Today is the first day of a life’s wish fulfilment. I am going to South Africa with Nick and our daughter’s family. We are going to fly comfortably with Emirates. It will be a treat. Picked up from the door we are driven to the airport where we check in and clear security without too much chagrin. Soon we are waiting in the lounge where we can drink champagne and enjoy some of the hot and cold dishes at the buffet. We have a glass too of Puligny Montrachet. Nick and Ry compare notes on their tablets. I eat a little bit of smoked salmon, a small plate of curry and some roasted vegetables. Barns phones, we talk. Charlotte and Ted chill out. On the ‘plane we find our seats, cubicles really, with screens if we want to use them and the option to convert the seat into a bed for which a mattress and necessary comforts are provided. I watch Bryan Cranston in The Infiltrator and eat game terrine, prawn makhanwala. I’m still drinking. There are macarons 🙂
We land in Dubai about 6 hours later and have a spell in the Emirates lounge. More delicious bites to tempt, I really must pace my eating. On the flight I accept wine I really do not want or need, there is a little snack of lamb pie. This is the flight to sleep. My bed is comfortable and the cabin crew are delightful and solicitous and it is all just luxurious. I think I sleep about three hours. When we land in Johannesburg we are going to take a connecting flight to Cape Town. Passport control is a cold experience with complete lack of eye contact. We have shenanigans over our luggage and the weight, we think we might be in the presence of ‘jobsworth’ but in the end it works out. We find a place to get a snack and I try for the first time, Peri peri chicken livers. I love it and will return to this dish again….. Ted and I start one of the dot to dots in a book I have brought along but really it is no competition for a ‘device’! The flight to Cape Town is shorter and we touch down at 5 p.m. local time We’ve been travelling for over 24 hours. Ryan is going to hire a people carrier so we load up our luggage and head out of Cape Town for Hout Bay where we are booked into Chapman’s Peak Hotel. I get my first sight of a township and this will be in stark contrast to the centre of Cape Town and the waterside shopping centre when we head for the malls a day or two later.