My journey from Bali to New Zealand was pretty epic. Not because it was a fantastic journey but because it was long and exhausting!
But let’s be honest, Carlotta loves long complicated journeys!
I bought the flight ticket about a month before departing, it took me three days to decide which ticket to buy. I needed to fly from Bali to Wellington and I was surfing the web like crazy to find the best possible option. Flights were either too long, too expensive, no seats available, and so on. A real headache.
Then I had a brilliant idea and opted for two separate tickets, one from Bali to Melbourne on Air Asia and one from Melbourne to Wellington on Qantas. It came out reasonably cheap… The only downside, the total journey was about twenty six hours long and three planes to take.
Never mind, I am a pro when it comes to long journeys! Nonetheless, I had my ticket to New Zealand. Super exciting, I was going to travel to one of the most remote countries in the world! It is quite amazing how New Zealand is so isolated from everything else. A land in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
The day of my departure I left Bali very early in the morning. First stop Kuala Lumpur where I waited about four hours for the connecting fly to Melbourne.
Not too bad, I like Kuala Lumpur airport. I have been there so many times it feels like a home. There’s many cafes and shops and of course free wi-fi all around. It is probably the best airport I have been for free wireless internet connection.
Anyway, it is a way to kill time if one doesn’t have a good book to read (which I didn’t have at the time, or maybe I did but it was not a good one). The annoying thing is the nearly freezing temperature in the airports and on the planes.
No jumper, scarf or socks can help avoiding becoming a penguin. At this point the excitement of traveling to New Zealand was still keeping me warm. I had not seen Dom in six weeks and I could not wait to see him. He was coming to meet me at Wellington airport!
Only few sleeps and few in-flight meals away and I would have landed in Kiwi land. I was going to meet his family and spend my birthday and Christmas with them. It had been years since I spent a family Christmas, I was really looking forward to it!
The flight to Melbourne was pretty sweet. I never flew Air Asia on a long haul flight and I have to say the planes are rather comfortable. I was surprised to find big soft comfy seat and good legroom available. I also had my laptop with movies to keep me occupied and of course I managed to snooze a little.
I landed in Melbourne just after midnight and I had to wait over eight hours for my connecting flight to Wellington. New Zealand was getting closer. I was quite tired but could not sleep so I switched my iPhone on to check out the Melbourne airport free wi-fi connection and of course have a look at my messages.
It is amazing how one can get addicted to this technology. I had a few messages from Dom, he was still in Auckland and could not make it to Wellington that day so he had booked me on a flight from Wellington to Auckland. Well, I would arrive at my final destination five hours later and at this point one more plane was making no difference…
The temperature at the airport was freezing, by now all my extremities were numb.
Finally the check in to Wellington opened, I was ready to go but…Qantas would not let me on the plane because I only had a one way ticket!!! I could not believe it.
After double checking with a colleague, the rude and patronizing desk attendant confirmed that I had to purchase an outgoing flight ticket from New Zealand or they would not allow me on board. So I purchased the cheapest flight I could buy and ended up with an Auckland to Melbourne ticket with Jet Star which of course I will not use but at least it would allow me to enter NZ.
Finally I boarded the plane. I have to say that despite the unfriendliness and rudeness of Qantas ground staff, this airline provides a fairly good in-flight service including a good choice of movies to watch. Now I was getting more excited and counting the hours.
After a five hours flight and a total of almost thirty hours on the move, I landed in New Zealand in the afternoon of the 8th December 2012. I made it, almost.
The first impression of Kiwis was great! Staff at the airport and the immigration officers were all so friendly. I don’t think I have ever come across with such friendliness at an airport!
Wellington airport is quite small and it is right on the sea. On landing it looked like the plane was landing straight on to the water. After a few hours wondering at the airport I finally boarded the last plane of this journey. was exhausted and probably jet legged too, I could have done with a nap but the guy sitting beside me on the plane did not stop talking to me for one minute.
Fortunately it was only a one hour flight and I was glad when we finally touched down in Auckland. I was in total auto pilot mood, went straight to collect my bags which fortunately arrived within few minutes and made it to the exit. There I was, breathing fresh New Zealand air and I was feeling extremely cold. It was definitely a huge difference from the tropical weather of Indonesia.
After a few minutes waiting there he was. Dom appeared with his usual unmistakable captivating smile and as handsome as ever! I was knackered and happy. Finally I was there, the beginning of a new adventure in a new land with my man.
Follow the New Zealand adventure in the next posts to come soon.