This trip was exciting! Not only were we about to go train the largest group of facilitators yet, we were also there for the very first course for our new Australia Instructor, Jane Hemingway-Mohr! But before we even got to Australia, we figured that since we were going so so so very far, we should probably stop over in New Zealand!
Karsyn and her husband had gone to Mount Maunganui before and told us it was the cat’s meow, so thats where we headed!! And they were right! After a LONG day of flying and wrapping our heads around the fact that we had just lost an entire day because of the time difference, we headed to our hotel. It wasn’t quite ready yet, but they were kind enough to offer us the pool so we could take a dip and wake up a little. As it turns out, we don’t really know what to do in a pool just the two of us… We dove in (or gently stepped in to avoid shock), commented on how great it felt, and Kari then looked at Carolyn and said “Now what do we do in here.” “Beats me.” Carolyn replied… so after 4 minutes of trading water, we decided we better get out and check if the room is ready. Alas, it was not, so we headed down the road to go get some coffee and see what this place was all about. Turns out that Karsyn and Ben were totally right! What a GORGEOUS place! The beach, the waves, the mountain, the surfers - all amazing!
We asked Karsyn and Ben what we should be doing in Mount Maunganui and they came back with some ideas for us, climb this, walk that, exercise…. it’s like they don’t know us at all. Generally we are not the kind of people who climb or run on purpose. However, we didn’t realize how much walking we would be doing on this little trip. The main strip of stores and restaurants was only about a km down the road, and an easy walk, however we probably walked that at least 8 times a day… getting in way more “exercise” than we had initially planned. We had told Karsyn and Ben to let us know of things to do that were not difficult, time consuming or over a 2 degree incline. They told us of a pizza place that we never found and a coffee place that we did find, but could only go to once because we only had $10 in cash. We had asked them also to send us pictures of the things they did with them in it… turns out that they suck at taking pictures and send us a bunch of pictures with their faces photoshopped in. So we thought we should show them how it is done… the pictures are fantastic! While walking down to another pier, Kari started to mention “Maybe we should start joggin—“ as Carolyn tripped over absolutely nothing on the ground. “Ok, we won't start jogging.”
We thought we needed a little excitement in Mount Maunganui so we found the V8 Trike tours. At first we thought the beach tour would work for us, but only the highway tour was left. Thanks goodness! Man those babies go FAST! We giggled and laughed the whole way through, not only because of the fun of it all, but also the hairstyles that were created! A total blast!
After the adrenaline boost, we ran (yes, ran, try not to faint) over to the pier to take the fairy out on the water. We thought we could relax see some sites, have a drink! Sounds like fun.. well we went from HIGH to low very quickly. Not quite the party cruise we were expecting. But we had a bag of chips and a drink and stayed awake for the rest of the boat ride.
The next morning, after one last walk on the beach, we caught a cab back to the airport to head to Auckland before getting to Sydney to be able to Sydney that night to meet up with Jane and the horses before we got to our hotel. This is not really how things worked out. Our 40 min flight to Auckland turned into an 8 hour rollercoaster of emotions.
So we got on our scheduled flight. There we sat, ready for our next adventure! And we continued to sit there for about 40 min. At one point Kari looked at Carolyn and said “It is so amazing, in a car, if there was a light or something that came on, we would still probably just drive it and continue on for a bit. But a plane, they have to stop and figure out exactly what is going on and no flying with an engine light!” Well not even two minutes after this statement, the pilot came over the intercom letting us know that there is a problem with the plane that the engineers will need to take a look at and see if we can even fly!
So off we went, met a lovely woman who we could chat with for a little while while we awaited our fate. We were told about 45 min later that this plane could not take off, and that there was a shuttle to Auckland we could take. So we have now officially missed our flight to Sydney. But wait! They have found a new plane! Woohoo! So on the new plane we went. And we sat. And sat. About half an hour passed before the pilot came back on the intercom.
“Well ladies and gentlemen. This is unprecedented. On the first plane, there was a significant issue with engine one. On this plane, we cannot get engine two to start up. Unfortunately we will have to ask everyone to also exit this plane, and we will have the engineers looking into it. I am so sorry folks… I have never seen this happen before. We have two planes that flew in here, and both are currently grounded.”
So back into the terminal we went. It wasn’t too long of a wait before we were told that the plane is not working. There is no more planes. The shuttle is our only option. We looked into our next flight (which was also the LAST flight) to Sydney that night. Which would be very close. Now remember, the course was starting at 7:30 am the next morning. We HAD to make that flight!
On to the cramped little bus we went! And basically sat there and panicked while we crept through the horrific traffic. We got to the airport ten minutes before the flight was supposed to leave. The first people we spoke to basically told us we were hooped, but we found one LOVELY woman who took us under her wing, saw that the plane was delayed and RAN us through the entire airport. We made the flight to Sydney and off we went!