Goodbye to Rome
Ross caught the flu a couple of weeks before leaving - making not only his journey difficult, but increasing the burden on me. Clearing out the house and saying goodbye to friends became mostly my job.
We didn't want to sell our house immediately, or leave it closed and empty, so we decided to rent it out. In Italy, the law is very much on the side of tenants. It was hard to leave the house we'd put so much into in the hands of a young Kosovar couple with very different tastes to us, and to know that we couldn't get it back for four years (the minimum contract in Italy).
Bugnara on my last day with wood fire smoke
I was so busy with working up to the last minute and sorting out all the stuff we'd gathered in the house that I couldn't even think about New Zealand before leaving. I did watch Whalerider one evening - an enjoyable fairytale that helped me to understand a little about Maori culture.
There were a few tears as I hugged my neighbours in the village and drank a last glass of wine with friends. After a month of very cold weather, it seemed to put on a beautiful display of sun on snow for my departure. The landscape looked so perfect as the coach carried me away that I cried unashamedly. It felt like an ending.
Dubai airport - stunning