Archives for the month of: September, 2011

7 September 2011

What better way to wake up than with a mug of condensed milk coffee? Slept solidly and woke up feeling surprisingly refreshed.

Had a very lazy morning catching up with my mates over coffee and breakfast before the ladies headed out to do some shopping, leaving the men to get beers and get ready for a braai. If you can call braaing on a gas plate a braai. Then it was time to get packed and head for the airport to start the first leg of our journey to New Zealand.

I can’t lie. I had to sit on my bag to be able to close it. How it went from 19kg to 22,3kg I do not know.

And so ended my second and last day in Australia.

8 September 2011

Landing in Melbourne at 5am is bleak. Most food places are closed and there isn’t really a place for you to sit and wait. And boy did we have a wait. Seven long hours. We did find wifi though – thank you Virgin Business Lounge.

I did not realise that flying from Perth to Melbourne crossed 2 time zones. It’s just something I’ve never thought about. And it’s the same from Melbourne to Christchurch … 2 time zones. And nothing says welcome to a country quite like stringent border control and quizzing on the contents of your bag and whether those hiking boots have ever been used in the bush. Um … no, they are brand spanking new and haven’t even touched grass. *gulp*

Welcome to New Zealand, travelers.

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My flight landed in KL at 06:22am – Cape Town time 00:22. Plenty of shops and free wi-fi. My favourite kind of airport. I basically spent the 3 hrs in transit walking around stretching my legs and trying not to eat all the chocolate in my bag.

After boarding and finding my seat in a very empty plane, I strapped in and the minute I closed my eyes I was fast asleep. I basically woke up for food & water. A good four hour sleep later, I landed in Perth.

After over an hour of passport control, border patrol & immigration officials, sniffer dogs and nervous looking people, I finally headed out looking for friendly faces. My fantastic mates tried to pull a fast one on me. They were hiding. There was however a nice gentleman with a sign waiting for Ann Wilson. Of course the bobbing heads behind seats (yes, they tried to hide behind the chairs) and green springbok cap was a dead giveaway. Like they were ever going to leave me stranded.

I’m in Australia people! The other side of the world! It is surreal, but awesome.

What better way to celebrate meeting up with best mates and new acquaintances? A few cold ones. My cider was awesome with the “Serving suggestion: bloody cold” Love it! And so the afternoon was spent chilling and catching up. Beautiful weather, good mates and laughter. That is as it should be.

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Getting up early to make sure that I have everything packed and ready, didn’t seem to add to the exciting feeling that comes with a holiday that has finally arrived. I don’t lie when I say that I wasn’t feeling it. But, one last bye to the dogs, one final mental check that I have everything I need, one last check to make sure that everything at home will be taken care of and a little butterfly flapped it’s wings.

The airport brings with it the sense of adventures waiting to happen and stories waiting to be told. My adventure was about to begin.

A fully booked flight meant that my 11 hours from Cape Town to Kuala Lumpur was spent at the back of the plane. Thankfully an aisle seat, but in the the last section of cattle class (aka economy class). I sat next to a couple from “some place in Asia whose name I couldn’t make out after asking 3 times”. They offered breath mints … that one made me blow in my hand and sniff. Very friendly folk who had been on a 6 day visit to South Africa.

Low of the flight – there was sniffing and snorting of epic proportions. It’s my absolute pet hate … the nostril clearing kind of snort. Besides that, and the gent who kept standing in the aisle with his ass in my face … three loud coughs each time he did it, finally got the message through to him … the flight was uneventful, with a little bit of turbulence here and there. True to form I may have slept for the sum total of 1 hour. But I watched movies. Oh, and not to forget the fact that I got to watch a toddler projectile vomit her chicken noodle breakfast into a cup. That was definitely the highlight of my flight.

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