Getting to New Zealand was quite a fun. Well, not really. It was „just a“ boring flight. But there was fun before the flight.
We were told to arrive about 5 hours before our flight so we have a lot of time to get our kayaks through. Getting there wasn’t problem at all, Zajíc is a good driver, the car from Železný is big, so our overweight of 25kg isn’t any problem.
Finaly, we have been on the airport about 6 hours before. Have no idea where to go to checkin, we went directly to Korean Air counter and the fun begins. Well, the fun began just in front of the airport, where we put our boats on trolley and had a problem getting through the doors – why are they so narrow? Have to „wave“ with trolleys but getting in – it is fun and during time we are getting better and better in it.
Probably all the people from this counter just came to have a look – you want to take a boats with you? OK, just have a look. And started to search for some box big enough for them. After about 5 minutes we told them that we aren’t scared about the kayaks, so it is fine without box. OK, no problem, and they took another book. And found that we have to pay 5kg for each kayaks as excess baggage – it made about 750€ all together, which is almost the price of boats – are you crazy?
And then the negotiation started – our flight ticket states 20kg allowance, our reservation shows we are allowed to have kayaks up to 18kg each and we were told we could have 20+10kg baggage. OK, reservations doesn’t mean you don’t need to pay for it. And 20+10kg is understand differently in Munich compared to Prague – Prague understands it as 30kg for all our stuff, Munich as 20kg for normal baggage and 10kg for kayaks – so we have to pay for them. And we have to pay for them anyway, because it is a sporting equipment for which you pay anyway. No way!
It tooks about 3 hours and 20 phone calls, but we made it. It was harder and harder as time goes, not because of the time, but because of Korean people – boss is true all the time. So the bosses had to communicate directly and they did it. Everything solved and we were allowed to checkin without paying anything at all. Final statement is – 20kg baggage plus a boat up to 32kg and 2,5m long. Cool!
Another fun after that – we wanted to pack our kayaks with plastic. The guys didn’t have any problem, but if was fun watching it.
5pm and we are checked in and awaiting the plane. 10pm and we are on board and having our dinner.
5am 1pm (Seoul time) and we have our breakfast. 6am 2pm, we are in Seoul, moving to the newly reconstructed transfer area, connecting to the internet (free wifi, which is fantastic), checking emails and waiting for another flight to Auckland. Tomáš and Vláďa also went on walk around the airport – it’s quite big. Tomáš checked the camera stores as well, the stuff is a bit cheaper here. But before he went to check it, he just went to some jewellery shop to check the exchange rate. The girl loved him and offered a lot of different stuff, didn’t get that he just want to check the exchange rate 🙂
Flight to Auckland is pretty packed. In fact, the plane is completely full and I ended up with my bag under the seat. Can live with it.
1pm 9pm and we have another dinner on our way to Auckland. This time Tomáš tested the Korean food and said the same as Vláďa before – it isn’t that bad. The flight is really long and not that smooth as before, but nothing terrible.
9pm 5am 9am (the next day, New Zealand time) we have a breakfast. I egged on guys to have porridge instead of omelete, when they want to try new food. They took it and it was probably the quickest breakfast I ever saw – they said is was almost impossible to eat 🙂
Landing was without any problems, the weather just wasn’t very nice – 15 degrees and a bit rainy. It is time to take the quest of getting thorugh all customs, bio checks and so on.
The first of them want to see our returning tickets, which is a bit fun to find all of them. A stupid question if we bought the tickets on December 1 (as stated on it) and we can just agree – if it is written it is probably true, but why is it so important? Another question – where we’ll sleep? Want to answer that on an airport, but finaly decide to don’t be funny and said just the time of the town. OK, that’s fine, lets move on.
Our kayaks and bags came without problem, the dog sniffed us and we ram kayaks into trolleys and went into another queue. We were lucky, they opened a special entrance for us and we overtake the whole queue and saved maybe an hour.
Third check – are the boats new (of course), when were you used your wetsuit for the last time (about 5 year ago for me), have you any hiking boot (on our feets, just show them, ok), which food do you have (just a cheese and chocolate), ok, that’s fine, have a nice stay. We tried to ask her if possible to film her and she almost agreed, but finaly said, no, it’s isn’t good idea. OK, thanks a lot, buy.
Fourth and last check – show me your baggage. You have some cheese? Which kind, where is it from, how does it looks like? Quick check on computer and OK, it is fine. Show me your tent, we need to check it. OK, that’s it, go to the X-ray. There they found the tent poles we need to took out, checked our boats and paddles and that’s it. Just get our tent back (the guy wanted to see the sticks as well, but finaly let off it.
Hey Auckland, nice to meet you. The 12hours time difference is fantastic – you almost don’t need to change time on all your gadgets. Found our taxi, just had a problem with getting kayaks in trailer and put them inside. The driver is chatty and in a while we are at Spaceships. Our car is ready, just need to fill in some papers, pay it, put all stickers on it and after an hour or two we are ready to move.
Really hungry and thirsty we found first shop, bought some food and tried Vláďa’s card – it is working. Had a lunch and move on. Found another shop, went in in last second, got an invertor and Vodafone SIM card and in about 2minutes we are out. Third shop and we’ve been looking for something to bind kayaks safely on roof racks. Done, we can move to Czech-Slovak party (which is going on somewhere in Auckland).
Getting to Long Bay, which is a really (at least for us) long beach, full of shells and really beautiful. On our way back we found the party – it wasn’t something big, just a small afternoon party almost at its end. We stop by for a while, chatting, drinking a beer and some special New Zealand lemonade (sweet) and in after an hour or so we have to go.
On our way we stop to get some dinner – fish and chips sounds good and we took three different fish to compare them. It’s time to find our sleeping place, which I found on CouchSurfing. It’s on a small airport, in middle of beautiful nature and have a small house just for us. Guys are surprised with the price – for free. I love to be a couch surfer!
Just a quick shower and I’m sleeping in a second – after 2 days almost without a nap I’m really exhausted.