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Published: March 7th 2020
Up early, ate my breakfast egg sandwich and drank my orange juice as I threw my night clothes into my case. My leg felt itchy so I shook out my trousers and a hairy caterpillar fell out! Just what I needed! I put some antihistamine cream on my leg hoping it wasn’t anything too nasty and headed down to reception to meet my driver at 5:30am. The early start was to ensure we didn’t get stuck in the rush hour traffic that starts from about 6am. Chatting to my driver it turned out he had grown up in one of the large slums in Nairobi and had come through Moving Mountain’s scheme and now works for Adventure Alternative.
There were three security checks to get through at the airport, one at the gate where I had to get out the car and walk through a scanner, one at the entrance and the usual one on the way to the gates. I bought myself some water and a nice orange, red and black shuka (it was that or some of the beautiful beaded sandals!)
I got through a lot of my book whilst waiting for my flight and ate my
breakfast apple. My flight took off more or less on time and we had excellent views of the rift valley and other areas as we flew north. I got chatting to the chap behind me who had lived in Africa for around 20 years and he pointed out some features to me, including the hills along the Kenya-Uganda border. As we flew north heading up towards and over Sudan the area below looked drier and drier. We crossed the Nile a couple of times, a band of blue and green through the desert. Once was above the Aswan dam and there was no green edge to the river, just yellow desert into blue water. It got a bit cloudier so I got more into my film and missed us crossing the Egyptian coast but saw as we reached Greece then flew up the Adriatic coast. I tried to see if I could identify any of the Croatian coast we visited last year but it was hard to recognise from so high up! We continued over the Austrian Alps and across mainland Europe it got cloudier again. I watched X-Men: Dark Phoenix, Live Die Repeat and Godzilla: King of the Monsters
(I’ve not seen Godzilla, but quite frankly it wasn’t hard to catch up!). There was a bot of an issue when I asked for a veggie breakfast & they said they didn’t have me down for a species meal, but managed to get me a vegan breakfast. At lunchtime though they did have a veggie meal with my name and seat number on so obviously they had got my request!
On arrival at Heathrow (3:50pm –20min late) I got through passport control quickly but then took ages for my bag to come. As we were at T4 I couldn’t get on the RailAir bus directly, I had to take a local (free) bus to T5 then wait ages for the RailAir bus, though not as long as some others who had been there about an hour! Two hours after I landed I was finally on my way to Reading – the driver apologised, there had been an accident on the airport approach road apparently. The drive to Reading wasn’t too bad, Mark met me just after the bus arrived & drove us home. I was worried the ferrets would have forgotten me but I got such a loving welcome
from them when they came out of the cage!
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