Tuesday, 24 November 2015

The journey back

After an tiring 24 hours, I'm home. Can't say I'm thrilled as there I was yesterday, before leaving for Port Elizabeth airport, sunning myself one last time in Tracy's garden. I arrived home to 7 degrees (and bleeping freezing it feels too) as I watch my tan fade by the second.

My last few days in PE were great, though we had a strange one on Saturday when temperatures plummeted to 14 degrees and the wind picked up and it rained. We were so cold we even put a log fire on that evening, but not before going to Kragga Kamma game park (more on this in another post) and then a bonsai exhibition. We even braved it to a giant shopping mall (not one of either my nor Tracy's favourite things to do) and picked up a cozzie at a very reasonable price all ready for my next adventures to hot climes, which will be Thailand next year.

Sunday saw the weather back to normal and we went off to Addo Elephant National Park. If you've never been to it I really suggest you make an effort to go if you're in that neck of the woods as it's a fab place for ele spotting. We saw loads, but again, that will all be covered in another post, once I've got the photos from my camera and I have the energy to write about it all on here.

So, yesterday Tracy took me to the airport after dropping her pooch at the parlour for a short, back and sides. He wasn't at all thrilled at the prospect and had to be carried in as he was determined he wouldn't go in under his own steam.

Tracy and I sat at the airport and had a last snack together and then it was time for off. Leaving PE behind was sad as I've had such a fab time. It took just over an hour and there we were landing in Cape Town. I then had to wait 2.5 hours for the check-in to open.

Once at check-in I discovered they'd given my seat to someone else and there was no room in the quiet of upstairs, so I got a window seat in the business class section downstairs. I wasn't thrilled as I was looking forward to the peace and quiet of the upstairs section, but hey ho. I then spent the rest of my time waiting for the flight to be called in the British Airways Lounge and very comfy it was too.

Eventually the flight was called and as I got on board I was immediately attacked by a woman who asked if I'd change seats with her as I was sitting adjacent (but with a screen between us) to her husband. I declined as she was in the through traffic area and could actually talk to him better where she was and I was looking forward to hiding myself behind my screen. Every time I got up to walk about or go to the loo she stared daggers at me. I noticed she never bothered to ask the person the other side of her to change with her husband. Anyway, once ensconced in my seat, behind my screen, it was like being in my own little world and the flight passed well enough. I even managed a reasonable night's sleep and the flight crew took a liking to me and kept coming to ask if I needed anything.

There was one slight moment of frisson though as when we were about to take off we did a turnaround and headed back to the stand as the plane had some kind of fault. Not the best way to start a long haul flight! Also, as time was tight to getting my connecting flight from Heathrow to Edinburgh, I was a touch concerned we'd be late, but after 20 minutes or so we did go and we made up time in the air. However, I had less than an hour to get off the plane, get on over to Terminal 5 (we landed at Terminal 3) and get through passport control, security and get to my plane. The woman who stared daggers at me wasn't at all pleased as the staff insisted that I (and another couple of people who also had flights to get) were let off the plane first.

I did make my flight, but with one minute to spare. It was not the way I like to travel and I hope I don't have to do that again in a hurry. I did, however, have a bus all to myself as the woman driver sped off to get me to Terminal 5 without waiting for anyone else! But the queues at passport control and security were a nightmare and in the end those of us on the flight to Edinburgh were rushed through a special channel.

And then, in just over an hour, I landed at Edinburgh. Luckily my trusty 'Beast' was 4th off the carousel and so by just after 8 am this morning I was on the bus heading into town to pick up my car and dump some goodies for the Sons.

I've bought food, so I shan't go hungry and tomorrow I pick up Vespa, which I'm looking forward to immensely. So now it's time to put my feet up before getting a hot shower and an early night. I'm exhausted!

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