Jan 11, 2007

Getting Down Under

Okay so I said check back in a day, and it's been two. It's not my fault for once. The internet's been down for the past day and half which has mucked up a few things. In particular my banking communication with my parents (I like to eat is the thing...).

Of course it has also messed up my blogging abilities :P

So might as well get to that right now, as I'm piling up net worthy stuff by the hour. The trip from Canada to New Zealand has a few noteworthy occurrences and stories.

Got up on the 5th all packed and ready to go. We hit the road pronto for the airport with about 4 hours to go before my flight. Getting my flight pass was nice and easy due to the early arrival. However my luggage weight was a problem!

I got a giant hockey equipment bag from Santa, and had stuffed it to the max. Unfortunately turns out each piece of luggage can only weigh up to 32kilos. My hockey bag was at about 40. The good news was my 90 litre backpack was lightly packed. Full but but light. So after some article exchange we were good to go (with a $35 overweight fee).

My first leg of the flight was from Calgary to LA. The flight was nice and uneventful.

Had some nice last views of Calgary as we went though.

Including a great fly over downtown.

Even more fitting was heading over my house. I've marked as best I could on this machine (not my laptop sadly. It won't be online till next week. Have to make due with on of my res' machines). The yellow star marks roughly my house while the green boxes mark Silver Springs Gateway and the Skating Rink and Pool down the road for confirming landmarks (in case you though I made this up).

Arriving at LA 3 hours later I had to hang around there for about 6.5 hours. I managed an hour nap, and then got really hungry. So I popped into a nice little restaurant called Route 99. The waiter recommended I have the Philly Cheese stack as apparently they were really good that day. It wasn't bad. Not the best thing I've ever eaten, but not bad.

While waiting I was noticing a bunch of people wandering around in crazy worldly clothing. These would turn out to be a bunch of Kiwi exchange students returning home from their various placements (through the Rotary club). I would end up sitting beside two of them, including the girl in the Swiss dress from this pic.

We ended up waiting and hour and a half to board our plane due to the late arrival of a connecting flight from England. This is where things got interesting in my trip. The one nice thing was it gave me a great chance to take a photo of the plane. Unfortunately the glare on the window was unavoidable due to the intense lighting at LA-X.

The flight itself was about as pleasant as a 12 hour stint on a plane can be. I even managed to sleep 9 of those hours.

Arriving in Auckland is where things got interesting. Due to the delay I'd missed my flight to Dunedin well before we landed. In theory I would have had 30 min between landing and boarding my Dunedin flight had I been on time. I don't think I would have made it had that been the case.

New Zealand customs is a little timely to clear due to the bio-security check. Having a used pair of sandals (which got VERY sanitized!) and a Tyrannosaur hiding in my luggage (stupid Traumador!!!) it took me about 20 mins just to clear that part of customs.

So due to a lack of clear directions I missed my replacement flight by about 5 min. Turns out that Auckland's domestic terminal is in a completely DIFFERENT building on the OTHER side of the airport rather then the other end of the International building.

In the process of getting my ticket stuff sorted out I had a very interesting encounter. Walking past the ticket vending booth was a dead look a like of Roy "Heron" Strum from Kiwanis. He should seriously look to see if he has relatives down here cause this guy was 96% identical! (Though the picture I tried to take didn't turn out so well, but he's the one with the red arrow pointing at him)

I then was transferred to a slightly slower flight that would stop in Christchurch before I'd get to Dunedin. Adding yet more time to my at this point very long trip.

However there was one unexpected bonus. As I sat down in the plane (I was the 4th to board) I stowed away my camera. Oops it would turn out! Suddenly sitting in the seat 2 ahead of me is none other then Jack Black himself! Turns out he was playing a concert in Christchurch the next day. Sadly I didn't get any evidence of this event due to my thinking my camera would be useless (New Zealand was COMPLETELY covered in cloud that day. I saw the ground three times during my flying over it, and that was landing at my destinations), but Mr. King Kong was on my plane I assure you (or jetlag hit earlier then I though in the form of a mirage. A mirage everyone else on the plane saw too!)

So after landing in Christchurch and a fairly uneventful final plane transfer I was on my final leg of the journey. An hour and some later we landed in Dunedin. My last crisis was that of transport. Due to my various delays I was in total 3 hours late in arriving at Dunedin. The problem was I'd booked a taxi through the university for my original arrival time. If I'd have made it I would have had a major discount. However if you failed to warn them of your being late (which was kinda hard as I was in customs at the time I was supposed to phone them) it in theory incurred a penalty charge.

Well I wasn't going to have to worry about the fine at the moment. No taxi was there. By the time I settled that fact the one shuttle to town had left. Fortunately a VERY awesome and helpful airport employee used his sway with another shuttler to radio the one that had just left. The driver who was equal awesome hearing she had another fair 2 minutes back track came back and picked me up!

That concludes this post at moment. Stay tuned for my initial exploration of Dunedin, and an installment on my home Salmond Hall...

1 comment:

Kirstin said...

Did you TALK to Jack Black?
Airplanes are fun!