AirNZ made the necessary changes to my final flight, but it seemed like all the flights to PN were full and I had a long wait. Then suddenly mid-afternoon, I heard my name paged...... Someone hadn't turned up for a PN flight, and the lady in the ticketing/coordination area had remembered me from the morning. Sudddenly I found myself issued with a new boarding pass, and I was off on the final leg home! I was so impressed by this excellent bit of personal service, especially since by this stage I was so very tired.

And so I have had two sleeps (of the jetlagged wake-up-early variety!) back home. And this morning I am even feeling slightly 'normal' again.....


  1. So glad you're back home!

    Just curious...any intention of attending the World Youth Day festivities in your very backyard?

    I've been thinking of you a lot lately. Sorry I haven't "visited".

    What amazing travels you have...what a beautiful life! :-)

    God bless!

  2. heh... I am not a "youth"!!!! And I am resting up to recover from my jetlag... I feel tired thinking about all that young energy across the Tasman Sea!!

  3. Welcome home Kiwi! You have done marvellously. I envy you the pilgrimage. Maybe one day ...

  4. Just make sure you have well-worn in shoes, and socks with liners! Can I give any more advice!!??