The first post :
It’s actually a prologue as we are yet to be on the trail . We have packed , unpacked and repacked our packs and discussed at length ( in somewhat serious tones ) the kind of foot wear that we will employ . We voted in favour of treking poles and against toe socks . Melanie is bringing her Ukulele and I am bringing a typewriter , so we can indulge our creativity .
We left an empty house and the front door keys yesterday in a place that we won’t return to live , which seemed appropriately final , a sense of a new beginnings that this Spring time offers us . We are excited as a pair of lambs as we bus from Hamilton to Auckland airport in the grey rain.
We find we need an ‘eTA’ when we go to drop off our bags . There is some confusion for us , we can either apply ‘free’ online and fill out pages of personal questions , or go to the Quantas desk , flash our passports and credit card details and pay $50 each for an ‘electronic Transit Application’ . Melanie and I discuss and discuss our disgust at the way in which our culture is slowly transforming into an impersonal money grabbing machine.
We share our feelings about a possible ten hour stop over in Melbourne airport and I decide for the first time to use the smartphone to book a hotel . I find a reasonably priced room and show Melanie the place before I confirm .When they sent the confirmation it turned out that their Melbourne is in Fort Lauderdale in the USA . I think that’s possibly the most distant and disconnected mistake I’ve ever made in my life . I laugh out loud .. shake my head to think I’ve just blown $100 in the USA and try again . The confirmation of our Airport Hotel room in Melbourne AUSTRALIA comes through , just as the airport tanoi annouces that our plane is cancelled . So I’ve a room in California , a room in Australia , but tonight we are definitely sleeping in Aotearoa .
We finish some Scrabble and shake our heads .
A reasonable amount of chaos follows as 200 unhappy Jet Star customers are given conflicting instructions and placed tired ,confused and sweaty in the glare of the airport baggage collection hall , then made to wait whilst we are all completely ignored .
We score a cheap room in a local motel , sleep well and find ourselves having a superb breakfast at Auckland airport.
Tommorow we may even get to Perth . There we can start our adventure , the gentle and colourful walk that we have planned for the last six months . The Bibbulmun track 1000km from the Perth hills to the South Coast .
The Bibbmun Nyoongar is the name of the local Aboriginal folks who walked this land in celebration . I have heard about ‘walkabouts’ . The word always evoked some mystery and an excited sense of wonder .
The distinctive yellow triangular trail marker depicts the ‘Waugal’ (prononced woggle), which is a symbol of the rainbow serpant . An Aboriginal ansectoral totem for the expansive, primal Earth energies that forged the land .