I have finally started my latest adventure. With a little help I purchased a ticket to Auckland New Zealand then on to Sydney Australia three months from now. I left San Francisco last night at 7:30 on Air New Zealand. All I can say is the flight sucked right from the get go. At SFO people were pushing and shoving to board the full 777-300. I do not understand people that behave like this. Everyone has reserved seats so just board peacefully for christ sakes. It is not a cattle call boarding. Once on the plane I was crowded in my seat by large passengers in my aisle and surrounded by 4 or 5 infants for the almost 14 hour flight. I buckled in and tried to put my feet under the seat in front of me and I could not even fit my feet under the tiny space they allow for leg room. It was more like a torture seat than a comfy seat I wanted to spend the next 14 hours sitting in. The flight departed on time and we were off. The babies started to cry right away. The seatbelt light stayed on for most of the flight as we were tossed up and down and right and left in all the turbulence. They announced that they had to skip serving drinks and that the restrooms were closed until the pilot turned off the seatbelt sign. It stayed on for almost the entire flight. The poor guy sitting next to me was squirming and crossing his legs and complaining and trying to use the restroom but the flight attendants kept telling him they were closed. They could have at least tossed him a bottle. The dinner meal was served a bit late and my neighbor spilled his on me due to the plane jumping all around. What can I do, it wasn't his fault.
I tried to sleep after watching a few hours of movies or tv shows and listening to some music. The rough ride made it almost impossible to sleep. The nursing mom across the aisle from me managed to get some sleep while nursing her maybe 18 month old kid and the kid took her blouse off for her while she was sleeping and she was sitting there snoring with her boobs totally exposed and the baby asleep too. Nobody tried to wake her up or cover her up they all just smiled and hoped the baby would stay asleep. I got a kick out of that little scene. Finally we were approaching Auckland almost an hour early thank god. We landed smoothly but it was 5am local time. I wanted to drop my bike off to get it assembled and adjusted nicely but they did not open until 9am so I hung out in a chair in the airport trying to sleep but it was not going to happen. I am not a very good sleeper. I ended up eating and drinking coffee until it was time to take a taxi to the bike shop.
The bike shop Natural High a couple kilometers from the airport was very friendly and helpful with my bike. I had made an appointment in advance but when I arrived they laughed and said the office in Christchurch does that kind of thing but they never informed him of the appointment but that he would have it done in a few hours anyway. I enjoyed talking to them at the shop.
Next I took a shuttle over to my hotel and checked in but had to wait for my room for a bit. I was in the room by 11 which was good since checkin starts at 2pm. I like the hotel, Heartland Airport Hotel. The room is quiet and the attitude at the hotel is laidback which I like. I showered and napped for about an hour and a half then decided to go pick up my bike. I rode back to the hotel on my bike and it seems to be assembled very well by Natural High Bike Shop.
I have tomorrow and the next day free here at the hotel before I start my ride around the island on Monday morning. Tomorrow I will try to wander around the city to get a feel for it but on Sunday I will just pack my bike up and relax a bit. Then on Monday morning I will ride out of town to a campground over on the coast. I am dead tired now so I am going to eat here at the hotel and then watch some tv before trying to catch up on some sleep tonight and get my body adjusted to the brutal change in time zones I went through to get here. PURAVIDA
no pics yet, sorry