Anticipating further itch and scratchiness following the previous night’s attack by the

Giant mosquito

I thoughtfully prepared my side of the bunk with the hallowed pot of Manuka honey/almond cream so effective on previous occasions, knowing I could apply this in the dark without disturbing my doughty companion. It wasn’t immediately effective so I praised the fact that we hadn’t changed the sheets, and proceeded to sandpaper my ankles lavishly with the remaining grit and sand on the bed. To no avail. I drew blood and continued ‘le frottage’ for some considerable time eventually falling into a fretful sleep, only to awake a very few hours later, before six, to rush to ablute. *

The view from close to the van was worth the early wakening.

And so to Auckland.

We’ve seen a lot of this flag. We don’t know what it is.

We heard there is a rugby competition going on. We looked at the driver.

It’s the Tonga flag.

Farewell van. You’ve been good to us.

Wilderness was expecting us back:

And gave us a lift to the airport. The driver was an Australian who decided two weeks ago to move to NZ, got the job on Monday, started yesterday (Thursday). Got us to the airport by google maps on iPhone. No immigration process for her – she just ticked that she intended to stay permanently on her entrance card. …..I wish….

Good to see one of the shops Keith was discussing earlier in the trip featured on the concourse:

How can we afford this (trip, not purchases from Shop), I ask myself. Partly by using the pension lump sum, and partly through savings. Maybe our general approach to spending has helped. I think we were the only ones with Home made butties in the airport!

So I splashed out on these: will they work? Homeopathic. Hmmmm. The lady in the shop (who knows she’ll never see me again) assures me they will.

And one final take home picture for New Zealand, a country I’ve loved like no other, and in many ways more than my own: the motto seems almost redundant here.

Kindness comes as standard. Will miss this country/these people so much.

*imagine my surprise this morning to discuss I had liberally applied (Keith’s **) hairgel.

** not

2 thoughts on “And back to Blighty.

    1. You guessed it! Checked out immigration rules within 48 hours of arriving. We don’t satisfy the criteria. Which is probably just as well. Shropshire ain’t so bad (rather good in fact) and I need all of you in my life (all 7).


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