Moving to New Zealand
We planned move to New Zealand for a while. Covid just complicated things, and increased cost of everything dramatically. You can’t just get a visa, hop on the plane and that is it. The only visa we could get was critical purpose one, that is short and need to be extended soon after arrival, so basically everything take longer and cost more. The big issue is quarantine that we had to take for 14 days immediately after arrival.
Off to the airport
The journey obviously started in Chorley 8am, then Preston train Station and from there by one of the Avanti Pendolino trains to London Euston. Please bear in mind that we took 30kg suitcases each plus some 12kg backpacks for adults and obviously lighter for kids. We need clothes for 3 months of living till container with rest our stuff will eventually arrive. Overall our packages are just heavy and awkward to carry. In London Euston soon after arrival we were approached by police asking about our destination. They we a bit suspicious seeing 4 people carrying heavy bags, but quickly changed the tone after finding out that we are going to Auckland. From Euston we had to get to Heathrow via tube with one changeover. Carrying around 150kg between us around London Underground is not easy, but we eventually arrived at the airport. In there we still had couple for hours till our flight, so we had some food and just waited patiently while watching planes.
Eventually it was our time to check in the bags and go to waiting area near the gate. All other waiting lounges and pubs are obviously closed, so there is little space to relax before the flight. Our flight was scheduled 19.50. We were expecting large Airbus 380 but we saw smaller two engine Airbus 350. Once inside the plane we had to wear masks all the time, kids included, luckily there were less people than usual, so we could sit in 2 people per row of three seats.
One very long flight
Due to overnight flight we could get some sleep, still fairly short as children slept on two sits, while me and wife on one, so not comfortable. Eventually after 13hrs flight plane landed in Singapore. Due to covid restrictions we were not allowed to leave the plane. Some passengers come off, some come in, crew changed over, plane got refuelled and 50-60 min after arrival to Singapore we set off again with scheduled 9hrs flight to Auckland. While plane was increasing altitude we could see huge storm coming. Pilot said via intercom that turbulence are expected. Shortly after plane reached maximum altitude 12400m, the seatbelt lights came on, we fastened them and that was it. Plane shook for another 8hrs, sometimes more, sometimes less, but one never-ending turbulence, with wind no less than 100km strong. Weather calmed down once we reached New Zealand, wind came down to about 10-20km/hr, and while extremely tired we started feeling excitement. In total we spent 25hrs in one plane, not ideal so compression stockings came really handy. The looong flight finally came to an end, but it was just the beginning.
Off the plane, finally!
After landing we had to go through lots of checks and eventually were told we could go for managed isolation rather than strict quarantine which is good. The bus arrived at the airport to take us to Crowne Plaza hotel for 14 days isolation. One we got there we went through more checks and ground rules and first covid test. We got two joined rooms but inside them we were exhausted to the point that only thing we could do was lay on the bed, close the eyes and that was it.
Overall exciting journey just began, so two weeks in closed room on the 20th floor in the hotel in the middle of Auckland is just mild inconvenience. Onwards and upwards.