An uneventful flight down to Sydney from home, with only about 30 other travellers on the aircraft. The nice lady at check-in blocked out the two adjacent seats and put me between two empty rows, so there were no issues with reclining my seat or having anyone in front ending up in my lap. As the flight departed close to midnight, I was able to stretch out across the three seats & try to catch a few zeds.
Sydney Airport was it's usual chaos that seems to work efficiently enough, so I cleared Customs pretty quickly at about the time the sun was rising without being probed or otherwise affronted by the security folk. Thankfully the connecting flight is only a couple of hours wait, so there was time for some decent coffee and stretch my legs.
The flight across the Tasman was full but only three hours or so, time enough for some lunch & a movie before we were dropping into Auckland. Through Customs with remarkable efficiency thanks to the "e-passport" system, stick your Passport into the scanner & push a couple of buttons & out pops a little ticket that you take over to the gate. Ticket goes into the machine at the gate, pose for the camera & away you go. One more stop to check your declaration and all clear, through and meeting up with Doug in about 15 minutes.
After about 2.5 hours driving we pulled into Dougs' place, equating to 16 odd hours travelling door to door. A bit weary, oh yeah, eyes full of gravel but happy to have made it. After some dinner & a quick call home to let Linda know I was safe, sleep was calling.
Monday morning dawned overcast with threatening clouds all around, hmm hope this isn't an omen. Doug has suggested we go for a short ride in order to give me a bit of time to familiarise myself with the local roads and the bike. So we suit up and set off for a look around the local area, me on the little BMW and Doug on his Honda VFR.
We head North to Tauranga along the reasonably busy highway, lots of traffic but not overly frantic, good to get a feel for how the locals treat each other, not too badly as it turned out. Just before Taurange we head East to the coast and follow the highway South. My apologies for the brief descriptions, I'm still getting my head around the names of the towns.
We headed back to Rotorua via some beaut twisty roads, what the little BMW lacks in outright power is more than made up for with its' nimbleness and a willing engine. Keep the revs up and it belts along quite happily. A couple of left-handers had the side-stand brushing the tarmac without trying all that hard, fun....
We arrived back at Dougs mid-afternoon with about 200km under our wheels, no niggles and big grins.
So, tomorrow this adventure begins in earnest when we head South to Palmerston North to overnight before catching the ferry at Wellington on Thurdsay morning (early start that one, on the road by 0530). Stay tuned..