This blog seems difficult to write
I must be tired I guess.
Departed Ninety Mile Beach in the far north of New Zealand midday on the 26th. It is now midday on the 27th as I write this and now I sit killing 8 hours in the Pudong Airport, Shanghai waiting the internal flight to Nanning Guangxi.
An uneventful drive through to Auckland. Tossed the coin in my head as to which vehicle I would take to Auckland. I ruled out my 4wd as I had taken that 60km up the beach on Friday. And right now our beautiful Ninety Mile Beach is extremely rich in plankton which to the uneducated looks like mud on the beach. Plankton adheres itself well to vehicles and stinks terribly. Plus we caught fish so my 4wd was ruled out on smell.
Xiaoli’s 4wd which is somewhat cleaner I ruled out as my step son babysitting the faerm in my absence needs something easy to drive for him if he decides to go to the beach fishing.
That left our 12 seat tour vehicle. An overkill for one person with one case and a large box but so be it. The 5 hour drive I only stopped once to buy some cone honey as I felt my in laws may not have experienced. Hoping it has travelled well. I guess I will find out tonight when I get to my end destination and unpack my case.
Being early to the Auckland International Airport I managed to catch live the second half of the All Blacks versus Wallabies rugby international. A nail biting affair but we did come out winners once again.
The flight to Shanghai was slightly shorter than predicted at 1 hour 45 minutes although I believe we took another 30 minutes crossing the tarmac. The plane stopped out on the tarmac so we needed depart the plane on to the tarmac and board a bus where we were squeezed in like sardines.
The customs area was the first of the very long queues. By now my feet killing me. I had got some sleep on the plane thanks to a few magic pills the doctor supplied with me with.
A lengthy walk from international to terminal one where Shanghai Airlines domestic flights leave. My second piece of luggage, my box of milk powder and honey Xiaoli requested I bring I needed carry. It only weighed 15kg but I had a large case with no handle to pull it, plus my computer case. I was exhausted just getting one terminal to another.
The queue at the domestic check in was worse than the customs one had been. It was unbelievable and terribly slow. No other westerners now in sight which gives me an advantage as with my height I see over most. Limited English now being spoken.
Got a window seat for the 3 hour internal flight. Hopefully I can just sleep. In New Zealand time its nearing 4pm. Minimal proper sleep and carting luggage around is starting to take its toll.
Only 3 more hours to kill in the Shanghai Airlines domestic terminal, then I can start the next stage of the trip. Obviously where I head is not popular with westerners as no others in sight but I know that from past trips. The kids stare and point at me. I try smile which seems to embarrass them when they realise they are caught out.
I am tired. Not sure when I will get to post this blog but I will date it and time it as I write. Not even sure tonight I will have internet for the computer. I know data is working on the cell but rates for 2 Degrees are astronomical so the less I use the phone, the better.
An udon noodle dish with beef for lunch. It was okay. Only mildly spicy. I would give it a pass for airport food. But the coffee I wanted with it well below par. If I had been New Zealand I would have said try again but in airports you don’t have great choice.
123 Yuan which equates to about $25 New Zealand on the expensive side but if you are biding time in an airport then you cannot be fussy. Once I hit Nanning tonight the boss (Xiaoli) can take over finances. It is her birth country after all.
Whats on the shopping list trip before we get into the business part of the trip. New clothes which I hope Xiaoli has already made good inroads buying. I only have what I wore over. I was going to get a drone but the boss put a firm no on that when I bought it up before. Hoping my brother in law will help with my argument tomorrow for purchase. He like me likes photography.
Nothing else on the buy list. Don’t need for anything really so clothes will do. And we are in the provinces which have all the clothing factories.
Must be a plane departing soon. Seats are filling up around me. Unfortunately not my plane as boarding is still 3 hours away.
Its 9.40pm New Zealand time so 5.4opm China time. The stewardess just told me 1 hour to go. When I land Nanning it will be 37 hours since I departed Ninety Mile Beach. And I may be wrong but I believe still an hour and a half to go by car to Fusai.
I am exhausted and that’s putting it mildly. My feet are swelling and very sore but given I have had the same socks and shoes on for 36 hours now probably better I leave them on. Haha
My rear end hurts. The seats on Shanghai Airlines seem the most uncomfortable so far but reality is the tenderness is more likely to do with the number of hours I have been seated in planes and terminals.
I hope family don’t expect me to eat much tonight as it seems the airlines keep plying you with food. And right now I am food out so to speak.
My throat is dry as there is never enough fluid supplied. Just half full plastic cups.
Shanghai Airlines keep announcing turbulence and please remain seated yet the turbulence I feel is nothing to what we had at times on the long haul Air New Zealand flight for 12.5 hours last night.
I just want to lay my head down, close the eyes and let there be quiet like we have on our farm back home. Instead there is the ongoing droning of the jet engines. The many people talking and the announcer seems to be forever making announcements. I am the only non Chinese aboard so they obviously feel just for me the announcement in Chinese each time, must be followed up in English.
I am tired. Really tired.
I am sure I will need delay posting these blogs certainly for facebook, until I get home. Not sure my mate loaded VPN software so I could get around the China block. Well I will find out tonight.
Not many photos yet as I have not been outside a plane or a terminal. Bugger. Tomorrow maybe although I know Xiaoli’s family are converging on Fusai for a family reunion in honour of Xiaoli and I returning for a visit. It will be the first full family photos since were taken when I first met Xiaoli’s family in December 2008.
We have all changed I am sure. 5 years since I last saw most of the family. 3 years for Xiaoli