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Day 2- Or so we think it's day 2

Outbound Shanghai to Auckland!

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After our transfer ordeal and wasting a total of 5.5 hours we were on the final leg of our flight to Auckland. Although excited, tiredness was setting in as we had been awake for 23 hours at this point. We purposefully didn't sleep on the first flight to try and prompt sleep on the second one in order to get in sync with New Zealand time.

We were served yet more food shortly into the fight, yet by this point we had no idea whether this should be breakfast, lunch or dinner and frankly didn't really care. We ate and tried to somehow sleep on the plane with our acquired travel pillows. Iz had an odd desk contraption that made her look like an ostrich and mine was like a weird blow up arm (we haven't taken pictures yet so you'll have to use your imagination); both were semi successful. Yet Iz definitely managed to get the greater amount of sleep, but I don't think this had much to do with the pillow!

Another 11 or so hours and a few more films down we landed in New Zealand! The furthest either of us or our immediate family had ever travelled. We had no idea what day or time it was here or back home. But we had made it to the start of our trip in one piece and all our belongings albeit we lost a day somewhere along the line. Once through NZ'd traditionally strict customs we met up with Shane (for those that don't know he is an ex flatmate who had recently moved out to NZ). It was comforting to see a friendly face and to not have to worry how to get from the airport to our accommodation; which today would be Shane's house!

At Shane's we dumped our bags, set up our phones with the new sims and checked the football results (well that was just me.. you can take the boy out of England but not England out of the boy). Then Shane took us for breakfast at a local cafe and a stroll around town. First impressions of Auckland was that it seemed a little like America on a smaller scale and we were underwhelmed by the lack of Christmas cheer. It had been at least 3 hours into our big trip and we hadn't had a beer yet! This needed correcting as soon as possible and once we started we didn't stop. Shane left us to our own devices and those devices found another 3 more pubs compete with beer gardens... Well we are on holiday after all. What better way to get over jet lag.

About 7.30pm we started lagging so a quick stop off at a food market (for some incredible chicken kebabs!) and then it was time to hit the hay! It had been an extremely long day but our trip was fully underway!


Posted by Bears on Tour 00:25 Archived in New Zealand Tagged beer auckland shanghai jet_lag adventure_begins touchdown what_day_is_it Comments (0)

Day 1-- Outbound

Canada Water to Shanghai... And every disco, I mean plane, we get in!

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Having not got much sleep (from excitement and a slightly deflated airbed) we were up early and left Josh and Henna’s with 4 and a half hours till our flight- perfect start! We arrived at Canada Water station looking like two of the Teenage Ninja Turtles (without the cool masks and bandanas) and realised pretty quickly that apparently rush hour doesn’t end at 9am as we assumed and a busy tube is no place for two oversized packs. For size reference Izzy could literally fit into her bag. Hitting our first hiccup we rerouted via the overground, tube and then train before we reached Heathrow just over an hour later than our original plan. We were pleased we allowed so much time otherwise our trip may have been over before it began.

Feeling a little sweaty and already wondering if we had packed too much we went to check in; the easy part right?! Wrong apparently... with no return flight from New Zealand all Virgin staff went in to meltdown. After an hour of faffing, on their part, a manager overwrote the problem and our bags were on our way! Through security- simple! It was then time to find somewhere for a lovely last English supper and traditional airport pint before scouring duty free. With over an hour to our flight we checked the board for our gate and in big red letters saw ‘gate closing’... how is that possible?! Cue sprint through London’s biggest airport to the furthest gate possible... only to sit on the plane for an hour and wait for everyone else to board! All that needless worrying and anxiety, but at least we were officially on our way to starting our trip!!

Around 11.5 hours later and at God knows what time we landed in Shanghai excited we were half way there. We headed to the transfer desk with our passports and visas ready to find we couldn’t actually continue on the journey without a flight booked out of New Zealand (getting very worked up that we should have been told that in England) we looked for flights; well Izzy did on some unrealiable WiFi in front of some unhelpful staff, as my phone didn’t work as China helpfully have Google disabled (helpful to know for our visit later). Booking literally the first flight we came across, more issues continued as they couldn’t find our tickets on their database. Probably as they tried to check literally 30 seconds after the transaction completed. Eventually it refreshed and we were allowed to proceed to 'Quarantine' around an hour after our arrival. Apprehensive about what this would entail, we followed a man who didn’t say a single word to us on a 15 minute tour of the airport. Quarantine, we found out, consisted of a man stamping our boarding cards and sending us down a corridor then closing the door behind us. Left alone in we had no idea what was going on and eventually wandered out to the departures area. With a rather unimpressed initial opinion of China we had around 4 hours to waste until our next and final flight.


Posted by Bears on Tour 13:14 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged flying shanghai airports virgin traveling heathrow drama outbound_journey Comments (1)

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