The plan for today was drive to Christchurch for an afternoon flight home. The Bravo would be staying with a friend until I returned for the next leg.
The problem was I woke up with a scratchy throat. Was listening to National Radio while I drove, and they said if vaccinated and boosted (as I was) with Omicron it could be the only symptom. One of my problems with COVID is, thanks to sinus and allergies, have had half the symptoms most of my life!
As would be around some immune compromised people, both in Christchurch and at home, decided to err towards caution and stopped at the Airport testing station. Although have not been to any locations of interest or close contacts there were some omicron cases in the region I've been in.
NZ was still only doing lab PCR testing via official test centres, not RAT self-tests. There was no queue at the centre, they did the test and advised me could not fly (as I knew) until got the result. That would be some time the next day, hopefully. I couldn't go to my friends, so rang the COVID Healthline for advice.
They answered quickly and said I could stay in a motel, but not to use any shared facilities (laundry etc) until got the result, if positive it would become my isolation room. Found one near the airport, contactless check-in and I already had enough food (breakfast stuff and ride snacks) to get through the night.
Was able to change my flight through the Air NZ app, glad as it was a long weekend (Waitangi) and feared their call centre would be busy. It cost a bit but gambled on getting a clear result before early evening on Sunday as Monday flights were awfully expensive.
Had a quiet night watching Netflix, awoke to the sound of a text at 7:00am.
Kia ora ROBIN,your COVID test 05 Feb was Negative.
I suspect it was a dose of HSFWP: Hanmer Springs Forest Walk Pollen...
Saw the Christchurch Cathedral rebuild finally getting underway before heading to the airport.
Nice to be here, the airport was strangely quiet with mostly only a few domestic flights. You had to be masked in the terminal and inflight. No meals or drinks were being served, fine for a one-hour flight.
Last few boarding before we pushback.
Low cloud meant only a short view of Canterbury Plains.
We had to pop through a cloud layer, that storm again, to the perma-sun.
Got a look at Port Waikato from above, where this adventure started.
On final approach, sea blends into sky.
Mostly only domestic flights in Auckland. Home for about a week, before the next South Island leg.