Saturday, 21 May 2022

Fly and drive

 Last week was my first work trip for ages - 3 days in Auckland. I flew from Palmerston North, having completely forgotten that I could have flown from Kapiti Airport in Paraparaumu, a mere 15 minutes from home. Instead I drove to Palmerston North, having forgotten how long it used to take me to drive it. Or maybe it was longer because I left home at 7am instead of 5am, and there was more traffic... 

The flight up was fine - smooth, no bumps, happiness - well, at least no fear.

The 3 work days were really good and very useful and worthwhile:

  • two meeting/workshops about change,
  • a 6 hour long tour of the labs and the greenhouses, and
  • a team building workshop.

However the weather on the final day was appalling with storms all down the country, thunder storms, strong winds - all the things that made flying just far far too scary for me.

So I kept the rental car I'd had for the 3 days and drove back. Driving for about 8 or 9 hours was preferable to flying for 1 hour 15 minutes and being terrified before and during the flight.

I drove to Taupo on the Thursday late arvo/evening and stayed with Colleen. That part of the trip was not without incident. David had been tracking my phone and we had been speaking frequently throughout the drive. But at about Wairakei my phone cut out - it was still going, but I had no internet and no phone reception.

While he was worrying about me, I was trying to find Colleen's address and the way there. I had to ask at a local service station in Taupo - and the woman was kind but ultra slow and I was desperate for a pee... 

When I arrived at Colleen's she told me I had to phone David immediately on her phone to let him know I had arrived. It was clear he was very distraught. 😨😱😰

In the middle of the night, when I woke, my phone was still playing up. So I switched it off and then on again - the Universal Reset. Suddenly, messages, internet, mail, service! Doh!!

Note to self - next time my phone cuts out, Universal Reset has to be the first action!

In the morning, I headed away south. The weather wasn't too bad but there were huge banks of black cloud ahead. On the Desert Road it was cold (6 degrees) and the wind chill would have been severe.

Driving to the pot of gold ... The second rainbow was not the only one - there was a fainter third one off to the left too!

I thought about stopping for something to eat but it rained in every town I thought may be a possibility. πŸ˜‰πŸ˜ˆπŸ˜† 

From just south of Sanson the rain was torrential all the way home.

Levin had a detour away from the main street - it turned out they had had a tornado at about 6.30am. I passed one of the streets it had hit - two trees uprooted, fences ripped up and a garage torn down.

Not a pleasant drive, all in all. However I spoke with Kevin and he said it was a good thing I chose to drive. He said it was the absolute worst landing he'd ever had in all his years of flying ...

In case I picked up a COVID infection while I was in Auckland (very unlikely as I wore an N95 mask pretty much constantly) I am isolating from David - he is ensconced in the motorhome and I am in the house: his choice, trust me. I was going to stay in the motorhome but he wanted to.

Tomorrow morning is the great reunion! Yay!!


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