Thursday 5 March 2015

Three easy steps

This is how my long journey started yesterday: Step 1 of three taking me from Waiheke to Perth in Western Australia. It was the loveliest bit, skimming across a flat blue harbour, sitting outside in the fresh air.
Then there was almost an hour on the Airport Express bus, less lovely, but serviceable. And finally, Step 3, my first ride on Air NZ's (or anybody's) Dreamliner.
This was a bit of a connection in itself, having been to the Boeing factory north of Seattle about 4 years ago where a 'Welcome Air NZ' banner was hanging in the café and they were promising delivery the following year. Well, that didn't happen.

But it's here now, just, and how is it? Very new, obviously, and sort of stark inside, the black and grey slightly softened by the changing roof lights. The seats (in Economy, sigh) were narrow, not soft, and were pretty short on legroom. But the window was big! And fun to play with the button that makes it become obscure - so you can still see through it to check for interesting things while its dimmed for TV viewing.
The entertainment system works very well - genuine touch-screen with no need for that irritating finger-stabbing that's such a drag to have your head on the other side of. I was a bit alarmed to find myself asked to pay $10 for movies, but then the system realised I was a The Works passenger and all was well.

So the 7 or so hours flew (ha!) by - 3 movies, a late lunch, an afternoon tea of scones and jam, a brief zizz and we were there, dropping down over bare brown land patterned with round salt lakes, then bush, then the Swan River and that cute little cluster of skyscrapers, and I'd arrived.
Power through, no baggage claim as I only had a carry-on, white London taxi to Cottesloe, and here I am. Sculptures all along the seafront, orange sun slipping down out of a cloudless sky, hundreds of roosting lorikeets making an almighty racket in the trees, and a glass of Champagne with a NZ artist whose work I'd voted for a couple of weeks ago for the People's Favourite at the Waiheke Sculpture on the Gulf exhibition.

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