15 Feb 2017
Early start today, out of the house by 5.30am and at Heathrow by 6.00, thank you for my lift! Found the group of fellow travellers in Costa Coffee on the first floor, and after introductions, and waiting for the poor soul who fell on the escalator and needed medical attention, we were soon checking in. Never had the luxury of two hold bags before, able to spread the load, I can actually lift them!
We had our own ‘Chaperone’ though security, so no real queuing until the checker took exception to my bag of liquids and insisted on scanning it – for explosives?
We were then allowed time to ourselves to find breakfast, shop, or whatever took our fancy. I joined up with a lady called Susan, who it turns out lives not far from us in Rickmansworth. Like me she wasn’t really in the habit of travelling abroad on her own, so we went off together to get a croissant and coffee at the Bridge Café. £8 each seemed a little excessive, but it did the trick.
In no time our flight was called, and the group met up at the gate and boarded. There was then a 45 minute wait for take off, but Heathrow is a very busy airport, the queue of planes was just like the M25….
Checking the films, Bridget Jones Baby looked a good bet, so it was frustrating when the headphones didn’t work. Another set was supplied, but I couldn’t hear anything out of those either. The prospect of over 8 hours with no entertainment was looking a bit bleak, until a helpful stewardess pointed out that I was pushing the jack plug into the wrong hole!
At 10.30 am a meal arrived, was this breakfast or lunch? Choice of chicken curry or pesto pasta, not a great selection and a very rich salted caramel chocolate pot was difficult to finish, but the sauvignon blanc slipped down well!
The plane got colder and colder, and we were shivering under blankets, but I suppose it keeps the bugs down. About one hour out of Nairobi the turbulence started, and didn’t stop. No teas or coffees allowed, and you could see why; I was given a glass of cranberry juice, but couldn’t drink it, every time I picked it up we lurched again. It was a relief to see the lights of Nairobi appear. We were well and truly sprayed with disinfectant before landing, and soon in the arrivals hall, which had a tin shed look about it. Passport control was thorough but swift, and bags efficiently arrived on the carousel as we walked over.
I collected mine and perhaps foolishly decided to swap my SIM cards over in my phone, I have an international one which is cheaper. Just at the critical moment the SIM card slipped out of my hand, and headed for the inside of my bag. After a through rummage, emptying everything out, I eventually found it on the floor underneath the trolley, but was holding everyone up – again!
Onto the bus, where I settled myself in one of the front seats. I was asked to move so that they could get everyone in. I’m not huge, so a bit puzzled, but happily did so. Only when all the seats had been filled did I see that there were more seats that unflapped right across the aisles, so if used, everyone was effectively trapped in. Fortunately there turned out to be more room on the coach sent to take the luggage. I half expected to see it thrown onto the roof as in Peru, but no, neatly stacked inside!
In no time we were at the hotel, allocated rooms, grabbed a snack in the restaurant and off to unpack, with the arrangement to meet up at 9.00 tomorrow morning. Obviously a respite, as for the rest of the week, I gather it is early breakfast and 8.00 am start!