Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Yet more travel stories!!

My travel delay stories have continued. This time it was not my personal travel that was disrupted in the first instance although it certainly impacted on my life later. This is what happened. On Sunday I got up bright and early so that I could catch the 9 o' clock bus from Vigo to Oporto. I was meeting my daughter and her children who were flying in from Manchester. 

At 7.50 Spanish time she sent me a text saying that they were about to board. Hurray! It seemed that they might be departing on schedule, setting off at 7.20 UK time. NO SUCH LUCK!!! I was on the bus to Portugal when I received a message that their plane's departure was going to be delayed by at least an hour!!! Great!! Almost certainly just in time to miss the 10.45 bus to Vigo. And so it turned out! 

The plane eventually landed at 10.44. This gave us an outside chance of catching the bus if they got through security quickly and if the bus was as late as the last time I caught it. I watched the minutes tick by and saw no sign of my family! Finally, at around 11.20 they appeared, having helped another passenger with her bags and small child and having collected a case or two from the carrousel! 

Later conversation revealed that they had chatted to cabin staff while waiting to depart. Indeed, they had even visited the cockpit. The pilot had told them that almost no flights were managing to leave Manchester on time at the moment. (I can vouch for that!) But why is this happening? I find it difficult to comprehend. This time they blamed it on fog over Porto. Well, there was fog but not enough to cause major problems. The other factor was air traffic control problems. Well, there you go! 

Anyway, getting back to Sunday, we had plan B. I had already researched alternative travel possibilities and knew that there was an ALSA bus at 1.00pm. Fine! I had found out where to buy tickets, since this helpful company won't accept payment on the bus. However, I could not buy until the gang arrived because I needed all the passports to make the booking. So, armed with all the necessary stuff, we trooped upstairs to departures to buy tickets. And, after waiting for about half an hour while the chap behind the counter dealt with another customer, we discovered that there was only one place left on the 1.00pm bus!!! Aaaagh!!! Nightmare!!! 

Our next possibility was 6.15pm! Sunday travel!! The pilot of the plane had apologised to passengers for the delay and hoped it would not adversely affect their "onward journey". He must have put a hex on it! 

And so we spent hours and hours and hours hanging around the airport until we eventually arrived at Vigo at 9.15 Spanish time. I almost forgot to mention that as we got onto the bus at the airport, the driver asked if we had bought the tickets upstairs in the airport. Yes. Well, he told me, that meant I had paid an extra three euros per ticket. Well, that might be the case but as his bus company won't accept payment on the bus, we had no alternative. Online booking? Hmm, not really appropriate for that particular journey. I was getting a little frustrated by then and gave up on the discussion. 

The outcome of all this was that our planned onward journey to Pontevedra was postponed until Monday. A quick dash to the railway station on Monday morning and onto the train at the last minute. Mission accomplished. 

Ready for the next challenge! Which is probably going to be working out how to post my blog from my iPad!

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