Trying to get to some wireless internet has been a bit hard but I found this cafe so all is good. Last night I did a really quick blog, but here is the one that I wrote and couldn't get to and was the one I wanted to stick up. Will be back with more news. Currently spinning out as James and I have gone through town and seeing how much it's changed. I'm sure it was only yesterday we were at school but James tells me that was actually in 1998 and that that was a few years ago....Ouch.
So where did I leave you yesterday? I know that I had to go board my plane and now I'm writing this as my friend James drives us towards Napier for the wedding of our good friend Chris which is on tomorrow. But that's another story.
So I think it was Sunday I left you on. It's weird you know, I had been waiting so long for the trip to finish and then suddenly all too quickly it was over and then I was suddenly having to pack up to leave. I still wasn't fully aware of all that had been acheived and that we had actually done it. So when it came to goodbyes with Geoff, Elaine, Tim, Mike and Martine, it all felt surreal to me, like it wasn't really happening and that I would be seeing them in a couple of hours again. The fact that I don't know when I will see them next didn't hit me until a lot later.
Onto the taxi and then picking up Digby, Paula and Francis along the way. We checked in fine and went through for the plane. On the first flight up to Antigua I sat next to a young man on the plane who was asking me about my time in Tortola and was really excited to know about the whole project as he had been following it all on tv. I felt like I had a claim to fame :)
In Antigua we checked through and I managed to catch Richard our pilot who is friends with Geoff and Elaine on his way through. He was flying us back, and originaly we were all going to be on the flight together so he would have been taking Geoff back but plans had changed. Still, it was lovely to see him and as I left the flight I was able to go up and say goodbye and thank you to him. He also showed me an article in the paper where I have made my reputation as 'Seasick Susana' !!!! I guess I did moan about it a lot and I'm sorry :(
The arrival back into the UK was cold to say the least. I had heard about all the snow but seeing it all was a different matter. I eventually got back to Southampton. Arriving to the house it dawned on me that I wasn't sure when I would see everyone again and there was a lot of snow and I just walked into the front door and had a good old cry. Bit soppy but I've been struggling emotionally trying to get my whole head around the trip and realise that we've done it. I keep kicking myself that I let the sea sickness get to me, there was a stage in the middle of the trip where I was miserable and I'm gutted I didn't have it in me to put on a braver face. But hey, lesson learnt and next time (if there is a next time for anything similar) I will know that I managed to get through this one and that I can do it. I am so grateful that Geoff and Digby were there to help me through the rough times though. We were a real little team out there.
So once I settled in (that means a shower and wearing lots of layers of clothing) I made a lot of phone calls and emails and spent the eveing busy trying to catch up on communications. Tuesday was a long sleep in as I enjoyed a night in a bed on land and then a day of packing and then a lot of phone calls and visits. So much to do, so little time.
Wednesday morning there was more snow and after a bit of morning stress (thanks GG for helping me out!) I got to the train station where my train was thankfully on time and then my connecting bus to Heathrow. I was lugging two huge cases as I have packed up the past four years of my life and taken them with me. I got there though and checked in and through security with hours to spare. Still with all the extra snow I was much happier to be early than rushing it all.
26 hours later and you have found me landed in NZ. Dad and Trish were at the airport with James to greet me. We all went for some breakfast and then it was time to take off. I'll be catching up with the family next week sometime but for now James and I are on our way down to Napier as it is Chris' wedding tomorrow. I'm really excited to be going as I'll be seeing friends I haven't seen for years so that's cool. James and I have figured we last saw each other 7 years ago. Time just flies. It's great to be back home, seeing all the places I used to go to, and enjoying the beautiful scenery that NZ has to offer, although we have just had lunch in Taupo and now on our way to Napier where the weather has turned and it is now dark clouds and raining. I came over here for summer!!! Something wrong in this whole setup I think. But tonight will be good, catching up with friends and then relaxing before the ceremony tomorrow. I have been worrying myself the last few days on where to go from here after such and amazing journey and adventure that I was lucky enough to be a part of, and also I've been questioning my own ability on the trip and if I did well enough but now that I've arrived in NZ and seen my family and friends I think I'm starting to relax a bit. I guess the solution is to first rest, revive and then think about things, but for the moment, just enjoy the time I have here.