Tuesday 18 September
I am not looking forward to our transit in Abu Dhabi. We have asked at Istanbul airport if we can have all our boarding passes issued from there. We do not want a repeat of our experience in Abu Dhabi four weeks ago when it took so long to have our boarding passes issued.
Unfortunately Istanbul airport cannot access the Etihad system to issue the boarding passes, but suggest we check in on-line. Peter is able to, but for some reason I am blocked from doing so.
I ask the flight attendant on the plane for help, not expecting much. But when we disembark, the Etihad ground crew issue our passes in less than five minutes. Four weeks ago the Etihad ground crew had refused to do this and had sent us to the transit area to issue the passes. I am very happy, and grateful to the cheerful young man who helps us, but I am angry that the ground crew had previously been so unhelpful. The man who is my “minder” says that what happened to us previously is typical of the lack of service from Etihad ground crew, and that there have been many complaints … That the air crew is excellent but the ground crew are terrible …
We go straight to the lounge and Peter falls asleep – out like a light – curled up in an armchair.
We have hours and hours here, but the lounge is comfortable, the food is good and the people are friendly and helpful.
The next stage is a long flight of fourteen hours to Sydney. I don’t expect it to be too bad. There are movies to watch, and both Peter and I seem to be able to sleep for five or six hours on these long hauls.
We have an hour in Sydney, time to eat some more, it seems that all I’ve done for the last thirty hours or so is eat!
Back in Wellington we are greeted by a freezing cold southerly and rain. Easy to curl up in a warm bed. Peter and I are more worn out by the long flights than we realise. We sleep for fourteen hours! We must be getting old …
Well, we will just have to fit more travel in before we get any older!
Maybe Paris again, and driving through Provence …