Set off from Cornwall at 0700, arrived Thistle Hotel to park car at 1230, jumped an electric driverless pod to Heathrow Terminal 5, checked luggage in, cleared customs, enjoyed a Starbucks, did the mandatory duty free shopping, decided to take the 20 minute walk to boarding gate C66, boarded around 1515 and then settled in for the long flight ahead. As we were finishing the complimentary glass of sparkling wine the plane started taxiing around the airport chugging down towards the runway ready for take off. Our late booking had resulted in having central seats in the World Traveller cabin, no resting head against window this time…
Weather was fine for take off, storm Ciara hadn’t reached London so got off the ground before the wind began to rage. Weather forecast in Durban looked better but still showed a bit of rain for Sunday and Monday the temperatures, however, were in the upper 20s so should dry off quite quickly if we get wet while playing golf.
The plane has been taxiing now for 10 minutes so won’t be long before it reaches the runway. I’ve already tagged all the movies I’d like to watch in favourites so once we’re on our way I can lay back, relax and gorge on miniature tv. First up on my list, Downtown Abbey.
The plane has finished taxiing, turned and come to a standstill, the engines began to roar, the plane shook slightly and then sped down the runway, the front lifted steeply from the runway as the plane became airborne soaring upwards and southwards towards Durban. The setting autumn sun was low in the sky adding a warm glow to the land below. There was a clunk as the wheels tucked into the hold, much like a deckchair folding in on itself. We were definitely on our way, the holiday has started.
Normally long haul flights are fairly boring, passengers are tasked with entertaining themselves for the duration of the flight and trying to grab a bit of shut eye along the way. They follow a pattern, watch a film or 2, read a book, do a puzzle, eat food then try and get some sleep. Having paid extra for Premium Economy with BA one of the bonuses is you have bigger seats, more leg room and greater incline. Well this only becomes a problem when the person sat behind you decides ‘HE’ doesn’t want you to recline your seat and gets the air hostess to tell you to put your seat back up. What to do? Talk to head of cabin crew who will then allow you to recline seat!!! However, I wasn’t the only person ‘HE’ had a go at, ‘HE’ complained about his food, was very rude to the air crew and in the end the Captain had to come back and speak to him. ‘HE’ was politely told by the Captain he could be prosecuted for aggressive behaviour and not allowed to get his return flight. Not sure ‘HE’ will be flying BA again. To top it all ‘HE’ was wearing a golf jumper with Trevose on it!!!
At 0530 we touched down in Durban, went through customs with no issues, although they were doing bioscans on everyone entering the country and all customs officers wore face masks. It seems there’s no escaping countries fears re the ‘Coroavian virus’. All went well getting the hire car and big bonus was that if you are a frequent traveller with BA Budget cars give you a second driver for free. I knew there’d be a bonus for flying BA somewhere.
Car sorted it was still only 0630, so headed back to outdoor cafe in airport for early morning iced coffee. It must be noted Roger doesn’t like cream, but he told me this cream on his coffee wasn’t like cream, so he could eat it