Trying to get home
My final morning in the tropical garden! I didn’t manage to lie in. But managed to sleep until 7am! Breakfast was oats and fruit again – so good! And I sat around on my balcony until it was time to leave at 9.45am.
It only took 20 minutes to drive back to the airport. Past all the palm trees and village huts.
Given the palava I had last week flying to get here, I phoned the airline several times to make sure that my return flight was sorted. (As they also cancelled and rescheduled the return!). They reassured me that all was fine. So when I turned up to check in, I was surprised that I wasn’t actually booked on the flight.
So I had to spend the next 2 hours (no joke) sitting in the office whilst two people tried to find my ticket?! Totally confusing. Why it took so long I have no clue. These people were clueless.
With 5 minutes to go before the flight (the only flight of the day) was departing, they finally agreed to let me on. And then it was a massive rush to give me a boarding card (hand written, no seat allocation) and a tag for my bag (again hand written / scribbled).
The flight was going to Maputo and that’s as far as the ticket they gave me went. My original ticket was to Johannesburg. But apparently I have to sort that in Maputo. Lucky it’s just a tiny airport and I didn’t have far to walk to the tiny propellor plane. As I was accepted onto the flight so late, I did not have an allocated seat. The woman told me to just find one.
Then she moved me anyway. It was a bumpy ride. At one point we dropped so much that people were screaming.
I was counting down the minutes until we landed. We had nice views over the city of Maputo again. But I just wanted to land!! We did, at 1.30pm. My bag came out. With its hand written tag. That was a relief.
Then I went to find the LAM office to ensure I was on the flight to Johannesburg. The first office told me their computers were down. So they had no idea. Then I found a second office, but no one there spoke English. And they told me to go to domestic check in and find the supervisor. She passed me to someone else. Who walked me to international check in and spoke to someone else. She said it was ‘all fine’. Not good enough. I wanted confirmation that I was on the flight!
So I gave up and went to South African airlines to see if I could book myself onto a different flight. Sold out. But she told me to speak to the check in supervisor.
Once I located him, he looked everything up for me. I was on the flight. And my bag could be checked all the way to London. (Despite being different bookings and different airlines) What a palava.
It was now 3pm and check in opened. I checked in with no issues and my bag got a London label. Amazing. That was far too stressful.
There was no one at bag scanning, or immigration, so I sailed right through. There were two small souvenir shops, so I wasted my final bits of money, before waiting for the flight at 5.30pm. And thank goodness, we left on time.
My flight back to London is at 9.50pm tonight. I was supposed to be arriving in Johannesburg at 4pm. But with the flight cancellations and changes, I didn’t arrive until 6.30pm. So lucky that I don’t have to go through immigration/check in again now!! Although there was no queue whatsoever (last week it took me 2 hours to clear immigration….) Although we did have to go through a transit area. Where we got stamped anyway! And then the next flight was delayed by 45 minutes.
In all the faffing around all day, I realised that I haven’t eaten since 8am. It’s now 8pm. And there is basically nothing to eat in this airport. It’s totally weird. All the food is pre-air-side. But I did find one place and got some no cheese pizza. It was actually pretty good. We finally got onto the final plane of the day at 10pm. And left at 11pm. An hour late. We landed at 8am. Still an hour late.
But my bag didn’t make it….(It was delivered 3 days later…thank goodness!)