Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Travelling home

The journey home started at 7 pm on Saturday as we waited for our taxi, precook end and paid for through Severin. In true African apfashion it did not arrive and I had to ask Reception to check up, even though we had confirmed the time on the previous day!  However, I was not too concerned as we were not leaving Mombasa airport till 10.25.
The journey gave us a final view of African driving! The first part of the journey was extremely busy, with locals leaving thePirates beach  area in their droves. What is normally a single carriageway of traffic became, in places, five lanes of traffic as matatus, tuktuks, lorises, bodabodas, taxis, school buses and a few private cars jostling for position, undertaking and overtaking. Once we passed this, however, the roads were much emptier and driving less frantic. We arrived in good time and got straight through to the waiting area.
Here, we were very glad we had shared a plate of Severin's fabulous chips before leaving, as the safe seemed to have little other than chocolate and drinks. The sweet chop yielded us a bag of crisps, another of nuts and bottles of water and these lasted us till boarding time.
Arriving at Nairobi's Jomo Kenyatta airport at 11.25, we negotiated our way to the international terminal - where everything was closed and there were no seats. Our flight was scheduled for 5am and we were told the desks would open at 2am, so we settled down on our cases to wait. While we could possibly have found a food outlet open in another part of the airport, we would have had to go through the security at the entry to this part of the terminal again, and we decided not to. fortunately the checkin desks opened early. However, on reaching the desk I was told I could not take my elephant picture as hand luggage, so had to take it to be shrink wrapped so it could go as baggage luggage. This was very efficiently done - but virtually doubled the price of the paintings!
Inside the departures area there were a few shops open, but tyby this time we were both too tired to be hungry! We did find chairs opposite our scheduled departure gate and sat and read there. Inside the gate, having had to discard our remaining water, we doppfiund there was no way to buy any more. This was frustrating as we (along with other passengers) were by now thirsty.
The plane to Istanbul was late departing, but we had the usual good service from the Turkish Airlines staff. The food was good. The blinds were closed to allow people to sleep - something I did not manage to do at all. I was puzzled that the blinds were closed and lighting low for the entire flight, given that we arrived at Istanbul at 11.20. The late arrival also made the transfer between gates a real rush. Istanbul airport is huge and our gate was at some distance from our arrival venue. We also had  o go through a full security clearance between planes, which took some time. Ours was not quite the last bus transfer to the plane, but the plane was nearly full by the time we got on.
The last leg of the flight went smoothly and I did manage to grab about half an hour of light sleep during it. We were both grateful that this was shorter than the previous leg of the journey. We also made good time, arriving at Heathrow 40 minutes ahead of the scheduled time. It was great to see Will waiting at the arrivals gate for us, and we chatted through a fairly easy journey home. A shower, a walk with Duke (who gave me an ecstatic greeting when I arrived but blotted his copybook by slipping his collar, running off and not coming back when called), a cider and an early night were the priorities, and I slept the clock around!

No comments:

Post a Comment