Thursday, November 02, 2006

The Real Adventure Begins!

Day 14
Two weeks have passed, and work is a distant memory! I'm writing this in the First Class lounge at Cairo Airport, as thankfully they have free wifi internet. Apologies for all the previous posts being draftes for so long, I haven't really had much net access for the past week or so, will start sorting them all out now.

Up at 4:30 this morning, showered. Haven't shaved for a few days for the authentic Arabic look! Packed and out at about 5:10am. I seem to always have difficulty with this daypack, as the neck is really narrow, so when flying when I'm only allowed to have one item of handluggage, it's a nightmare to stuff my Samsonite camera case into it. Grrr! BAA! Anyway, am definitely contemplating getting rid of this pack, as it doesn't serve its purpose particularly well. Its only saving grace is that it will squash up and disappear into my main pack when required, so maybe I will grant a stay of execution temporarily.

Anyway, wandered out to the main roundabout in front of the Sheraton, and a big of haggling got me a taxi for 40E£ to the airport. Arrived in good time only to find security not open yet, but about 15mins later we're moving. Now, as you don't know because I haven't written yesterday's entry yet, I'm only confirmed in economy for this flight, then first to Buenos Aires. Still, I'm going to go to the First check-in counter and see what happens.

Wander over, and there's a pretty girl behind the desk. She's impressed with the stack of tickets, and considers me a First passenger even though I am only in economy for now. What can I say, I'm a First Class kinda guy ;) Anyway, she's given me a boarding pass for economy, but First lounge pass, and is going to do everything she can to get me up. I don't know how likely it is, but I guess if the upper cabins are full it must be fairly unlikely for someone to no-show? We shall see. She's put me in an exit row and "Inshallah" (God-willing) will be bump me up. Very kind. If not, it won't be a total disaster, as the flight is only 5 hours. To be honest, I'm more concerned about missing out on the air miles and points. I think I will hit BA Silver if I get the points for today, which is a very useful thing.

More updates later, as I need to get drinking my camel back! No liquids on board! Presumably airports like this, where security is at the gate, have an issue with this no-liquids thing. In the UK you can buy things after security.. not here. Grrr BAA!

It's so strange to think that tonight I'll be on my way to South America...

So I sat in the First Class lounge hoping the girl would come through on her upgrade promise, at least to Club. No such luck. When we went through security before the gate, she was there, so I said hi, and said I presumed she had no luck with an upgrade. Oh no, she says, they upped me! Hurrah! Seat 17K? (Not sure about the letter). Marvellous!! So I board, a happy boy, assuming Club. Erm… these don't look like the Club couchettes! It's World Traveller Plus, BA's Economy Plus, where you get most of the economy service with your own toilets and a slightly bigger sit. Ah well, I'll just have to tolerate it. In terms of flight it's fine, I'm just worried about missing out on points! We arrive at Heathrow on time, then spend **half an hour** faffing about waiting for gate. This seems to be the norm rather than the exception with BA, which is getting really annoying. Actually not BA, more Heathrow. For some reason we always seem to need to cross the runway, which takes ages. Why?

In to town briefly, and shock surprise, I bump into Supi in Queensway station! I didn't even know she was in the UK, and I was only around for a couple of hours! So funny! Anyway, we chatted briefly, then I headed off through Kensington Gardens for tea at Candy Tea Rooms. The colours and beautiful weather doubly reinforced my view that it's fantastic to travel and see the world, but dear old England is the country to which I love to come home :)

Back to Heathrow, via BAA's incompetent "Fast" track. I have my laptop in a plastic carrier bag, as they ask you to take it out for scanning. "Oh no Sir, you'll have to remove it from the bag". "It's a plastic carrier bag". There's no point in arguing.. Just bend over and supply the vaseline. Only small consolation is the knowledge that according to Mei, they won't be getting their full bonuses this year. Good, they deserve to have their pay docked. Into lounge, only to find massages booked up. Ant, of Ant and Dec is in the lounge. I play it cool, pretend not to notice him, but secretly am excited. I've been in the pub with them before, down in Hammersmith with Adrian and Robin. He's actually a very down-to-earth bloke.

Boarded fairly early, could be to do with the twenty minute walk to gate 24, which must be one of the furthest gates T4 has to offer. BA pyjamas on. It's nice when everyone is dressed in them, like a little uniform! They're dark blue, have First written over one breast, and are very comfy. Laptop battery almost flat, and as I have most of my Egypt entries still to write (it's getting boring updating this blog, I hope you lot appreciate it!!), I am contemplating buying one of those in-flight power things. Considerations are 1. is it heavy? Am definitely against making my pack any heavier. 2. Does it work on any other airlines apart from BA? Erm, that's about it. I ask the stewardess and hurrah, she will lend me one! What a nice young lady! So I'm powered and scribbling for the whole journey. Just need to find internet somewhere on arrival to upload all this stuff. And an easier way of uploading photos, it's way to tedious at the moment, hence hardly any pics!

Dinner was nice, had onion soup (like M&S.. Not just onion soup, but Roast Onion Soup with Cornish Yarg cheese croutons!) then Richard Corrigan's Roasted Chicken with stuffed ravioli. Have noticed that famous chef names have started to crop up on the BA menus. And why not? Met Richard Corrigan before at Bentley's. Big chap! Wine, started with a Pomerol, but decided it was a bit too rich and full-bodied, so switched to an Argentian Shiraz, also relevant to where I'm flying, eh?

And then to sleep. Flatten bed, pull out duvet and big pillow. Lights off, eye cover thing on. It's quite warm. The difference between First and Club beds is that the club ones are slighly lumpy and more narrow and shorter. First beds are the way forward. Plus in First you've got more space (at least on the window seats) to put all your tat, which I always have plenty of! No movies interest me, which is good as I'm so tired anyway, it's been a long and emotive day (long story).

Good night...

1 comment:

pine-cones said...

wieeah! enjoying the tales of adventure so far. i wonder if there's a google maps mash-up that would show your progress as you go along?

keep it coming. liked the picture of the hut!