It was a particularly stormy and miserable night. The kind that ducks tuck their heads deep under their wings, to escape the unpleasantness. The RV rocked and shook with the increasing gusts of rain-sodden air. Jamie stirred for the third time and pushed open the sliding door of the camper van, home and sanctuary for the last two weeks, but seemingly not tonight. Answering again the call of nature he rendezvoused once more with Pirelli, the new-found love of his life, but on this occasion, there was to be no return to the comfort and warmth of pillow and duvet.
Tall, handsome and with determined chiselled features, his father woke from a peaceful sleep. When the elements were screaming outside, that is when this man of the British Civil Servants (Education Dept.) slept his deepest. Noticing no quilted form slumbering peacefully in the bunk above, the first hint of concern appeared on the usually confident face. Had those of the black shirts and fern slipped in during the night and made good their promise to continue their world domination? If so, this had now become personal. The lion had been awakened and would roar. KIWI ( Korporation for Insidious and Wicked Incidents) would regret the day they had decided to cross Jacque Preacher!
I think I have been reading too many Lee Childs novels, sitting in an airport lounge with time to kill does make the mind wander a bit. Probably too much on this occasion. The above script is a true account of our last night in NZ, but with a few exceptions that I am sure are obvious.
With little sleep, we woke at 6am and were showered, packed and breakfasted for 7am. It was still blowing a gale and the rain was heavy when we set off to drop off the RV. Rush hour traffic in Auckland is no laughing matter, the 17.5km journey took us an hour and fifty minutes! On arrival, the van was checked and passed with flying colours, I even got a refund because we hadn’t used any gas. The downside is that both Jamie and I have put on a bit of weight through fast food grazing. Two coffees later we were on board the complimentary shuttle bus and heading to the airport.
We wasted another couple of hours (grazing) while we waited for the check-in desk to open. With passport control and security negotiated without mishap, we set about wasting even more time for the departure gate to be displayed. We did a little more grazing with the last our NZ coinage.
The flight left on time and yet again we were lucky enough to grab a bank of three seats each and managed to get quite a bit of sleep. I think out of the 17.5 hours I must have managed nearly 10 hours, Jamie, less so as he worked his way through the entire Star Wars films (I didn’t realise there was so many!)
Transit through Doha went smoothly and on time we flew another 7 hours to Heathrow. The food was good and plentiful on both flights. There was no drama with our rucksacks and they appeared on the belt quite quickly. Exiting the terminus we found our shuttle stop to the car park and the bus turned up straight away. The car was there waiting for us, well done Purple Parking.
The motorway traffic up to Harborough was considerably lighter than on the way down and we had no delay. On arriving home, Jamie went to check on Maddy (rabbit) and Sue put on the washing machine and started loading it up. It was a great road trip full of adventure and surprises, but it is also lovely to be home and be able to give the mind and body a rest from doing things. That first cup of home-brewed coffee was the trigger to return to relax mode. Well until at least until tomorrow, then it is back to chores again.