London –> Auckland

Sunday 20/11:
Leaving Thirsk, England at 11:30 in the morning. Spending a few hours in the car before arriving in London and Heathrow Airport at 18:00. Trying to check in but get denied for not having a return ticket. Thanks to free WIFI and a computer we book flights to Fiji in the middle of February. Back to the check-in-desk to show the return ticket (a ticket that proves you will be leaving a country within a certain time). We get a thumbs up from the man behind the desk. Boarding the first of what we think will be a total of two planes and head towards Manila, Philippines. Judge a book by its cover and think that it is a very cheap airline when looking inside the cabin but soon regret being so judgmental when a nice food menu, sleeping kit, Ipad and headphones are given out. Up in the air for 12 hours.

Lesson learnt today: Stop expecting things and instead be happy when good things happen or come to you.

Monday 21/11:
Landing in Manila at 20:00 local time (GMT +9). Must wait 3 hours for the next flight so use the time for some stretching, people watching and charging electronic devices. Getting very lucky on the plane when finding two empty rows of seats. Taking one row each and stretching our legs, lying down for the whole flight. After two hours declaration papers being handed out, the only problem is that is says Australia on them. We ask the staff why we would need to declare for Australia when we are flying to New Zealand and we are told that we will be landing in Cairns, Australia before continuing to Auckland. No paper or tickets whatsoever give us this information, but luckily the total traveling time remains the same.

Today’s best: Feeling like a giant among the short Filipinos in Manila Airport.
Today’s worst: Feeling sick and tired.
Lesson learnt today:  The laws of the jungle are practiced when it comes to being comfortable on a plane. The bravest and fastest people are the winners.

Tuesday 22/11
Finally land in Auckland, New Zealand at 16:00 local time (GMT +13) after enduring a never-ending flight with leg cramps and popped ears. Stopped at the passport check to answer questions like “what do you do for living?”, “how did you finance this trip?” and “where are you staying tonight?” Also, stop at customs to do extra checks on our tent and the outdoor food that we have brought with us. Get the all clear on our gear and catch the Skybus for 18NZD each and jump off in the City centre. Crawl into Empire Apartments Hotel at 18:00 and after a shower and a falafel wrap on the street outside. We are fast asleep at 20:00.

Today’s best: Falling asleep in a bed.
Today’s worst: Feeling even more sick.
Today’s funny memory to look back on:
Boarder control officer: What do you do for a living?
A very tired and a little bit nervous Frida: Ehm, watching pipes.
Boarder control officer: Watching pipes????
(Frida’s real job is/was: Machine operator and a quality controller at the end of the pipe production line.)

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