The flight from Wellington to Melbourne was pretty uneventful. I spent the flight reading my new Peter James book. I chatted to a couple of people in Melbourne while waiting for check in for the next flight.
I have pre-booked aisle seats all the way from New Zealand to Dublin (thanks Rachel, my travel agent, for your on-going assistance) as I tend to get up and down frequently. I would drive my fellow passengers mad, especially as I continue to do this the whole flight.
I couldn’t believe it when the row I was seated in, there was a passenger at the other end with two spare seats in between. I kept waiting for the last minute arrival of a very loud or large person who was going to be my neighbour for the next 13 hours, or a parent with a tantruming toddler, but oh yay, plane doors are shut and off we go!
I was looking forward to the chance to be able to stretch out a bit more and hopefully even sleep. That was until about an hour into the plane ride when I got up to go to the toilet, and came back to find the end of the row passenger wrapped in a blanket stretched out over her seat and the 2 spare seats!
I did try at various times to get my feet around her and get comfortable but didn’t really manage to do more than doze. Looking back I’m not sure why I didn’t just slowly push her feet off the seat next to me. I guess it’s a bit of a grey area as it’s not my seat so I don’t have any entitlement to it, just rely on people to have a sense of fair play when there are two people and two spare seats, we should get one each. However at one stage she was encroaching on my actual seat, and I had no problem giving her a gentle shove off.
I watched a couple of movies, one called 42 Grams which is about a couple who set up a restaurant called 42 Grams, the name is based on the premise that a soul weighs 21 grams and their combined souls make 42 grams.
It was interesting to see the hard work and how their whole life revolved around the restaurant. They got two Michelin stars in the first year. Then I watched The Snowman which is based on the Jo Nesbo book. I always find this leg endless and at about 10 hours into the flight I start thinking maybe flying business isn’t really just a waste of money. I reckon if there was a spare seat in business class, about 3 hours into the flight the airline should have an auction amongst the passengers, they would always sell out.
I was a bit anxious with the change in Dubai as only had an hour from landing to boarding the next plane and had to catch the train from one part of the terminal to the other. However it all went smoothly, the airport was not as busy as some other times and I got to the gate for the Dubai to Dublin flight in plenty of time. Brett’s flight also arrived on time and he got to the gate just after me 🙂
This flight was 7 hours, I watched a couple of movies that I have absolutely no idea what they were, I may very well watch them again on the way back, and think “this seems a bit familiar”.
I arrived in Dublin and joy oh joy the bike and bag arrived with me! Unlike New Zealand, Customs had no interest in my bike – no questions about dirt, forests etc so straight through and the pick up driver with van was on time.
Off to the hotel called Gresham Hotel on upper O’Connell, nice and close to town. On the way there the van driver gave a running commentary on “all the places in Ireland I tink you should be cycling to now”. I love the Irish ancient and the way the “h” disappears.
On the way there, there were signs on every lamp post in relation to the abortion referendum that has just occurred.
We got there about 1pm, but sadly the room was not ready till 3pm. This felt like it was a life time away, especially having been travelling for about 36 hours and I just wanted to go to bed. So the bikes and bags were put in storage and then off to the town centre we went, into a pub called JW Sweetman.
Clearly I was very jetlagged as I nearly mentioned the surprising number of Irish pubs I had seen walking here (duh). I whiled away the time with quite a nice beer called Hop 13, made by Guinness. At 3pm we went back to the hotel, checked in – at last a shower – then into bed for a few hours sleep before catching up with my daughter Shellbe.
Shellbe is living in London and has come over for the weekend to catch up with me
Because we weren’t arriving until mid day Shellbe had gone on a full day tour to the cliffs of Mohir and various other places.
Nothing like a shower and clean sheets after about 36 hours on a plane. I went out like a light, the next thing I knew the phone was ringing and Shellbe was at reception.
Off to catch up and get something to eat. What I hadn’t thought about was 1) it was a Saturday night and 2) a major foot ball match was on – the town was pumping, everything was crowded and noisy. Eventually we found a steak bar that wasn’t too crowded (also didn’t sell any steak).
I had a Guinness pie which was excellent, the meat was really tender and full of flavour, Shellbe had lamb shank, huge and very tender and nice also, Brett had bangers and mash which was ok.
We walked Shellbe back to close to where she was staying despite her protesting that she is 30 and has travelled around the globe. There were a lot of homeless people and drunken Saturday night people, so not walking her back to where she was staying wasn’t an option.
On the way back we went into a shop like a dairy and were approached by a homeless young lady who just needed bus fare to get home. Brett gave her some money, but she must live a long way away as she was still there the next evening, still just needing bus fare…
There are volunteers who have set up tables around the place with tea and coffee, and soup and bread for the homeless.
We organised to meet up at 9am to catch the Dublin Hop on Hop off Bus to spend a day sightseeing. Michele and Tony from the South American and the New Zealand rides are coming with us.