CMBM – Frogland to Randland via Sandland

Posted: March 27, 2023 in Uncategorized

And so it begins – the possible 48 hours from Hell tour. Pretty good nights sleep had us as prepared as best could be for what lies ahead. A quick trip to Boo Lingerie first for a last French treat before hitting the road around 9 am for drive to Avignon TGV for the train to Lyon airport . Train leaves at 10:39 am for hour trip and then flight is scheduled for 4 pm to Dubai so we have left plenty of time if everything runs smoothly.

When Emirates bought forward our first flight some months ago we were left with a pesky 8 hr layover starting at midnight in the Dubai Airport. Lounge access is expensive and really not going to hook in between midnight and 7 am so decided to opt for the 7-12 hr option at Dubai International at airport in what is know as the “High End Hooker Special “. Be amazed if get any sleep but at least a break from GU for a few hours. Once again not a lot of thought went into seats on flight as again at end of plane so last off, not that there is any rush at either end.

Arrived at Avignon TGV with plenty time to spare so got sucked into a coffee. We then of course had to pay 1 Euro to use the toilet ! Part 1 of the 48 hrs from Hell was always going to be the easiest . They get progressively worse and longer as we go although suspect the 3rd leg of 8.5 hrs Dubai to Johburg could be the worse.

TGV run an efficient operation and so train arrived in plenty of time. Too early for Emirates to be open of course. We stood around waiting until 12:55 ( 3 hrs before flight) and then checked in easily and security ok so should be able to make good use of some paid lounge access. There are two lounges and they charge 33 Euro each for access. Ok for 2-3 hrs. Rocked up to first one and told it was only for travellers to European countries , you need to go to the one upstairs just after immigration. Ok that’s cool . Um , Immigration is closed and still is an hour later at 2 pm. We need Gate C but still can’t enter passport control. I smell another South African like pain in the ass when they open.

We found a perfectly nice salad for lunch and now just sitting around waiting for passport control. Once we go there we are sitting in gate lounge waiting again. Overall a poor experience at Lyon airport with your typical French inefficiency .

The flight was good as plane only half full. Of course not finished with French assholes just yet . A French woman around 50 was rather rude in waiting area with regard seating and fuck me if she wasn’t in front of us in plane. She had 3 seats to herself. She yabbered to attendant for 5 mins . She shifted to middle seat in front of me and reclined for whole flight including meals. She shifted back to window a couple of hours out and left both seats reclined. No fucking idea. Same idiot who has to be told on landing to put seats back and window shade up. We were happy when first boarded though 😏

Met on arrival by hotel staff and a fair hike to hotel but all worked well. Very nice room indeed

Not a great nights sleep as never would be for me but a good idea. Plane delayed 30 mins this morning at present to 10:25 , the bigger issue there is arriving in Johburg later after 5 pm. It’s an A 380 again and suspect this will be the worse flight of them all . Time will tell . At least didn’t have to pass through Security again . Not much option for food so opted for Maccas as almost a safe bet …. If u like Chicken sausage of course. Then we start the wait at Gate 31 , at least they have the LILO like chairs to sit in for a couple of hours

So we had the prettiest A 380 certainly but one of the slowest sadly . The exit row seats this time were in better position or so as thought. The real sweet deal was plane only half full so while we looked like we might get away just the 30 mins late we actually sat on the tarmac for another 30 mins and then pushed back and waited another 30 mins while 45 planes took off in front of us ! Basically 90 mins late . We had always toyed with idea of 20 USD$ each for a small bottle of Moët Chandon and this seems perfect time to try as had great crew. Asked the male attendant and he said sure will put in fridge now . 90 mins later they were cool at least 😏 And warm peanuts as well and he put second bottle on ice 👍🏻 The best part of deal though was we got it 15 minutes after take off like in business class rather than with dinner so am sure the 12 other passengers in our section wondered what was going on. We then kept the flutes for other drinks . Then they bought out a plastic cup of wine as well #IBF . Pickled and 6 hrs to go.

So after an excellent meal as usual with room to spread out the fly in the ointment appeared. No toilets nearby but was a galley and man those Sheilas in brown can yap. Any chance of sleep out the door with yapping and no dimming of cabin as middle of day. Oh well. The end result though was this flight was good and not the trauma expected even though 8 hrs is still 8 hrs of course .

Arrived an hour late and got through passport ok but bags and shuttle had us arriving at Mondior again around 7 pm. Another nice room with breakfast and late check out. Duck down the bar and had a drink and a burger but officially shagged now so time for bed.

And ankle is really stuffed for some reason. Maybe all the flights but really need to get home and rest it for a few days . 9 months after surgery this is not good but one is reminded of the 6 month CT report of course 😢

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