For this special year of traveling I had also planned for a very special birthday experience: 13 hours on a plane with AirAsia. We started building up for my birthday already in Kuala Lumpur with a slightly chaotic evening getting to the right airport, finding food we could take with us on the plane, going through the almost non-existing but still requiring long lines safety procedures in KLIA2, the budget airlines airport in Kuala Lumpur.
We managed to find our way through and get on the plane, and we got some great hours of sleep. And then, my birthday! We started out celebrating a little with some lovely chocolate croissants kindly brought on board by Ulrik. Shortly after we played a round of “Bonanza”, and soon it was time to leave the plane for our short transfer in Gold Coast, Australia. Here we left the plane, waited with all the other passengers, went through security, and boarded that same plane once again. We never really figured why, but some fresh Australian Air was definitely a great experience.
Back on the same plane with a new crew we found our seats and started planning the amazing birthday lunch: 2 sandwiches bought in KLIA2. All we needed were some water we could drink with it. However, the new crew was not that experienced, so it took them about 2,5 hours to serve the plane and sell us some water. This was just in time for us to eat the sandwiches very fast, and prepare our arrival to New Zealand.
New Zealand welcomed us with their long lines for border control. Even though we had feared this a little due to all the camping equipment in our bags, this went on quite easily – and our tent was nicely cleaned by the border officials. The rest of my birthday was about finding our hostel, do some grocery shopping, and get the first full night of sleep on our trip.
Due to the time difference, we decided to celebrate a little on January 16th as well (yes, here it is January 17 now 😉). We decided to explore Mt. Eden, one of the many volcanoes that Auckland is build upon. It is really weird to see a volcano covered by grass and imagine it throwing out lava and stones and other crazy stuff. In the evening Ulrik had invited me out for dinner, and we got some great Italian pizza 😍
As you may sense not the most thrilling birthday I have ever had, but none the less it was the day we arrived to New Zealand and we expect to have some great days here 🙂 Today we will get our rental car and head towards some of the many national parks and make use of our tent for the first time on this trip.