Travelling to New Zealand

"You don't miss lying down until you can't lie down," 
"My God I've eaten some crap over the last few days, I'm sure some of it wasn't even food." 
"I think I'm going to have to have a shower, it smells like a bear's jock strap in here." 
Just some of the comments from this travel-weary famiy as we install ourselves in our hotel in Auckland, finally. It is past midnight.


I have had 20 minutes sleep in the last two days, though I've lost track of how many days have passed because we have been leaping ahead in time as we've travelled in an easterly direction. Our body clocks tell us it is now the middle of the day - I think. Our first flight was a normal afternoon and some of us enjoyed a glass of wine with a delicious lunch. Singapore Airlines... just, wow... like being in a 5 star hotel, such elegance and beauty in the way the cabin crew were dressed, hot white towels given out to clean our hands, lovely food, you really felt looked after. The flight in itself was an experience as I haven't been on an aeroplane for 14 years.

However, the next flight with Air New Zealand was mundane in comparison. It was fine but we had been spoiled. The New Zealand crew were chilled, wearing aprons as they served our food. In their favour, this airline had a larger selection of movies, you couldn't watch them all, though I had a damn good go. I got through eight movies on the two flights, ending with one called Borg McEnroe, in which the tense 1980 Wimbeldon Men's tennis final was coming to an end as our plane was landing at Auckland Airport.

We had been given passenger arrival cards as soon as we boarded, with some scary threats (justified though) of $400 fine if you brought in fruit, plants or other food without declaring it. We weren't sure if our cereal bars and packs of peanuts and crisps were going to pass but they did as they were packaged. New Zealand security is hard core. The first step is a scan of your passport then you stand on some painted footprints and have your photo taken, having agreed that you are not staying for more than six months if that is your intention. Your walking boots need to be well scrubbed, they are inspected. I was not taking any chances, mine were brand new with the labels still attached. We passed. "You guys are good," we were told. 

All in all this thorough security check is not what you want after 29 hours of travelling, most of it in the air. This can't be good for your body. We've probably time-travelled.