'Solstice' Cruise - November 2013
Getting to New Zealand
Friday 15th November 2013
Well, it's Friday 15th where WE are and it's around 6am, but back at home it's Thursday 14th and about 5pm. We're probably going to spend three weeks making time adjustments!
We took off from Heathrow at about 10.30 on Tuesday night for a thirteen hour flight to Singapore. It sounds dreadful, doesn't it? What on earth can you do to pass all those hours in a plane given that you find it difficult to sleep? In the event, it wasn't too bad, mainly because we were travelling with an excellent airline.
Last year, when we flew to Los Angeles on our way to Tahiti, we went with Air New Zealand and enjoyed the experience about as much as it's humanly possible to do, and Singapore Airlines gave us the same treatment. There was a HUGE selection of films and TV programmes to choose from on the entertainment system, so there literally was something for everyone. Gill had dosed herself up with Night Nurse because of her congestion and cough, so spent her time reading and dozing. I watched a couple of films, including a German one set in Berlin that kept me amused for a couple of hours, but also dozed intermittently.
When we landed in Singapore our body clocks told us that it was 11am on Wednesday, but in reality we'd flown through a sunrise and a sunset, and on the ground it was 7pm So, in a strange way, it seemed more like we'd just had a shorter than normal day – it's just that we were very tired through lack of sleep.
Two hours after landing we were in the air again, with a nine hour flight to Auckland ahead of us. This time, Gill watched film after film. I cat-napped because I was too tired to read for long, even though, because we're going to the 'Hobbiton' film set next week, I'd downloaded, 'The Fellowship of the Ring', and was enjoying reading it again for the umpteenth time.
After a thirteen hour flight I found a nine
hour one a doddle. We arrived in Auckland at about 11am
local time on Thursday morning (10pm Wednesday at home).
New Zealand has very, very strict limits on which
foodstuffs can be brought into the country, because
their agriculture could be devastated by imported
disease. We were quizzed about the groceries that Gill
had brought with us as gifts for my relatives here. On
the X-ray scanners they could see jars in one of our
cases and wanted to know that it wasn't honey – it was
actually Kentish Pear Conserve, which it seems they
don't have a problem with.