Day #16 16.01.16

My last day in Cape Town and South Africa. My flight wasn’t until 6pm so I had most of the day before I had to be at the airport dropping Figaro off at about 3. I had two choices; a) either sit around and count the hours of waiting to go home (and also have to check out of my apartment at 11) or, b) go and do something with the day and make it count. So I chose b). Of course.

I decided to go tag along to a Saturday session with BMF South Africa (you’ll probably know I do BMF – British Military Fitness – in Cheltenham so I decided to see how they did it in CT) so I checked out at 7.15am, chucked my bag in the boot and trundled off in Figaro to Kirstenbosch botanical gardens to find the meeting point. 4 conversations with different people at two different locations later, I just about managed to find where I needed to be (apparently there are two ‘Top gates’ at Kirstenbosch depending on who you speak to) and bounded up to the only group of people gathered round who looked like they might be about to hike up a mountain. Because their Saturday session wasn’t a round of burpees, press ups and the like. No, their session today was a hike up Table Mountain. Which was fine by me. Although I was secretly fearing they might make us do killer burpees at the top or something. I didn’t know – they could have been massive hardcore athletes for all I knew. Luckily for me this was more of a sociable Saturday jaunt so although it was a tough hike (pretty much straight up to the top of the mountain scrambling and climbing up rocks, ladders and waterfalls in 30+ heat) we were rewarded with a swim in a lake at the top (yep, who knew there was a lake at the top of Table Mountain? Not me.) rather than burpees.

So I got to hike a mountain, go for a swim in a lake, catch some rays and meet a new bunch of people. Now that’s what I call making the most of my last day.

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Airport stopover.

Or layover. Not quite sure what the proper term is but I’ve heard layover lots, so I’m going with that. It might be American. I love airports, I love flying. Which, is a good job really because I’ll be doing a fair bit of it this year. I’m not enjoying the screaming child nearby though but I’m trying to tune that out.

I’ve just got off my 8 hour flight from Johannesburg to Abu Dhabi, and have a few hours to kill in the airport now before getting on my next flight (only a short one: 3 1/2 hours) to Delhi. The last flight was with Etihad, I’ve not flown with them before. I’d recommend; it was a great flight, decent food, plenty of drink, great entertainment plus there was no one behind or next to me so I could stretch out like a mofo. Oh, and the headphones were the best I’ve had so far. These ones didn’t make my hair go static. Always a win.

I like to people watch at airports. Wonder where people have been, or where they are going and why. Sometimes I get to find out, if I start chatting to people. And, like I’ve said before, great things happen when you just talk to people. Like my flight yesterday from Livingstone to Johannesburg. I helped a man with his cable tie at the check in desk (he’d put it on the wrong way round and was struggling with it) and ended up sat next to him on the flight. We chatted a bit; he was going home to SA after a fishing trip in Livingstone, I told him about my travel plans. After I picked up my bags in Joburg I needed to call the place I was staying at to arrange an airport pick up, he helped me out by letting me call from his mobile phone. Just one example. Oh, and if you’re wondering what he was doing with a cable tie, it’s because he was flying into Joburg. Can never be too careful with bags there so he was tying his zips together. I didn’t point out that they could just slash his [material] bag, but hey, at least it’s something I guess.

Abu Dhabi was HOT when I got off the plane, it’s around 37 degrees here (and it’s the evening). I think Delhi is about the same temperature. Oooooo. I might be glad I’m off up into the mountains. I was moaning about Johannesburg being cold yesterday but, well, high 30’s is maybe just a leeeetle too hot. We’ll see.

The airport here has free wifi throughout. GREAT idea. I wish all airports did this. It’s certainly making the time go quicker, and I have an article to write.

I miss Africa, but I’m excited now about India. I suspect by the time I arrive there tomorrow morning (6am Indian time, 3am ish African time, 2am ish UK time) I’ll just want to sleep but I’m going to force myself to get out and about in Delhi for the day and try and adjust to the new time. I can’t WAIT for the food. I’m hungry now just thinking about it.