So very excited to be beginning our journey, but also feeling sad at saying goodbye to our apartment in the very heart of Ponsonby and our little close-knit community. I don't think you could get a more diverse group of neighbours, but it really worked.
Needless to say, as so often when moving house these last few days have been a trial. There were the essential items packed in error that had to be found and unpacked, while bits and pieces destined for the charity shop somehow found their way into storage. Then there are the things essential to our return in May that are nowhere to be found. And don’t mention the cleaning – believe me we are clean and tidy people, but really? Where did all that gritty debris hidden beneath the cutlery inset in the drawer come from? And we could have re-stuffed a cushion with the carpet fluff behind the chest of drawers - and had leftovers. Now the place is so shiny and clean that when glancing at the gleaming appliances I quite expect that 'ping' you hear on tv commercials!
Now all that remains before we board our flight are a few last minute details; such as picking up the particular brand of coffee I can’t live without. Yes, I know this venture is supposed to be a three and a half month detox, but a line has to be drawn somewhere and my morning hit is sacrosanct. Oh, and arranging a mortgage to cover the charges for having overweight luggage! Jas packed in order of importance, so the fishing rods and reels and the six foot spear-gun had priority over everything else, and that meant I had to make room in my suitcase for both our toiletries (and being away so long meant large size of everything) and even some of his clothes. Worse, while the baggage allowance is 23kgs on the international flight, it’s only 15kgs on the internal island-to-island one, so we’ll definitely be contributing heavily to Tonga’s next Christmas party!
So adieu New Zealand, land of the long white cloud, and hello Nuku’alofa, where we land at 8:55pm tonight. Then, after a night in The Seaview Lodge, it’s onto Vava’u the following afternoon and the boat trip to Kapa Island.
See you in Paradise!