Yeah!!! We survive the flights and are safe and sound in our ďapartmentĒ in New Zealand. It took 28 hours to go from Toronto to Auckland but we crossed the international date line so Aukland is a day ahead of Toronto. Thatís how why we are February 5th and not the 4th.

Today was a long day but now that itís over it wasnít as bad as I was expecting. The five hour flight from Toronto was uneventful though the plane was fuller than I expected. I guess a lot of people didnít pre-book their seats. Between the plane getting to the gate late and having to de-ice the place and a head wind we arrived in Vancouver more than an hour late. We spent most of our hour and a half at the Vancouver airport walking the halls. We figured we needed to give our legs a good stretching before the 15 hour flight. As the flight was late arriving in Vancouver we were also late leaving Vancouver. Part of it was due to the amount of carry-on luggage. The flight attendants had to shuffle luggage around so the overhead bins would close. And then there was the broken overhead bin --- one of the hinges was hanging on by a thread. We overheard discussion that the plane could not take off unless the overhead bin was able to close. After moving the luggage out of the bin an enterprising passenger closed the bin ending our visions of several hours of delays while the overhead bin was being fixed. Fifteen hours in the air is a really long time --- I read my book, watched three movies, played a couple of computer games, talked to the woman stilling beside me, looked at the flight path a lot and tried to sleep, oh and ate. At around 1 am Vancouver we were served dinner, about 6 hours later we were given a sandwich and a couple of biscuits and about an hour and a half before landing we were served breakfast. Surprisingly, I was happy to see the food. I didnít realize how hungry you got sitting in an airplane.

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Landing in Sydney

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Our stay in Australia was short but not as short as it could have been. Our flight arrived just in time to catch a flight to New Zealand --- when we booked our flights we opted to take the 2nd flight to New Zealand. Ed and I were both happy that we had opted for the later flight as it gave us time to walk around and stretch our legs and enjoy not sitting on an airplane. Our flight left 2 hours later and was very relaxed --- the boarding started early so it was unstressful, the meal was served with complementary wine and was only 2 hours and 40 minutes long. Favourite flight of the trip.

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Landing in Auckland ---- we were on the side that didn't see the city.

New Zealand is very concerned with the environment and are serious about their rules. The arrival card had a lot of questions regarding items being brought into the country --- the usual food and plants questions but also a recreation and sports equipment question. As we have hiking boots with us we had to go through the ďcheck lineĒ. Our boots were pretty clean but were dipped in a disinfectant solution to be safe. All luggage is put through xray scanning before it can leave the building, but this time they are looking for food, nuts, plants etc.

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The drive from the airport to the hotel took about a half hour and gave us a chance to get an idea of what Auckland looks like. First impression is that it is a large city. An information guide indicates that one third of New Zealandís population lives in Auckland.

Ed and I are quite happy with our accommodations --- itís a 1 bedroom apartment in an apartment hotel.

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Our view.