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Published: March 19th 2013
Central North Island Volcanoes
Seat 1D, Bombardier Q300 Aircraft
I had been a tough start to 2013. My brother has a heart condition and a gastro bug took out his heart. He was choppered by the emergency helicopter to Waikato Hospital, before being flown to Auckland Hospital. It was a close to 99% he wouldn't survive. The surgeon outlined the options to us. An emergency surgery in the morning, which has a near 100% chance of killing him, or we wait until he passes. We pressed forth with the operation, hoping for a miracle. Our family drove up to Auckland in the middle of the night from Ohakune, Gisborne, New Plymouth, Tauranga. Some forked out nearly a $1000 to fly up to be with us. It was a long day, with little news. Lets say, the muffin break cafe in the hospital did a roaring trade from us lot. We got a phone call at 3pm, to say he was barely hanging on, he was on bypass again and they were concerned. Still we waited. Lack of sleep overtook many of our family, sleeping as they were in the hospitals transit lounge. We got another phone call at 6pm to say he had been taking off bypass due to him
Seat 1D, Bombardier Q300 Aircraft
improving, but he rapidly declined and was put back on bypass. 4 times this happened. By 11pm, they were still in surgery. 15 hours in surgery at that stage. Finally at one o'clock in the morning, he was delivered in a critical and barely alive state to the Intensive Care Unit. Later that morning, we went in to see him. What a mess, tubes, piped blood everywhere. He was in an induced coma, his breathing barely visible or audible. When he was given the all clear, i decided to head back to Tauranga. I had work and commitments. My Mum and Dad remained in Auckland. Home by myself, i closed the curtains and slept like the dead. A few days later at work, i came down with a migraine. I went to the doctors where they gave me some pills. They didn't work.
5 days later, i still had this excruciating migraine. It was friday and i hadn't slept since sunday night. I was a zombie. Again we went to the doctor, where they gave me 3 shots of Tramadol in the (ummmhmmm Bottom!!). This still didn't work. So it was off to Tauranga hospital for me!! I was
Seat 1D, Bombardier Q300 Aircraft
admitted through the ED and went into ward. My parents were phoned. What a thing. One kid in Auckland Hospital another in Tauranga hospital. My father jumped in the car and began to travel down. A neurologist come over to me. He gave me the option of going home with a powerful sleeping sedative and a whole array of other meds, or remaining in hospital. As the noise of all the sick people and the bright lights were making the migraine worse, i choose home.
I took the sleeping pill and waited for it to kick in. On my way to bed i collapsed and i there i lay in a dozy state until dad got home. It took 3 weeks for the effects of the migraine to disappear. I have had migraines all my life, but none as long as that one!!
So after all of this stress and busyness, i needed to do something. Another day trip?? YES!! 😊
I had some Airpoints that were due to expire and i had a free return trip with Nakedbus.com, a nationwide bus company. I booked return tickets to Christchurch and booked same day return bus tickets
Near Kaikoura, we could see the Tour Boats heading out to take all the Whale Eating Japanese out to see the Whales. To be honest, i thought i could actually see some whales breach the surface of the water and then plunge back down again. Perhaps however, it was just the cresting of some waves. I'll leave that decision up to you :) Kaikoura Township was hiding under cloud.
from Christchurch to Lake Tekapo. The weather was looking fab for this trip!!
At nearly 800kms and 1hr55mins, the Tauranga-Christchurch (or Christchurch-Tauranga, which is 1hr50mins) sector is one of the longest prop flights in New Zealand. Air New Zealand subsidy, Air Nelson operate the route twice daily each way (bar TRG-CHC on sundays) using their Bombardier Q300 aircraft. I arrived at the airport a tad late at 6.05am (late!!) but still made checkin. I had pretty much only sat down, when boarding was called. We exited the terminal onto the tarmac. The plane loaded to around 45 passengers or so. I had the seat next to me free, as did the person across the aisle. The pilot welcomed us aboard and then the FA did her briefing. We took off the the Northeast, banking round over Papamoa and climbing to our cruising altitude of 20.000ft. The cloud that had been over Tauranga, disappeared over Rotorua and we had a clear day. Lake Taupo was glistening in the rising sun and a few clouds hugged the bottom of the Central North Island Volcanoes. I didn't read at all this trip, i was too busy sightseeing at the amazing country below
us. We passed over the city of Wellington, the airport busy with all its morning arrivals and departures. Continuing over Cook Strait we passed over the dry brown Marlborough and down towards Kaikoura, under a layer of cloud.
We started our descent over the Hurunui River and powered forth over the Eastern Suburbs. We banked to the right over Wigram and landed on to Christchurch's Runway 02, 15 minutes late at 8.40am. That made our flight from TRG to CHC 2hrs10mins. The captain came on to tell us it was due to a strong headwind. Luckily the scenery had taken my mind off it 😊
In the airport, i had a quick basic breaky in the lounge, before heading down to the bus shelter. The bus arrived and i climbed aboard. The driver was friendly and pointed out landmarks as we travelled through the dry Canterbury farmland. It was nice being on the road again, seeing places i hadn't seen before. We travelled over the longest bridge in New Zealand at Raikaia, and turned inland on a backroad the driver knew off. I turned on my ipod and watched the snow capped Southern Alps loom closer and
closer. When it appeared we were just under them, we turned south, heading towards the little hamlet of Geraldine. Here we stopped for a toilet and drink break. I waited 15 minutes to get served in the little Oaks Cafe on the main drag. The staff trying to interpret a horde of Indian Tourists, who were trying to walk out of the shop without paying. Back on the bus, we headed off, this time climbing over the ranges to Fairlie. It started to drizzle high up on the road. I was enjoying this!! We didn't stop in Fairlie, but continued on over the Burkes Pass to Lake Tekapo. The driver took us passed the Stone Church of the Good Shepherd, which overlooks the lake. In the small service centre at Tekapo Village, we disembarked. I walked around and brought lunch before heading down to the lake. It was a beautiful colored lake. Something to do with rock flour from an ancient glacier or something??
After more exploring and relaxing, it was time to board the bus back to Christchurch. I was tired, so turned on the ipod and fell asleep. I awoke near Geraldine. This time, the driver turned
off at Geraldine and turned back towards the coast. This time we were going via the South Canterbury Town of Ashburton. We stopped at Raikaia, where we admired the giant fish statue they have. Back at the airport, i realized i left my camera on the bus. I rang nakedbus. The found it, but there was no way i could collect it, i was due to fly out in 30minutes. It would have to be sent to Tauranga. I checked in and had a basic tea in the Koru Lounge.
Boarding was called early, and like last time, we had the gate directly outside the terminal. The weather was fine, with high cloud. Again i feel asleep, tired from the days exercises on my still weak body (stupid migraines). I awoke as we were passing over Waiouru. It was starting to get dark and cloud over. The time passed quickly and suddenly the lights of Tauranga beckoned. We flew out to sea, before turning towards the runway. We landed and the captain did an engine systems check before we were aloud to deplane. Another day trip, over. I enjoyed this one, seeing a bit more of the country. And Lake Tekapo, was just gorgeous!!
Tot: 2.043s; Tpl: 0.058s; cc: 10; qc: 49; dbt: 0.0261s; 1; m:saturn w:www (22.214.171.124); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.3mb