My goodness, what has happened to me? After seven months of non-stop travel, in which I don’t think I had any real travel dramas at all, I have been more settled for a couple of months back in Perth. But even in this time I have been travelling too, down to Israelite Bay, out to Uluru, and recently up to Exmouth too.
And so I set off on my new travels yesterday, confident that my travelling experience would serve me well, and all would go as smoothly as on my previous trip.
But it quickly became apparent that I am a bit rusty, as less than two hours into this journey, I made my first mistake. I didn’t discovered it until later though, when I first viseted the bathroom on the flight from Perth to Kong Kong. I spotted a powerpoint there, and thought with amusement that it would be an ideal place to plug in my laptop to recharge, the only disadvantage being that you would have to lock yourself in the lavatory for the whole re-charging period.
Almost immediately on the heels of that first thought was the realisation that I had left my camera battery and it’s charger hanging from a powerpoint at Gate 5 in Perth International Airport.
Fortunately for now I have a spare, fully-charged battery with me, but now have no way of re-charging it. I will have to get on eBay UK and order something to be delivered to my brother’s house by the time I arrive, and in the meantime, hope I bump into someone else that uses a Canon 960IS !!
Later in the day, with about 6 hours to kill in Hong Kong, I relaxed in the departure area, and as the final call for the 23.55 flight to London Heathrow was made I casually strolled up to the gate.
“No, no, no! You are on the BA flight.” What?!! There are two flights to Heathrow, both leaving at 23.55? Yes, and my gate is on the far side of the airport, and is probably receiving it’s own final boarding call! And so I found myself, confident, cool, experienced traveller that I am, sprinting through Hong Kong airport as midnight approached, with disastrous financial scenarios running through my head!
However, I took the time to confirm the gate number at the first departures board that I came to, and was incredibly relieved to see that the flight was now scheduled to leave at 00.35. I was glad to be able to walk the rest of the way to the gate. I really need to get back into the travelling mindset.
After a long cramped flight from Hong Kong to London, and a much more comfortable short hop from there I arrived in Nice at around 11am yesterday morning, about 35 hours after I set off the previous day. I called Pierre from the airport, and arranged to meet him at lunchtime in the centre of Nice. His wife Valerie had contacted me by email, after following my adventures on the internet, and they had very kindly invited me to stay with them.
So after dropping off my bags and taking a quick shower I went for a stroll around the beautiful seafront area of Nice.
I also climbed a steep hill to an old fort which offers a spectacular overview of the whole city.
Heading down through the old part of the city was very atmospheric, the streets a maze of narrow winding passageways between tall, brightly painted old French buildings.
After a quick beer after work with Pierre, we headed home, and I finally met Valerie, and their son Thibault. They cooked me a wonderful barbeque dinner, and offered to take me for a drive along the coast. I had to politely decline, I was shattered, and I think I was asleep the second my head hit the pillow. But I was wide awake again at 5am! Oh dear! Hopefully I will get over the jetlag soon!