Tuesday, 22 October 2019

More travellers’ tales

Today began with a run. A weekend of looking after a five-year-old granddaughter plays havoc with your exercise routine. Somehow walking down onto town at her pace and running around the park a little do not quite fit the bill. So, as it was not raining this morning, off I went on my usual round the village route.

And I was back in time for a quick shower and hair wash, breakfast Ă  deux, albeit a little sparse as we were making do with what was available to a couple about to depart for a couple of weeks. Any remaining odds and ends were packed up to be handed over to the daughter who came to give us a lift to the airport.

Even them, the lift could not be door to door because of the ongoing roadworks. Could we, she asked, tote our bags past the roadworks so that she could pick us up without having to circumvent the village to get to our house? No problem! I squeezed myself in between two sleeping grandchildren in their car seats and off we went.

Manchester airport remains a supremely confusing place. Of course, this might be because we have little experience of London airports and prefer to travel to and from smaller places like Liverpool and Porto. And then there is the carparking nonsense. Our daughter was just throwing us out but still came in for a £3 parking charge!!

Our flight set off about five minutes early. We heard no announcement about boarding, so it was a good job we were close to the departure gate. We had found nowhere to provide us with a light lunch of soup or something similar - Liverpool’s John Lennon airport is good for this - and had satisfied ourselves with sandwiches from W. H. Smith. Then we headed for the gate where embarkation as already in progress. Maybe there are more people going for priority boarding these days but there was little difference between those with the magic words on their boarding cards and the ordinary folk as regards boarding the plane.

But we had no problems. Apart, that is, from a ridiculous amount of turbulence. Did we cross the jet stream at the wrong point? It went on and on. The loos were out of action. A small boy in front of us was threatening to be sick. Eventually all calmed down and the aisle filled with weak-bladdered folk queuing for the toilets!

We were due to arrive at 18.40. There is a regular bus to Vigo leaving at 18.45. We had had some discussion weeks back about whether to book tickets for that bus. In the end we decided it might be tempting fate. But today we arrived at 18.30 and the buss was a possibily. Much betternthan waiting an hour or more for the next one. So we positively scuttled across the tarmac, through passport control and out of the airport. There was the bus! One passenger was just discussing his ticket with the driver, who grumpily let us put our luggage in the hold and purchase tickets. On days when we have waited for two hours for a bus, it arrives 15 minutes late. Today as we arrived at the last minute the driver was clearly set on breaking records for punctual departure.

We travelled peacefully from Porto to Vigo, admiring the sunset sky and dozing along the way.

 And the day is ending with a couple of beers and free tapas in one of our favourite bars!

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