Nelson, Auckland, London – coming ready or not

Active over 60, Waka Ama

Nelson to Auckland

Well it was certainly an eventful evening last night. Four of my crew decided to travel to Auckland on Monday so we could have a great nights sleep and a relaxed start to the day of of flight to London. Yeah Right!

I was unpacking my paddle bag to get my sarong to wear to bed and a giant cockroach fell out. Oh! Why did I keep it beside the wood box! Barb was up on the bed in an instant, feet off the ground. Fortunately it went into the bathroom and I was able to use my tried and trusted method of boiling water to dispatch it. However, it didn’t work so quite so well as normal as it was still kicking when Gaylene (bless her) scooped it up and flushed it away. (I am so sorry to my Buddhist readers – I am just not a fan of cockroaches.

We all settled down for a good nights sleep in really comfy beds. At 1:00am we were rudely awakened by fire warning sirens and someone urging us to evacuate through the nearest fire exit. I was very reluctant to leave my bed. However, the noise was ear piercing, even with earplugs in, and you don’t really have a choice. We grabbed our backpacks, our newly acquired tickets and uniforms and found our way outside. There was one firetruck. Turns out someone (they wouldn’t tell us who) was smoking in their room and set off the alarm. We were not impressed.

Damn we missed the firemen! Note the only PJs there are Francie’s.
This morning waiting outside the hotel for the yellow transfer bus; Barb Rudd, Francie Piacun, Jan Blythe, Gaylene Sciascia

Travelling as a ‘contingent’

I am so enjoying travelling in a big contingent. Going to Tahiti I travelled with just my crew. This time we are travelling with 7 crews, management/admin people and supporters. It really makes a big difference. There is a real whānau feeling around the group.

We flew Emirates to London, stopping off in Kuala Lumpur (1.5hours without getting off) then Dubai with a 3 hour wait and on to London. I am really grateful for the tip about doubling my vitamin C as it was 30 hours travelling with lots of time at Auckland and Heathrow just sorting logistics, waiting for luggage and all the organisation required when travelling in a big group.

We are staying at the Moxy Hotel in Slough. The hotel is also home to the Aotearoa Elite mens’ crew so the hotel has kind of been overrun by Kiwis. Barb’s son was waiting for us when the bus pulled up across the road from the hotel. He’s been living here for 20 years. He said he could tell we were kiwis, we just picked up suitcases and wheeled them straight across the road to the hotel in amongst the traffic. I just gave the drivers a big grin and did my usual “I’m from Nelson – that’s just what we do:)” Apparently it’s not done here.


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    Jan Blythe

    Kia ora Yvonne
    You could do this too. I am off to Hilo, Hawai’i this year for the World Sprints with a local crew all from Nelson. It’s such a great thing to finally have a crew all in one place and not be travelling to Auckland for trainings! It’s very exciting.
    Do you already paddle? It’s such a great sport.
    Good luck
    Cheers Jan

  • You girls rock! I would love to be doing this!

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