Napier provides fitting finale
After problems with the harsh New Zealand sun in Hamilton, it was problems of a more logistical, and unfortunately, increasingly common nature which left a lot of English fans stumped in Napier.
The city positively groaned under the influx of fans in town for reasons as diverse as a Jack Johnson gig, hordes of Kiwi families enjoying the last sun of the summer and, believe or not, the local apple picking season!
When you throw a few thousand England cricket fans into the mix, it's easy to see why there's not been a bed, from backpackers hostels to five-star hotels, to be had for the last week.
The local press described it as a 'perfect storm' in terms of visitor log-jam and it meant some supporters were stopping way, way out of town and driving around 25 kilometres each way every day to watch the Test match.
The 'No Vacancy' signs were out in force all over town, with the backpackers hostel where I pitched my trusty tent reckoning they could have booked the place out five-times over.
Long gone are the days when you could rock into town a couple of days before a Test and get yourself a bed for the week. Now it needs serious long-term planning and some fans booked their dorm beds in some of Napier's cheapest hostels way back in July last year.
But whilst finding a bed was tough for some, everything else - just about - went exactly according to plan.
For the third Test in a row the Barmy Army was able to position itself en-masse on yet another superb grassy bank to cheer England on. Admittedly the fantastic weather that has accompanied this tour has helped, but there's nothing better than watching a day's Test cricket sitting or laying on the bank and it's also perfect for sleeping off the excesses of the night before.
With New Zealand nine wickets down at lunch on the final day, the match and the series looked done and dusted but when you're watching England you never take anything for granted. Even so, with a 19-year-old debutant batting at number 10 and possibly the world's worst batsman at 11, it's fair to say the majority of England fans spent lunchtime making their plans for the rest of the day.
Of course, it wasn't that simple and although Tim Southee and Chris Martin's partnership never quite reached the nerve-jangling levels of Astle-Morrison (Auckland 1997) or Astle-Cairns (Christchurch 2002), Southee's whirlwind half century did give England fans just the odd 'What if?' moment.
In fact, it's been a whirlwind kind of tour thanks to the short interludes between the Tests and the fact that all three games lasted the full five days.
Busy grounds, tight games and atmospheric surroundings have fully justified the decision to choose 'boutique venues' for this series, and, after winning our first away series since South Africa three years ago, I doubt you'll find many England fans who disagree.