-1, balloons, changi, home
29.11.2012 - 30.11.2012 -1 °C
So it turns out Day 73 is the last day of our 'around the world in 70 days' journey and my last blog entry ;-(. Not the usual collection of photos I'm afraid given that 13 hours and 25 minutes of the day was spent on the BA012 from Singapore to London in World Traveller (economy)....ouch! There was actually only ONE photo taken on the last day, which I'll share with you in a bit, but first the story.
There are two BA flights leaving Singapore on a daily basis. The BA012 that is the direct Singapore route and the BA016 that is the second leg of the Sydney to London route via Singapore. We are 'confirmed' on the BA012 so have to switch planes at Singapore and have about an hour and a half to do so. The crew told us we needed to basically clear baggage and customs and then checkin for the second plane to London. Doesn't leave much time.
Its 9.10pm when we land in Singapore, and 25 degrees. The first piece of good news, that we receive from the transfer desk staff, is that we don't need to collect our bags and that they can be retagged through to London. Excellent. But the flight is full and we are told to 'stand by' until 10pm when we will find out our fate. The second piece of good news is that Changi Airport has free fast wifi which gives me the chance to get Day 72 of the blog out. At 10pm they ask us if we would be happy to sit one in Club, one in World Traveller Plus and one in World Traveller. We say yes although we are not quite sure how that would work for Dottie. Best plan is always to accept a seat and sort it out once the doors are shut. At 10.15 we get the final bit of good news, one Club seat and two economy, better for Nat and Finn than me and Dot, but we are on our way home.
At the gate they ask us to wait whilst they take our boarding passes. It could go one of a number of ways at this stage......a nervous moment. Nat gets moved back to World Traveller Plus. A last minute commercial passenger, or a friend of the captain.....we'll never know. It's a very black art.
Dottie and Finn sleep for the first 7 hours so we manage to get something to eat and a couple of films in. The second half was more tricky. Two tired and bored kids. They were both (mostly) brilliant and we were both very proud of them.
Met by Jennie and Geoff at Heathrow at 4.40am we head home to be greeted by flags and balloons and my mum, dad and nan (and Mila the new dog). Suddenly it seems like we haven't even been away, but it's fabulous to see everyone. So many things to recollect in just 73 days.
We finally get the chance to give Mary the other part of her 18th Birthday present (see necklace) and it's lovely to see her reunited with her little brother and sister
In 73 days we visited 4 counties, took 11 flights, visited 11 airports, stayed in 9 hotels, hired 4 vans, 3 cars and took 7,261 photos and 43 videos. We lost 1 iPhone, 2 fleeces, broke a pair of flip flops and cracked my camera screen. Oh and our double buggy is still in Singapore but should catch us up shortly. There were 228 comments made on the blog and 17,476 page views. We travelled at least 29,866 miles by air, road, sea, rail, gondola and foot (some travelled by double buggy)
Here is the final map if anyone is interested (I'm having trouble with this so it may not appear).
Thanks to everyone who helped make the trip possible.
It was fabulous to see some familiar faces along the way. Andy & Carrie for cold beers, the fire pit and a comfortable bed in Orewa. Neil, Paula, Joe, Annie & Ella for making us feel so at home in Auckland, sharing their beautiful bach in Raglan, a great round of golf (with no putter), the welcome balloon at the airport and the bucket and spade set (which made it home). Maza, Richard, Tyler & Maza's mum for a sunny traditional Iranian lunch and far too much Pimm's in Auckland. Uncle Alan for driving 500 kms from Nambucca Heads to Sydney to share some time with us, eat fish at Doyles, enjoy Coogee and climb the Tower Eye. Marcus, Rose, Madeleine & Ethan for picking us up, birthday beers and bubbles, our first takeaway in weeks and all their Melbourne insight. Thanks everyone, we'd love to return your hospitality when you are next travelling over this way.
Knowing that people were actually following the blog and receiving so many comments with feedback and advice from you all was a great incentive to keep it up. We read absolutely every comment. Thanks
It was also great to know that whilst we were away our house and some things on our behalf were being looked after. The Argos delivery (sorry dad), watering plants, cutting grass, starting cars, reporting phone loses, airport drop offs and pick ups etc. Thanks
Thanks to Bob for the diesel.
It's a small world (after all)
Never stop exploring
That's it.....the end of this journey. I hope it kept some of you informed, inspired others and perhaps put some of you off travelling with kids. It wasn't always easy, but it's something we have shared and will remember forever.
PS. Just for a bit of fun, a few of our favourite video clips from the trip. From my commentary you can tell why I stick mostly to photos not videos.
The teacup ride at Disneyland -
Moro Rock in Sequoia National Park -
Neil and Dottie in Raglan -
Finley learning to sit up in the beast -
Taft Point in Yosemite -
Yoho National Park -