Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Port Elizabeth

It's been a week since we got onto the plane to head home. For the first time since we returned, I slept past 4:30 AM. I even spent much of the day doing tedious paperwork for my job, the first time I trusted myself to balance their bank statement. Haven't tackled our household account yet!

Wednesday, 11/21

Departing Zimbabwe is a lot easier than entering. No more departure tax (at least not obviously—it’s included in our ticket prices), and very low security checks. Nobody in Africa ever made us take our shoes off, and here they didn’t even screen laptops. Dan's belt (we think it was his belt) set off the security alarm. The guard looked at him, shrugged, and said to go on through. Even through it was a short flight of less than two hours, they served lunch and the wine & beer were free. Tell that to Delta.

In Jo'burg, baggage came off the conveyor one piece at a time, with huge lags between pieces. Maybe they were going back to the plane for one cartload at a time—the planes land out on the tarmac and we’re bussed to the terminal. Although this was the end of the formal tour, we still had 5 days before the Cape Town conference. We were looking forward to a little decompression time. We bade everyone a farewell at the airport and braced ourselves for another flight. Our next stop was Port Elizabeth

In Jo’burg, our porter knew a lot better route to the luggage storage; the escalators are ‘trolley friendly’ as someone with more than half a brain designed the wheel base to fit the riser spreads. We managed to convince the man issuing boarding passes to let us check our three bags, then proceeded to the gate. This was a snack flight (sandwich), and the booze was still free. No bus to the terminal this time, but baggage wasn’t much faster off the plane. Cab to the hotel, where they expected us—two days from now.

The night crew seemed pretty spaced out, but they did find a room for us (given that we had a confirmation and a voucher saying we’d paid), but showed very little in the ‘customer service’ arena. “Go have a seat,” was the best they could do. We ended up in a two bedroom-two bath time share apartment for the night, with the promise that our real room would be vacated in the morning. With no help from them, we found a place to eat within walking distance (Jimmy’s Killer Prawns).

Room had a great view, though. The Indian Ocean was right out there.

1 comment:

Cherie J said...

Enjoying the chat with you at Ebooklove group. Thanks for sharing about your trip. Love that picture.