September 19, 2011
Struth! 'Pierless' couple in wrong hemisphere
IN his continuing search for the more weird, wacky and wondrous in the world of travel, David Ellis says a South African couple who decided to make their own internet hotel bookings for the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand should possibly have done it through a travel agent – they got the name of the hotel right, but instead of being in New Zealand's Eastbourne for the WRC kick-off in neighbouring Wellington, it was 19,000km away in the UK's Eastbourne.
Michael and Sunette Adendorff became suspicious when they arrived in Wellington and their rental car's GPS couldn't get them to Royal Parade, Eastbourne.
After driving around in circles they pulled into a local pharmacy and asked employee Linda Burke directions to their hotel. "I told them there was no Royal Parade and no hotel here called the Majestic, but they said they'd been assured it was there – complete with views of the 'famous Eastbourne Pier.' That's when I twigged they'd booked a hotel 19,000km away in the UK."
The sympathetic Ms Burke took the Adendorffs to dinner at a local club, and then gave them a bed in her own home for the night. "The way we were treated by Linda and the locals was much better than a hotel," Michael said later. "Everyone was so friendly, although they did take the ---- out of us!"
And, yes, they did manage to find hotels in the right places for the remainder of their NZ visit.
FOOTNOTE: While the UK's Eastbourne Majestic Hotel initially declined to refund the Adendorffs the AU$270 they'd paid because they "cancelled" too late, it has now decided to give them a full refund – pointing out that not only had the Adendorffs booked in the wrong hemisphere, the hotel had also previously had another South African couple turn up on the right day of the right month… but the wrong year.