Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Nov. 24 - NZ to AUSTRALIA- Almost Home

About a week and a half ago, daughter set up the fitness app on my phone so it keeps track of all my exercise. There are a few days the phone was flipping out of my hand with happiness but generally I just reached the maximum and it reminds me to get off my ass. Must figure out how to uninstall it.
Catching the flight to Sydney today. I really wished I would have planned this better and flown into Sydney and out of Auckland which will be even shorter. I could  do changes to the Sydney flight but I forgot I booked two separate flights to get to and from Auckland so the penalties would have been outrageous. Oh well it's just money right?

Can't wait to get home, clean my house, and decorate.

So the lovely Airbnb host pimped out her daughter's car to drive me to the airport but as I paid for her gas and got my luggage from her trunk, it suddenly closed on my skull and I was afraid I'd hurt myself good; massive head bruise that hurt for days after. At the airport, I got the call from Couchsurfing dude. Why do Australians have a stronger accent than the Kiwis (New Zealanders)? Not only did I not understand what he was saying  or who it was, somehow my daughter had told me it was her number so my heart stopped when a man announced who he was and I thought something had happened to my daughter since her picture came up. It was all so confusing but he is indeed coming to Ottawa to hype the Terry Fox run and do his own marathon. He's becoming quite well known in NZ so I will have a minor celebrity staying with me...sure it's not like Brangelina  but it could be MattCathy if I could only understand what he's saying. Damn, I've said too much.

Two people turned me down for a place to stay but just as I stood to catch my flight, I got a place. I LOVE Airbnb.

The flight was good after they finagled an aisle seat at the last minute. I think the hyperventilating at check-in helped my cause. They served a salad with chicken that was quite exotic but no dessert so out came my NZ getting rid of my final coin purchased chocolate bar...the best ever...until they came by with dessert of chocolate  covered coconut ice cream bars with nuts. OMG so good. I think I just found the NZ national food. Australia's is Timtams. Then, the airlines steward hands me a huge after dinner mint. WTH! Don't they know I have to get weighed in by my darned smart phone? Oh the shame of it all.

Now if you remember, last time I was in Sydney my daughter was here to greet me and take care of all the arrangements, organizing and no thinking on my part. I was spoiled rotten. This time I was on my own. Sure I could have taken a shuttle but no way that's too expensive $35. So I talked to a thousand people and I got help from locals on the plane and they told me, they ALL told me, to take two trains to get to Rockdale so I did after I topped my train card. What they didn't know is  if you take the train from the airport, the $20 you just put on the card is instantly gone. Had I taken one single bus from the airport I could travel for weeks.

So I made it to the second train stop and this guardian angel man walked me through through the whole process and then eventually walked me out of the station directly to the bus stop pointed out the stop told me the direction it was coming from and then said laughingly, "I'm very worried about you. I think maybe I should even take the bus with you to make sure you get there." He was right. So I get on the bus and the bus driver has absolutely no idea where I'm going and it's only up the street all uphill. He's new, of course. Eventually Lady Luck stepped in, said my street sign and I'm in the place. It's an old Victorian home, nobody's here, and it's lovely but I'm all alone. Some days it's good, some days that's bad.

The room has cathedral ceilings and molding and stained glass windows no less than 8 choices of pillows,a wall clock, a huge empty armoire, mirror... It's got everything and all I noticed is the bedspread needs ironing and the sheet is hanging off so I wonder if the bedding is used. How fussy am I or would you be thinking the same thing too? It's worse when you realize there's no top sheet at all so everybody's touching the same quilt on top and they're probably rarely ever washing it. I must remember attention to detail with my rooms at all times- no cutting corners.

I'm full of chocolate and I'm lying down thinking I should get up from my final rest stop

I am so excited about going home I don't even care about the long plane ride. So I finally went for a long walk to shop for supper and breakfast.  Did you know palm trees have off shoots of berry looking fruit? At 10pm the host came home, raided his garden for my soup and asked me if he reduced my room fee, could I change the bed...and we're back to work. I did prepare the room for the next guest but never saw a dime. Aussie scammer.

I know, these pics suck but it was a long uneventful day.

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