Our last day in NZ threatened to be a fizzer. Kicked out of our motel rooms at 10am and with an early afternoon flight looming we could either wait around aimlessly to go to the airport or we could... go to a safari park. It was close to the airport so it seemed like a good idea at the time. The park was huge and as usual we had to rush through to see all the good stuff. One day we will learn to take the time to see things properly. We left the park and I tried to get the Ford airborne on a particularly steep hump in the road. I think Nita dropped her Tim Tam.
I was a bit concerned as I went to the Budget desk to drop off the Avis’ car keys. It had all the hallmarks of a long, drawn-out procedure. We had no paperwork, proof of rental or previous damage report either. The desk was unattended so I threw the keys into a box and ran away. It’s their problem now. With any luck we won’t be charged. Oh wait, we pre-paid.
We hustled through the interminable lines of customs once again only to find our plane’s engine had shit itself and we would be delayed. Many, many hours later food vouchers were handed out that we could spend at the one lonely (expensive) coffee shop. There was no-one else in the airport.
People were starting to get comfortable on the floor when they finally scraped out all the broken bits of airplane and siliconed up the holes. Strangely I had no qualms about boarding and flying over several thousand Km’s of ocean. I didn’t even check my life preserver.
I am totally and utterly resigned to being fed through the wringer at the Aussie customs end of the flight. I was accosted while joining the end of the second huge line when an official glanced at our passports and said “go straight through”. We did. Straight out! All the non-Aussies were diverted to the strip search, cattle dip line.
Happy, happy, happy. Cept for my ear holes. They were not happy. But we were home again.