The Journey Begins

Written by Safarigal
July 27, 2017

Right after we booked our Emirates flight, they cancelled it and rebooked us on another flight, which of course ended up giving us 2 overnight flights and a long layover in Dubai. Annoying, but nothing can put a damper on my enthusiasm; we are headed back to Africa.


Then it turned out that the friends who were raving about Emirates had all been in first or business class – no one had traveled in coach. Still the price was right, and I wasn’t going to let anything stand in the way of my excitement about the trip.


And we are off…………………..!!!!


Finally that day dawned and our bags were packed and loaded into the car; it was time to drive to the airport. Yay!


For once we left home in good time, and we were even able to drop off a couple of bags of rubbish at the garbage dumpsters on our way into town, so they would not spend 2 weeks sitting in our hot garage getting smellier and smellier. Life is good.


We went to check in at the airport and desk agent asked us where our infant was. Apparently somehow our booking had grown to 3 people, 2 adults and an infant. Very odd. We reassured her that it was just the 2 of us – but that explained why when I was selecting our seats it would not let me select certain seats. In all the times I have flown this has never happened to me before – and the agent had no explanation for it.


I had checked out our flight on Seat Guru, and was pleasantly surprised to find that, despite the fact that Seat Guru said that there were no electric outlets; there was indeed a power outlet and USB outlet to be shared between our 2 seats. We were handed lovely little cloth pouches with an eye mask, earplugs, and small toothbrush and toothpaste. Not bad for coach!


They had nose and wheel cameras; so we were able to watch our take off and see the land below us slowly fade into the distance. We watched the traffic jams on I 5 from the comfort of the air, and not in the frustration of being stuck in them in the car.


I had wondered what our flight path to Dubai would be, and was most excited to see that we would almost fly over the North Pole. Especially fun as we had been right at the south end of the planet a few months ago!


They served an excellent white wine with dinner, although the food really wasn’t very good, worse than on US carriers in fact. I was so excited as they had sticky toffee pudding on the menu for dessert. My totally favourite dessert. However, it was nothing like what my Mum used to make, it tasted really awful. Now I am not one who usually looks at ingredients, if it tastes good, I’ll risk it. However I felt obliged to find out what was actually in it. There were 20 ingredients in all, but only 4 were commonly found in nature, that probably explained the unusual taste.


The flight attendants had cameras, and were taking photos of the passengers. Although I tend to avoid them, photographers are very common on cruises, and snap photos of the passengers at every available moment. I can understand that a photo of a happy couple in their finery on a formal night on a cruise is a great keepsake, but I’m not sure that I would pay for a photo of me looking travel weary squashed into a middle seat on a plane. It turned out that they were Polaroid cameras, and they were taking photos of the children and their parents. That certainly made more sense, and was a nice souvenir for the families.


The movie selection on the plane was excellent – and with a 14-hour flight, I was able to binge watch the Harry Potter movies. And then in no time we were in Dubai!


The airport is huge, but easy to navigate. Even though we were in transit, we had to go through security. My Fitbit set off the alarm on the metal detector – so the alarms must be very sensitive.


I managed to do some shopping before we were herded onto our flight to Johannesburg, and eight long hours later, there we were in sunny but cold Africa. Let the adventure begin!


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I love to share my adventures with others, and hopefully give them some insight into what to expect on their own exciting travels. I hope reading my blog will be a useful resource, and inspire others to follow their travel dreams. As a travel advisor, I get great pleasure out of being able to help folks fulfill their aspirations by translating my experience in safari adventures and ocean voyages into memorable travel experiences for them.