Near Disaster at Airport Transfer

Trip Start Sep 05, 2010
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248
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Trip End Aug 21, 2011


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Air Asia flight somewhere over Indonesia

Flag of Singapore  ,
Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Sitting here now in seat 26A, being thrown around by the ferocious weather over the Indonesian islands, it is yet another poignant moment in our trip around the globe. This morning we said goodbye to Char and G after a great 3 week trip to Borneo, but on top of that we said goodbye to almost 6 months in Asia. In the process of leaving we unexpectedly cemented the remaining 5 months of our pedal back to Bosham.

The morning was spent on and around the delightful Bussorah Street of Singapores Turkish region.  Polly and Charlotte went dress shopping whilst G and I took a more laid back approach to the day.  I did manage to secure a Lonely Planet guide for New Zealand and book a minibus to the airport for later in the day so my time was pretty well used.

With Charlotte's dress for Tom and Nats wedding  bagged (and very nice it was to), we reconvened for a final lunch together.  It was then time for goodbyes before Pols and I loaded up a minibus with two big boxes of bicycle and 6 panniers, whilst G and C went to check in to the 5* Marina Sands hotel.  They very much deserved this luxury after roughing it for 3 weeks around Borneo's hostels with us.

The downpour on route to the airport summed up our mood but when we arrived it was time to switch on and get everything checked in.  With some shuffling of bike parts and weighing and reweighing we managed to pass through baggage check in without too much of a hefty excess charge.  All was looking good we thought…

All aboard for the 30 minute flight to Kuala Lumper, so far so good.  I mean, we have seriously had enough of airports but at least it was all running to plan.  That is until we reached transit in KL.  The day, and indeed trip, took one of those big twists I have mentioned before.

The snotty little Air Asia took great delight in telling us that we would be unable to continue our journey to New Zealand unless we can produce evidence of our onward travel out of New Zealand.  "Well, we are on bikes!" we said.  "We have not booked a flight out yet as we don’t know where 6 weeks cycling will take us".  He enjoyed making it very clear that it is the passengers responsibility to make sure that they are in accordance with the entry requirements for the country they are travelling to (incidentally, after some more research it seems that he is wrong and it was a case of him not being able to override his computer system to allow us to check in).

It was a very tense hour that followed.  We had to think fast.  We agreed that we would spend 6 weeks in New Zealand leaving us 60 days to cycle across the breadth of USA.  That meant flying on June 15th.  But where from?  And who with?  And many other 'what ifs?’

We ended up buying a ticket to Los Angeles with a stop-over in Hawaii.  Upstairs we went to try and get a print out of our recent purchase.  All in order, we were handed back the confiscated boarding passes and a few hours later here we are on our way to Christchurch, New Zealand.

The weather outside, as I mentioned earlier, is absolutely terrible.  Seat belt signs have not been switched off at any point and the huge Airbus is being shunted up and down and from left to right.  Pols has tried to sleep it out, feeling pretty worried about the continuous jolting.  I have got through the last 2 hours by watching another gripping episode of Prime Suspect.  5 more hours to go, I am really looking forward to pitching that tent tonight for the first time in months and lighting up the camping stove. 

Miles Cycled: 0 but really cannot wait to get back on the bikes now
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