Day 198: Hours

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We seem to live here!

After enjoying 2 midnights, one in Oz and one in Singapore, we experienced at least 2 two o’clock s and three o’clock s until our brains ached and we stopped calculating. Having left Changi at 01.20 in the morning we flew for another seven and a half hours to arrive in Dubai ………… at five past five! This day (Tuesday) could go on for ever!

Stopover in Singapore

The theory is that we will leave here in Dubai at 07.40, fly for yet another seven and a half hours and get to Barcelona at midday their time. So we’ll still have most of Tuesday to spend doing whatever. I calculate today will have had 31 hours in it! Fortunately we are feeling a heck of a lot better on the return journey than we did on our way to Australia and we’re both quite chirpy really. By the way, chirpy for Mary means she talks once per hour but only if I let her get a word in!

The trouble with flying over hot countries is that the air above them seems to be turbulent in comparison to flights over European centres, so we were bounced and battered over Bahrain, Basra, Baghdad and Beirut! Gradually we have learned not to get scared but the first couple of heavy swipes do elicit a sharp intake of breath. Once again, thanks to the in-flight entertainment system, the hours slowly passed by although they continued to wind back as we sped westwards, meaning that, 5 hours after we left Dubai, it was only 2 hours later than take-off over Sofia ( and we’d flown more than two thousand miles since then.)

She’s watching Toy Story 3

In-Flight Info: night becomes day.

 

But all things come to pass as it is said. We sailed over Greece and Italy, waved hello to Rome as lunch was served and we made our descent over the Med and into El Prat airport, just south of Barcelona. Another quite extraordinary part of our adventure was drawing to a close. We had lunch with Scott in his flat yesterday on the other side of the planet and we were drinking a cup of tea in the Magic Caravan by 2 p.m. today. We will not rush to repeat these 22hour flights but it’s great to have done them once (twice actually!).

I personally have no real idea what jet-lag is. People all seem to have their own version of what it is, what it does to you and how best to avoid it. We were warned that coming home would be much more difficult than going out, then an air steward told me it was precisely the other way about. I do know that sleeping on the plane isn’t easy for some including me and this time around I think I managed two hours’ sleep for every seven hours’ flying.

We got back to the Vilanova campsite via a bus and a taxi and one of the workers took us down to the Magic Caravan in his van with our 2 cases on top of his toolbox. It was brilliant to see our wee home on wheels again and we both gave it a hug. Sleep followed tea followed shopping followed sleep. There was no chance of being up late tonight such was our fatigue after a monumental journey in the sky. By 9 p.m. the Sandman had filled our eyes to the lids.

I may be late posting this one!

 

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Day 177: Big Bird

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We touched down in Dubai only 10 minutes late due to heavy air traffic over the Arab State and simply moved a couple of gates to our second flight, this time to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. We boarded a similar monster to the first one and got chummy seats again on the other side of the plane for a change, so we felt quite at home really! This flight gave us a sandwich over The Gulf of Arabia and drinks over India, we had a sleep over the Indian Ocean and breakfast over a set of islands we’d never heard of!

The haul into Kuala Lumpur got a bit bumpy at times but all was well and we arrived safely although we were surprised to be asked to leave the plane while it refuelled. Only 90 minutes later we took up the exact same seats we had before then took off on the final leg to Melbourne. This time around, drinks were served over the Java Sea (doesn’t that sound dead exotic!).

Sleep was fitful for the two of us but, as the day only had 16 hours in it, it didn’t feel too bad. Mary and I then chalked up another first when we flew over the Equator although neither of us could make out the thick, black line on the ground! Dinner was served as we reached the northern coast of Australia. Yippee! Tie me kangaroo down, sport!

I must tell you about Emirates’ in-flight entertainment system. For information you can follow the flight path of the plane from take-off to landing, including altitude, speed, distance and time to destination. Movies include all the best classics plus the latest blockbusters such as ” Brave” which Mary watched and “Lincoln” which I dipped in and out of.

But the music section was really fantastic. It included all the UK number 1’s since the charts started, so I listened to the songs that were Top of the Pops on each of my first 30 birthdays. The day I was born, Perry Como was at the top with “Don’t let the stars get in your eyes” but I found some wonderful songs including Cliff’s “The Young Ones” when I was 9, “You’ve lost that lovin” Feeling” by the Righteous Brothers when I was 12, at 15 Manfred Mann”s “Mighty Quinn” and the late, great Andy Fairweather-Low’s Amen Corner singing “(If Paradise Is) Half As Nice” on my 16th birthday. Memories indeed!

As we flew over Alice Springs it became Wednesday!