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My Long Awaited 'Round the World' Trip

Back to Auckland & Operation Round the World Phase 2 Complete

NEW ZEALAND | Saturday, 3 January 2009 | Views [309]

With tears in my eyes & a lump in my throat, I boarded the ferry to cross the Cook Straight for the last time as everything was now all about last times in New Zealand.  I was feeling pretty nervous about my SE Asia leg as I would be on a plane flying out to Singapore in less than 2 days.  The ferry was uneventful as I had a late night on NYE & of course with 4 kids in the room next door there was little chance of any worthwhile sleep past 8am so I opted to sleep the 3 hour trip away.

Once in windy, chilly Wellington I negotiated my way around from the ferry terminal to the hostel using the courtesy bus to the train station & catching to local bus to the hostel which all worked out just marvelously.  Wellington was pretty uneventful as it was gone 5 by the time I arrived at the hostel.  As luck would have it I bumped into my Kiwi friend who lives in Wellington as I was walking out to the supermarket - he had taken a chance that I would be around to pop in and say goodbye - and had a quick chat before he zoomed off home again & then had a quick dinner & spent the rest of the evening reading my trusty Lonely Planet SE Asia on a Shoestring. 

Up at the crack of dawn to catch my flight & leave Wellington for the last time to fly to a warm, humid Auckland.  Stopped off for breakfast at the airport and then caught the bus to the city centre that dropped me around the corner from my hostel which was nice and easy and convenient (as so much is in this part of the world).  Got checked in and sorted out & then headed into town for the last time for some last minute shopping & cheap internet before having dinner & heading off to sleep for my final night (if you could call it that - I had to wake up at the ridiculous hour of 3.30am to catch the 4.25am airport shuttle) in Australasia. 

Surprise surprise I actually managed to wake up and get dressed etc and be at the front door at 4.20am.  Miracles never cease.  Of course with these kind of crazy situations there must be casualties & mine was my phone (or my mom's spare one) that I never picked up when I was making sure I had everything before I locked my bag (it was dark and I felt around and thought I had everything - silly I know - should have used my torch).  I realised when I was sitting on the plane waiting for take off when  we were told to turn phones off and it suddenly dawned on me that I had no phone to turn off.  Oh the annoyance but there we go.  Not a whole heap I can do about it and not much point losing any sleep over it.

Talking about a small world - when I spent the day with my Aunts best friend & her husband the last time I was in Auckland we saw a guy attemting to paraglide but the wind was not working out for him so  he gave and true as bob I am sitting in my airport shuttle at 4 something in the morning and we stop off to pick someone up who is none other than that very same guy.  What are the chances.  Pretty bizarre really.

Weirdly enough as I was passing through customs I felt quite emotional about leaving New Zealand.  I had expected to love it but not to be completely and utterly blown away.  Really awesome experience & one I shall never forget and hopefully one that I will get to have again in the not too distant future.

My flight connected through Brisbane flying with Qantas which meant that I had a couple of hours stopover which was not ideal but it was not like I was pressed for time and I think if I was going for a seriously long flight a day flight would definitely be the better option.  There were no delays in Australia which meant that I was now on my way to a whole new world, culture, language etc that is SE Asia.  Scary and exciting all at the same time but at least by starting in Singapore I was easing into it with the most westernised Asian country & once I was on my final leg the nervousness eased off and I started getting excited for somewhere completely different and exciting.  Can't wait.


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