Today I was wide awake by 0500 but stayed in bed until about 0700. I finished packing and then went across for breakfast. I had croissant with scrambled eggs and bacon and orange juice. I used the internet for a while and then about 0930 I decided to head for the airport. My flight wasn’t until 1335 but I wasn’t going to do anything productive in the hotel so I decided to go and wait in the airport instead. My visa expires tomorrow, the same day I fly out and I didn’t want to chance missing flights or anything.
I filled the car up with fuel on the way and then headed to the Avis part of the airport to return the car. This was really well organised and stress free. From there I went into the airport and had a mango smoothie. I checked in my bags (something I found very amusing was that unlike in the UK where you’re not allowed to take trolleys on the escalators, here they have instructions tellling you how to do it – I love Africa), went through security and waited for my flight to board. I somehow ended up being priority boarding which was quite fun. The flight was very uneventful, I just read some of my book.
We landed in Johannesburg and then began the ten hour wait until the next flight. I had already booked my flights from Johannesburg home before deciding to go to Cape Town on holiday! I went for a very slow walk around the airport, looking at all the restaurants even though I knew I was going to eat at Spur. I got my bags wrapped in clingfilm, there was a huge queue so that took up some time. I then wandered around to Spur and had a Bar One milkshake, chicken schnitzel with cheese sauce and sweet potato fries. Both were really yummy.
I sat there for quite a while, I had a Windhoek and did some university work. I finally left there, went for another slow walk around and then went and sat in Byte for a while. I had a passion fruit crush smoothie and then a Black Label. I sat reading for a while and then went to see if there was a check in desk up yet. There was, so I checked in my bags, went through security and sat down by the gate. I read for a while and tried not to fall asleep. We boarded and then set off pretty much on time.
I tried to sleep but I was in a middle seat and just couldn’t get comfortable. I think I snoozed for a while but not too long.
We landed in Nairobi and I had a cinnamon bun for breakfast and bought some water too. I paid about a €5 bill with a €50 note (it was all I had and their card machine wasn’t working), but told the lady I didn’t want my change in Kenyan shillings. She gave me my change in a mix of Euros and Dollars. I went through security and even had my bag hand searched, found my gate and then relaxed for about an hour. We boarded the plane (the staff were insistent on boarding certain rows at a time, I was near the back of the plane, so one of the first to board, so I was able to pass all the people who had been queuing for ages! We boarded and took off pretty much on time.
We had breakfast, eggs, spinach and hash brown, a bread roll and vanilla yoghurt and water. I then watched ‘Dunkirk’ which was really good. I napped for a bit and then watched ‘The Wizard Of Oz’ which is still as good as it’s always been of course. For some reason for the whole flight you could see the ground, flying over the desert was so cool, it literally went on for hours!
I napped again and then watched ‘Elf’ just in case I needed help getting into the Christmas spirit. I read for a while and then it was time for lunch. There was a choice of beef or chicken noodle, but by the time it got to me it was just beef! I ate the noodle part. There was also a bread roll and a piece of cake. I had some more orange juice too. I napped for a bit longer and then it was time to land. I went through security, as always my passport didn’t work on the electronic gates, I found my bags and then went to meet my parents. Well, some crazy people anyway!
We drove home and I unpacked my bags, and considerably added to the washing pile!
We had macaroni cheese with salad for dinner, followed by baked Alaska, it was so yummy! I opened some birthday cards and presents and opened all of our Christmas cards. I then went to bed, shattered but happy to be home.
I honestly can’t believe almost a whole year has gone by, it seems like it started yesterday but at the same time it seems like such a long time ago that I landed in Johannesburg. So much has happened in one year. I had the most incredible six months at Bushwise. I learnt such a huge amount, about the bush, it’s animals, birds, plants, tracking, so many topics. I have learnt so much about photography, not formally, but just through taking photos nearly every day, I can really see how much my photos now have improved since the beginning of the year. I have learnt so much about myself, I’ve done things I never thought I could do and surprised myself in so many ways. I’ve made so many new friends, some that I think I will stay in contact with forever, which is lovely and met so many interesting people, be it people on the course, guests that stayed at Thula Thula or just random people that you talk to being a solo traveller.
There’s so many things I will miss, the people, the food, the African time, African driving, the animals, the sporadic power cuts that no one bats an eyelid at, so many things.