Friday, February 28, 2014

Christchurch - Day 1

8:45 pm ex Canberra. Bag 24kg. Technically overweight as default ticket only allowed 20kg. Anticipating this, I'd spent a fruitless afternoon on the Jetstar web site trying to upgrade the limit to 30kg. Finally made contact with a human via online chat & after parting with another $36 thought I'd fixed things. Canberra Qantas counter staff had no record of the transaction, but allowed me to check in anyway. For this relief much thanks. Plane full of primary school kids on an excursion to Melbourne meant the flight was fairly noisy but otherwise uneventful. Straight thru customs at Melbourne where I had the unexpected satisfaction of filling in "retired" under occupation. Another milestone in life achieved!

Departed Melbourne 11:45 pm Thursday, arrived 5:00 am Friday Christchurch. Remind me never to fly JetStar again - cattle class does not begin to describe the conditions. On the plus side, flight time was just under 3 hours. The downside was arriving at sparrows fart having had barely an hour of intermittent snoozing.

Zero issues clearing the friendly NZ border control. Despite having indicated on my arrival form that I was carrying used camping/sports goods, a cursory glance at the soles of my riding boots was enough.

Barely had time for coffee at airport before M & U arrived in a borrowed car to collect me. Only true friends arrive at 5 am to pick you up from the airport.

They are staying outside Christchurch at some friends who are currently overseas. Access to a comfortable house and a car! Bonus!

A quick nap until 8, shower and exchange of kit bag for panniers and keys to Sarah's bike. Then off to town for some site seeing, social coffee , drop Sarah at airport, lunch then back to our digs to do a trial pack of the panniers. So much stuff, so little space! Still - I'm sure I'll manage to squeeze it all in tomorrow before we leave!!!

Wet afternoon, but weather looking better for tomorrow. Destination yet to be determined. I'll keep you posted....

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