About Us

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In 1977 we hired our first narrowboat from Anglo Welsh at Market Harborough.From that moment our destiny was set. In 2006 we finally purchased our own brand new 57' narrowboat which we named 'Free Spirit'. Our aim is to travel the length and breadth of all the navigable rivers and canals of the UK. This will be our story as it unfolds.

Saturday 28 December 2019

Not all plain sailing

 28th December
The good news is we have finally arrived in Auckland but it was not without the usual Jameison dramas. First back to December 24th

Christmas at our daughters, great fun, plenty to eat and drink and late nights playing games. All to soon Boxing day arrived and at 12 noon Christine took us to the coach station in Nottingham. The coach was 15 minutes late but time made up as the roads were almost empty. We were well on our way when Ian suddenly remembered he hadn't switched off the inverter on FS. Thankfully we had left a set of keys with the canal societies chairman who assured us that he would get it sorted.

 Singapore Airlines took off on time and we settled into 12 hours of the cattle class experience. To be fair this airline has a tad more legroom than others so it wasn't all about being hemmed in a small space. Of course, I forgot to put on my compression socks so swollen ankles were the punishment for not having done so.

Arrived in Singapore and with a 60-minute turn around to get to the next flight. I must admit I was panicking a bit. But then a bombshell, for looking to see where to check in on the information board, the words CANCELLED was very much in evidence! 7 30am the next day was the earliest we could getaway. Ian joined a very long queue of passengers all needing hotel rooms and their tickets transferred to the next day.
The queue to sort out the cancellation
 All plans had to be rethought, letting the motor home hire company know, getting a hotel booked in Auckland as we don't arrive until 22.00, and hoping for some meal vouchers as we had no New Zealand dollars with us. Air New Zealand staff were fantastic. Hotel booked, taxi paid for, fabulous meal courtesy of the airline and transfer back to the airport. They had even organised a hotel in Auckland because we land too late to collect the motorhome. Massively impressed how they dealt with the cancellation. We found out the reason for the delay. The Pilot had been taken ill and no replacement was available. We ended up being taxied to the hotel, had one of the best 'help yourself' meals experienced and after a good five hours sleep, taken back to the airport for check-in at 6 am.

Jen Hotel Singapore

The flight to Auckland was on a much smaller plane, most notable was the lack of legroom and being 'squashed in'. The good news was the plane was only half full so we got the three seats to ourselves. 9 hours of very good flying conditions only marred by the landing! One wheel touched...plane skewed to the left. Other wheel touched and we skewed to the right. By now I had almost freaked out and only Ian's calming influence saved me from producing some very loud expletives!

So you would think nothing more could go wrong, but we hadn't planned to find out that the Air New Zealand desk where we would have found out which hotel we had been booked in to was closed! We had no idea where we had to go! Across from the airport was the Nova Hotel so we made for there. Asking the price of a room, my God we would have had to take out a mortgage! At $300 a night we thought that extortionate! But they were so helpful. The manager phoned Air New Zealand who confirmed a hotel had been booked but about 8 k from the airport. As we were already at Nova the booking was transferred to this hotel, room paid, breakfast also paid and we could have had an evening meal up to $40 each. Didn't feel like eating at nearly midnight though! So finally the holiday is all coming together. Being collected by a shuttle bus to take us to the motorhome about 9 am (20.00 UK time) so about to have a very early breakfast. Its this time difference which is a real killer, last night we only had about four hours of sleep, but that's better than nothing I supposed.

Nova Hotel

How nice.


Jenny said...

Welcome to New Zealand!

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Thank you, Jenny. Where are you at the moment?

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