Final day of RTW in 11 days

So I am back at home finally. The travel home was pretty uneventful. The flight out of Hong Kong left on time and so we arrived on time at 7am into Johannesburg. I was pretty tired when I got onto the plane as it was 11:15pm already when we boarded. Add to that 3 days of limited sleep and a round of golf in 30 degrees I was ready to sleep in any position. I fell asleep before they had even closed the doors and I woke up about 45 minutes after take off while they were serving dinner. I debated with myself whether I should put my chair down and go straight to sleep or try and having some dinner. I eventually concluded that it was only 7pm in SA and so if I was to beat the jet lag that I should try and have some dinner and stay awake a little longer. So I took that option and watched an episode of CSI and then Modern Family while eating supper. I then put the chair back into the bed position and fell asleep almost immediately. That was about 8pm SA time. I woke up at 12am SA time (6am in HK) and thought I would probably not go back to sleep again (given the time in HK) but closed my eyes again and fell asleep until 3:50am SA time. That meant I slept close on 8 hours (which must almost be a record for me on a plane) and if you could the other hour at the beginning of the flight you could even say 9 hours. That was despite the fact that the business class seats on Cathay are not nearly as good as SAA, BA or Virgin (in my view). I am hoping this extra long sleep will help me beat the jet lag entirely.

We arrived in Johannesburg at the same time as 6 other international flights (BA from London, SAA from London, SAA from HK; Lufthansa from Frankfurt; SAA from Munich and one other I missed). Fortunately we were just behind the BA and in front of everyone else so the queue was not that long at immigration (probably took 15 minutes to get through). The luggage started to come off just as I got to the belt and the priority tags worked for once with the business class bags coming off first. I got mine and went to the domestic departures to re-check it for the flight to CT. That flight also left on time at 9:15am and we got back to CT at 11:15. My bag was first off and came out as I got to the baggage carousel. So I managed to eventually get through a long international trip without my luggage getting lost.

So what are my overall impressions for the trip – here is my quick summary:

  • LA is a pretty dull place (sorry Rachel)
  • LA airport is the worst international airport have been too in the last 10 years (worse than Nairobi).  And it wasn’t just my opinion but I see in an email today from Paul that he concurs with my view (and he used another terminal)
  • Cathay Pacific have a fantastic First Class but a so-so business class
  • I love Asia and need to plan to go back on holiday with the family
  • I particularly like Taiwan and especially the people who are very jovial, always joking and really make you feel welcome
  • I really am not as fussy an eater as most people think … next time one of you says I am fussy remember I have eaten Sea Snail, Insects, Frog’s Cream and other things which a whole lot of you would never eat (and have told me so)

Thanks everyone for your comments along the way. I write for an audience so it is always great to get the comments back!  Sorry I did not reply to all of them but I did occasionally. Consider yourself a lucky one if you got a personal response. However, I do have to mention the best reply I got in 11 days and it came this morning when I downloaded my emails in Johannesburg. This was it:

If nothing else it proves I have at least one resourceful staff member with a sense of humor. Pity he didn’t actually see them himself otherwise I might have considered promoting him…

If you’re enjoyed the read then you will be pleased to know that we go on holiday in June/July and I will blog our holiday as per usual. Until then…

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