Wednesday 2nd April – pancakes and a return to NZ

This morning Maddie and I both set alarms – Wednesday is pancake day in the hostel!!

We were down in the kitchen just after 8am and there was no sign, so we made toast instead – then discovered pancakes (with lashings of maple syrup) start at 8:30 – we’d not missed it at all!! And a couple of days ago I’d found a coffee plunger for sale for $3/£1.50 so we had a celebratory coffee too!

Getting up so early meant I had ages to pack my stuff…, or so I thought, with much faffing the time flew by and so I was forced into a panic shower and a rush to checkout – oops

Then all there as to do was sit with my stuff (their luggage room is only for guests arriving, not leaving) and watch a DVD! For the first time since I arrived the TV room was empty and having browsed their list, Toy Story was put on and I was soon joined by Maddie and a couple of others – no one can resist its charms.

Forcing myself not to cry at the ending, I pottered off to make some lunch and then catch my bus to the airport.

After queuing for ages to check in- stuck behind a chaotic group of Argentinians who seemed never to have stepped foot in an airport before – I got to the desk with a cheery hello. Where are you going today? Auckland. Do you know the contents of your bag? Yes. Do you have a return flight and can I see it? Err…. Sorry, what?

It seems that they’re pretty hot on making sure you have a flight out of NZ before Qantas will let you fly in, something to do with them being fined $1000s….. So I was sent round the corner to purchase a ticket…..

While I queued I wondered what ticket to buy and when for? I figured back to Oz would be cheapest and in 6ish months time, the latest I could do! I got to the counter, explained to the lady, she agreed Oz was the best option, I told her when, she said I could only get a visa for 3 months, I said I was sure it was 6, she phoned her supervisor, they checked NZ immigration website together then finally agreed 6 months would be OK…… So for $208 I now have a ticket out of NZ to Sydney on 23rd September……

Rushed back to check in and was relieved to discover no queues, as it was getting close to the cut off time, checked in, through security and headed for the gate.

Wasn’t long before our flight was called and we boarded. What I love about Qantas flights is that you can start watching the films etc before you take off, so I managed to fit 2 in on our 3h flight – Last Vegas, really funny and Philomena, good but I think the emotion was lost somewhat with the plane noise and not being able to hear the sound properly (less important in a comedy!)

Last time I landed in NZ it took forever to do luggage, passport control and customs. This time my bag was one of the first to appear and I zoomed through the rest – hurrah!

Soon I was sat on the airport bus heading back to the city and The Attic my home for the night.

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