Homeward bound

OK, you got us. Yes, we’ve been quiet for a while because we were away on yet another holiday. Yes, I know it’s not been long since the previous one, but it is only the second (real) one of the year…

About once every 2 years or so we manage to make a trip home, and usually there is a wedding involved.  This time wasn’t any different. The trip was centred around a family wedding.  So we left the dark and cold of the UK for 3 weeks to take in some longer days, warmer days (mostly), lovely NZ scenery, great food and wine, PIES, fish and chips, and of course family hospitality! You just have to put up with some strange looks from some of the locals who aren’t quite sure where you fit into things any more.


The flights are always long and tedious as we prefer to get them over and done with in as short as time as possible.  The flight out was surprisingly easy and seemed nice and short (for it’s 27 hours) due to the fact that we both managed to get a lot of sleep on the first, longest leg.  It meant we both suffered from the least amount of vacantness after such a long flight we have ever experienced and pretty much managed to hit the ground running as soon as we landed.

Which was just as well, as with any trip home things get a little complicated and busy. The movements this time went Christchurch to Alex to Dunedin to Alex to Christchurch.  Not bad really. It could have been worse!

The weather was a very mixed bag and most of the time we were really lucky with it.  The wind, I never remember NZ having so much wind, but apparently November is a very windy month.  It followed us down the island, from Christchurch to Alex and Dunedin.  But on the wedding day, it couldn’t have been more perfect, great sunshine and no wind – just what you need for an outside wedding.


We took our time driving to Dunedin from Alex, and stopped off at some little rest areas on the way to take some pics and we took a look at Gabriel s Gully, something neither of us have done for years – next time we may even take some time to do some of the walks it has.  In Dunedin we managed to play the tourist for a bit with a visit to the butterfly house in the Dunedin museum, set in a tropical rain forest environment (boy is it hot in there) over 3 levels.  It’s definitely worth the visit. You get to walk amongst the different types of lovely coloured butterflies who are quite happy to land on you.  It also has a goldfish pond and some turtles too, and some quail running around… Something for everyone! I’ll warn you now though, taking photos of flying butterflies is not easy!


Next on the tourist trail in Dunners was the new addition – the Chinese garden. Nice enough, but a) it needs a bit more time to establish itself and look like a real garden, and b) we’re still really sure what the point of it really is, and c) it seems pretty pricey for what it is for just a single visit.


If we had to pick one to visit, it would be the butterflies!

We also managed to watch Kevin in action at the auction house and he kept us entertained for a bit, but I can’t help but wonder how confused all the attendees were about where all the nanotubes being mentioned were hanging out!


The wedding was really good. It was a good size, not too many people there, and we even managed to pick up suntans on the wedding day – boy was it hot!  It was great to catch up with family and people we had not seen for a while.  All in all a good time.


If the trip out was great, the flights back lived up to their usual standard. The trip was long and tedious and tedious and long…  The only good thing was we got to experience a Qantas A380 plane for the first time on one of the legs. The main differences are:

  • it seems a lot, lot quieter;
  • the TV screens are larger, widescreen models;
  • it has a very cool webcam on the tail of the plane that you can watch from all flight (including taxiing, take off and landing);
  • the moving map thing has been updated to be a lot clearer and cooler;
  • but the wall is further away from the window seats so it’s not as easy to use them to lean on to sleep.

But we made it back almost in one piece (each). But almost a week later and we’ve still not managed to get back to proper UK sleep patterns! Early morning waking, and early evening falling asleep on the couch are not quite what we’d like, thank you!

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