Day 14-FreedomOctober 10, 2020 in New Zealand ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C
The day started the same. Walk around the hotel entrance, breakfast, then work. We were watching the countdown timer until our release at 5.34pm.
No exercise today but we both went outside for meetings while we walked.
A couple of days back I watched as the defence guys would go across the road to the 24hr shop to buy cigarettes for the inmates and it gave me an idea. It's our wedding anniversary and in the rush to plan this escape we both forgot that we would be locked down on the big day. So I asked if one of the guys could buy me an anniversary card. The airforce guy said he would ask if anyone was available. What he really meant was that he had no taste and would rather ask one of his female counterparts to choose a card. When I asked her she said there was no way she would get a quality card from the 24hr shop so she opened a plastic bag for me to drop my credit card in (no contact alowed) and 20 minutes later came back with a tasteful card. Such a lovely thing to do for us. That is yet another example of how well we have been looked after. A lot of the officials knew all about our anniversary by the time I had my hands on the card. After smuggling it back to our room it was ready for the big day.
Packed the bags and discovered we had a lot of stuff. We are still at our weight limit for our flights on Sunday but we will trim. Final health check and signed release forms. All good so far. After moving the furniture back to its original placing we managed to wait til 5.30pm then said goodbye to our luxury suite to sign out.
There was quite a queue at the lobby but we waited patiently for our turn to check out. We have been waiting to do this for 2 weeks so another few minutes won't hurt. Received our golden ticket to let us through the gate. The police lady wishes us both a happy anniversary. Yet another personal touch from the officials. All good and the gate opens for us while other inmates look on. Freedom. A really strange feeling to look at those fences from the other side.
We moved about 200 metres to our new hotel wheeling our luggage, checked in, then back to grab our bike box with more stuff to take to Christchurch .
Out for a lovely meal with friends at a bustling restaurant . No masks, no social distancing, no cold food and Julie wearing lipstick for the first time in 5 months. A few wines and great company. Initially it all felt strange after 7 months of restrictions but the wine relaxed us nicely. Hopefully Melbourne will get back to this normality soon.Read more