It’s been a week of transit – we seemed to spend a lot of time getting from Alice Springs to Melbourne and from Melbourne to Christchurch. But yes, we’re back in our home country and are looking forward to some epic road-trips in the very near future.
10/1 Monday All of today seemed to be transit – we caught a shuttle bus to Alice Springs airport, a flight to Melbourne, coach to the city and a train to my aunt and uncle’s house. It was all pleasant, though: Alice Springs airport is my new favourite airport in the world. Small, with friendly staff and free wifi – even being randomly selected for explosives testing didn’t bother me, actually it was convenient because there was a seat to rest my bag in while I put my laptop away.
We arrived at Maureen and Guy’s house at the same time as Maureen: perfect timing! She cooked us a lovely meal and we spent the evening watching TV.
11/1 Tuesday We got a bit of work done after a well-deserved sleep in, then headed out for coffee and a chat with Dave Dean, our favourite Melbourne-based travel blogger.
It was my cousin Charlie’s birthday, so he and his wife Ingrid came over in the evening for a birthday barbecue, along with their awesome children Eli and Saskia. It’s always nice to catch up with them.
12/1 Wednesday After another sleep in and a bit of work and stuffing around, we started the journey New Zealand-wards. It was in part a reversal of Monday’s journey: train to city, bus to airport, flight to New Zealand. Our flight was delayed by about 90 minutes so we had far too much time in Melbourne airport, which is NOT my favourite – being under construction doesn’t help. There were power sockets in the restaurant though, so we plugged in and actually managed to get a fair bit of work done.
Craig’s dad and stepmum Norrie and Anne very kindly collected us from the airport – by the time we walked out it was one am. Of course we had to have a bit of a chat and a glass of wine before bed, so it wasn’t an early night.
13/1 Thursday Norrie and Anne had an early start since they had to catch an early flight to the airport. Craig got up to take them in, and woke me up with bacon and eggs for breakfast (he’s so lovely!). I wasn’t quite ready to get up though, and went back to sleep – I finally got up at around 3:30pm. In my defence, I did have a couple of conversations in Spanish, with Juli and Miguel, so I was studying. Honest. Not much happened after that except for eating some truly flavoursome chicken kebabs that Craig cooked on the barbecue.
14/1 Friday I woke up a little earlier and got a bit of work done before rousing Craig. We wandered into town to find lunch (insipid pies) and to pick up essentials from the supermarket (yes, okay, it was mostly chocolate and wine). On the way back I stopped at the hairdresser to finally get the Cambodian disaster haircut remedied. My hair doesn’t look too different now, but it feels so much better.
Craig barbecued lamb for dinner and we watched Nacho Libre in the evening.
Craig headed to the airport to pick up his parents at around 10am, not realising that their flight got in at 12… I got quite a lot of work done in his absence. Norrie drove us to Northlands mall to find some lunch; Anne and I both ordered THE WORST nachos I have ever eaten. Us girls then went clothes shopping, and bought blingy jewellery for Anne’s bling party which is coming up soon, while Norrie and Craig went to Vodafone to sort out Norrie’s phone. Dinner was an excellent barbecue back home.
16/1 Sunday I’m going to have to get out of this habit of sleeping in, but it’s so good! This morning, when we finally roused ourselves, Norrie’s workmate Greg was waiting in the lounge to sell us a car. He gave us a tour of it, then Craig and I took it for a spin – and it was fantastic so we bought it. We also dug out my old sim card, worked out what the number is, and added credit – so we’re really home now! Have car, have phone number – what more do we need to put down roots? Bearing in mind that we’re only here for the next six months.
After Greg left, leaving the car with us, Norrie and Anne took us out to Lyttleton for a tasty pizza lunch. We drove around the Port Hills and stopped for ice-cream on the way home. In the afternoon we all relaxed, I spoke to Luis de Chile for a while before an excellent Sunday roast, courtesy of Anne.