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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.

Monday 20 March 2023

On our way to Oz

 March 20th

The last couple of days had us frantically cleaning the Toy, doing umpteen loads of washing at the Liquid Launderette (so loved that launderette) before taking the van back to owners Mary and Alan. 


A night was stayed at their place in Whanganui, OMG a proper large springy bed with room to stretch out, didn't realise quite how we missed that luxury and a toilet that I didn't have to get dressed first and go outside to use, it was heaven! A meal booked at Stella Bar for a fabulous farewell meal, it was a big thank you to both Alan and Mary for the use of their camper and that didn't seem enough for what they did for us. I do so hope when they come to the UK that we will meet again and our boat could be of some use to them. Let's hope so

This morning Mary drove us to Whanganui Airport, such a small terminal that check in took but a few moments, none of this snaking around in long queues as is the want at international or large domestic airports. We missed the landing of the plane, got it as it taxied in and within 30 minutes the turn around had been completed and we were ready to board. A very fond farewell to Mary and we were on our way.

 Fifty five minutes was the flying time to Auckland. At first low cloud obscured the view from our emergency exit seats. Yep we had the same seats as when we arrived, row 1A & B with that propeller within sight through the window, but as we rose higher, there in its majestic glory was Mount Ruapehu  

Approaching Auckland the cloud turned wispy and more could be seen. It was the perfect flight and landing and the 15-minute walk to the International terminal was done in a sweltering 20 degrees, what a lovely way to leave NZ.

So I'm writing this in the Strata Lounge at the airport. I sailed through security although for once it was Ian that set the alarms off when he went through the barrier. Keys, watch and wallet were to blame.


Farewell NZ. The most amazing experience only ever done once in a lifetime. Would we do it all again? Most definitely, and with the same van too. Living in such close quarters for 5 months is not for everyone but for us, it was a laugh a minute taking in the good times as well as the bad. Will we be back? That is a decision for much later, best get over this one first!

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