Monday, April 13, 2009

Ferry Crossing

Our ferry reservation is for 8am and we leave early to return our car and catch the shuttle bus to the ferry terminal. The sea is very calm this morning and though the boat is much smaller, the ride is so much more pleasant. Today is going to be a long travel day with "planes, ferries, and automobiles". A taxi takes us to the Wellington airport where we board a Qantas flight for Sydney. We actually are served a meal and are given an ice cream bar later; later we are to learn that Qantas is losing buckets of money. My seat mate is a woman from Queenstown, going to Japan for her son's wedding. She is a nurse in an assistive care facility and has sons in France and England also. We chat about traveling, kids, nonprofits, insurance, and everything under the sun. I learn a lot about life in NZ--they take care of their own as all care facilities provide the same level of care and there are quite good social services for those with no income. There are no homeless people, only those who chose to be so. She is amazed to learn that some in the US cannot afford health insurance.

We arrive in Sydney and it looks like it has been pouring outside. I hope it clears by the time we return. The next leg of the flight is to Cairns on Qantas, Boy, it is a long way from Wellington to Cairns! We get fed another meal and arrive at a small tropical airport--it is sure humid here! The taxi takes us to Lilybend B&B where we are greeted warmly and shown to a comfortable and air conditioned room in the plantation house with huge verandas. Lizards peek out at us from various places. It is 12 hours since we left Wellington. Again, we change our watches.


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