Day 1, 2 and 3
26 till 28 Februar 2011
Amsterdam (Schiphol Airport)
via Hong Kong (China) and
Auckland Airport to Matamata.
26 Februar till 28 Februar 2011
From Amsterdam (Schiphol Airport) via Hong Kong
(China) and Auckland Airport to Matamata.
1. Departure Schiphol 26-02-2011 at 13:05 uur
2. Arrival Hong Kong 27-02-11 at 07:10 uur
3. Departure Hong Kong 27-02-11 at 21:50 uur
4. Arrival Auckland 28-02-11 at 13:05 uur
(all local times)
Saturdaymorning 26st of Februar 2011, waking up with a wonderful feeling, but also a slight stress because of the long sit in tthe planes.
My third travel to New Zealand is going to begin, but this journey feels different then the other ones.
This time I'm going to experience this great country with the new love of my life Karin. Because of that the driver is different too. It is Cor the father of karin who is bringing us to Schiphol Airport near Amsterdam.
At te last moment I'm able to do the inchecking on-line so we could leave Heerenveen our starting point this time (Karin's home), butr all is packed so we decide to leave at the planned time of 08:00 hours. It's Saturday so there is not much traffic on the road so we're standing at Schiphol at 09:45 and say goodbye to Karin's father. Already at 10.00 o'clock we left our luggage and went for a cup of coffee on of of the cozy terraces.
At 12:05 we're checking in and we walk to the gate. On our plane is a well-known Dutchman too, Winston Gerschtanowitz so I take a picture of him but within seconds I'm approached by one man of the safety staff of Cathay Pacific that it was not allowed to take photo's of the boarding due to safety procedures.
We're boarding after this "intermezzo" and take place on the seats that I reserved in the back of the Plane. There are some seats with more space fot the legs and I got that information from the Internet.
We're ready for take off but unfortunately we have to remain on the taxi-strip for at least 45 minutes before we get our clearance for take off. Not a happy start for this first flight of about 11 hours. The care on board is more then good and efficient but after 3 hours you wanna leave the plane .... Anyway we knew what to expect so it was a mix of ... seeing movies, going to toilet and take the time for that so we could strech legs, etc.
At exactly 01.00 uur (Dutch time) our plane is landing on the airport of Hong Kong. At that moment we were already 13 hours in the plane so leaving it was GREAT. At that moment it was 08:00 hours local time in Hong Kong. We are first searching for an ATM because we did have Hong Kong dollars with us. They are well hidden, because I walk 2 times beyond the ATM but finally I notice the moneybringer. We have booked a room at the Regal Airport Hotel. The hotel is build connected with a corridor on the arrivals of the airport. When we want to check in we find it inpossible to pay with our debit card. We need a credit card (we don;t have) or pay in cash SO i went back to the ATM to get more money. After this we check in and went to our room. It's a large room; we close the curtains and we're sleeping within minutes. .
Before the alarm went off we're already awaking and the first thing we wanted to do is take a long hot shower and that was what we needed after the first part of our journey. Reasonably fit we leave the Regal Airport Hotel and we're going to have a breakfast at he Burger King in arrivals.
Hey ..... we're in China and we've never been in China before, altough the English influence is still notisable.
We're checking in on time and at 21:05 local time our plane is taxiing from the pier to the runway BUT after a 100 meters we're stopping and it's a rehearsal of the departure of Amsterdam. Now we have to wait for another 30 minutes and then finally we''re getting green lights from the Tower. The last part of our flight to Auckland begins now. The first hours we're flying over the Indonesian Islands and then a few hours over the North-East part of Australia. When we see te city and harbour of Brisbane our plane makes the final turn towards New Zealand and the last 2,5 hours we only see the ocean beneath us.
At 12:50 hours (local time) Karin makes the first photo from the plane of the New Zealand coastline and 20 minutes later the plane is landing on Auckland International Airport. Within minutes we have our luggage and passing the customs is easier then we expected. I make a phone call to Apollo Campers and 10 minutes later there is a taxi-shuttle form Apollo Campers to bring us to the Auckland Branch Location of Apollo at only 4 kilometers from the Airport.
And then our problem of this holiday appears. The money I transferred to the Apollo account didn't arrive yet on their bank account. Via an internetcomputer I can make it clear to the staff at the branch that I tranferred the money more then 14 days ago and luckely they believe us. But it took another 45 minutes extra because of all the negotiation with the headoffice in Australia. So a wise lesson for everyone. Be sure to have a Credit Card. You can't travel without it anymore.
We lift our cases in the beautiful spacious camper and leave the Apollo branch. It takes me a few minutes to get used to driving left again. But beforer you now it you;ll get used to it again. And I've been here twice already. In no time we're out of Auckland and we're driving to the south on Highway 1. Outsie of Auckland we'll take our first stop at the BP gasstation. A toilet and coffee break. And BP has nowadays a Wild Beans Cafe on their bigger gasstations and they taste delicious. Both .. .the coffee and the cappucino. During this holiday we always take time for these Wild Beans stops. Back in the camper we went further to the south and take the exit Highway 2 towards the Eastcoast. A good 30 kilometers further we take Highway 27 and we're heading to the south again to the city of Matamata.
Matamata is our first stopovber in New Zealand. We're sleeping by my girlfriend Sue who has a Bed & Breakfast "The Southern Belle". Arriving at the B&B we park the camper next to the garage and Sue and her very big Leonburger JK (dog) are welcoming us.
We take a little food and talk about ours plans for this trip but within a short time we are nodding so it's time to go to bed. Sue points us to the bedroom, our bedroom in the Bed & Breakfast area. For her business she gave to others the "No Vanacy" sign so we were her only guests in the Southern Belle. We let our body down on the bed and within minutes we were gone to dreamland.