Getting Started

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Starting Out

Map 5 DwntoNZ
Map 5 Flight path Darwin to Auckland

Several weeks ago I’d gone through some complicated hoops trying to sort out a problem of arriving in Tahiti without a return air ticket. I mean I’ll be sailing out on a yacht, not taking a plane. But no one seemed to know what the requirement for entry were – not the French Embassy in Sydney, nor the Australian Embassy in Tahiti.

I eventually had to find someone to talk to in Immigration in Tahiti and after several re-directions found someone who could speak English well enough to be understood. I was assured I only needed a letter of invitation from the skipper of the vessel, and to have travel insurance. This was done. Bookings made through Qantas to Tahiti travelling via Emirate Brisbane to Auckland, and then Air Tahiti Nui to Tahiti. Nothing to do now but wait.

26 Mar 2014

At last the day has arrived to set out on this trip. Uneventful flight to Brisbane. Bit rainy on arrival and cooler than I’m used to in the tropics. In-laws Mark and Diane once again came to the rescue with a place to stay overnight.  They always do. I think they’d be offended if I arrived in Brisbane and didn’t call them.

27 Mar 2014

0630hrs. Mark made sure he had me at the airport early in the morning in plenty of time to catch the flight to Auckland NZ. Approach the Emirates desk to check in for the flight to Auckland and the clerk asked for the return ticket. Explained I was sailing out on a yacht.  Explained the enquires I’d made and the answer I’d been given.  Then showed him the invitation by the skipper of the boat, plus another email I’d received from him. He took them away to check with someone else, then books my bag through to Papeete and sends me off to board the aircraft.

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Outskirts of Auckland NZ Turning around for final
approach into Auckland NZ

Not so at Auckland. No return air ticket, no flight. Have to buy a return air ticket – see you later.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARight: My intended flight Air Tahiti Nui about to take off without me onboard.

Stuck in Auckland tonight but I won’t complain about Qantas again. A wonderful gentlemen named Neville at the Qantas Ticketing office booked me another flight for tomorrow, and then arranged for accommodation at the Holiday Inn, Dinner, Breakfast and airport transfers to be paid by Qantas. Thank God for that! Especially after it cost me $2034 NZD for a plane ticket I’m not expecting to use! But again my man helps out and makes the ticket refundable in case I don’t take it. How good is that?

Kind of restores your faith doesn’t it? Thanks to Neville finding and re-booking me a flight to Tahiti at such short notice I’ve only lost the one night accommodation in Papeete. Will be arriving just after midnight on Thursday night so at least I’ll still be able to take the island tour I’d arranged for Friday. Three cheers for Nev!

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