July 8 2020
Our ambulance is on the way to Samoa. Driver Darryl and navigator Rick took the Samoa bound ambulance on the first leg of its trip to Apia. What was expected to be an uneventful and well-planned drive through to Auckland on Thursday turned out to be a series of small challenges.
Leaving Wellington at 6 am! all was going really well making Taihape in a little over 2.5 hours. Then  the fun began. The central plateau was snowed in. Firstly the Dessert Road closed for an undetermined period of time, then the alternate routes were closed due to a truck roll and then a car accident which resulted in a 3.5 hour wait in a long queue.
Being in an ambulance did have its advantages and Darryl promoted us from the back of the queue to 3 from front, one kind gent ( an ex Rotarian of course) offered the use of his facilities for whoever we were driving in the back and a few kids got a burst of flashing lights.
A little before midday we got the go signal and took off via National Park. While our 4.30 deadline to make Auckland was not a goer and our return air booking of 6.55 was looking shaky we pressed on.
Apart from the navigators phone and google maps dying on us 5 minutes from our destination in fading light, road works and peak hour at Auckland airport we got there. Andrea, our contact at the shipping agent in Auckland came to our assistance happily staying at work to open up the yard for us and then dropping us at the airport in time to make our welcoming return flight to Wellington. 
Mission accomplished ! We made it, in large part to the well wishes of the club as we could feel the vibe with us and importantly the large quantity of food, biscuits, lollies etc  in the goody bags  presented to us last Wednesday. Thank you again as this sustained us along the way.
Next stop for the ambulance is Apia via voyage no 477 on the Southern Trader arriving 25 July .