Cape Town – Appreciation

So as a round up of a month in Cape Town I thought I would start at the beginning… the flight out (I’ll keep this as a post for those that really want to read about the details)…

After having probably one of the worst flights of my life where I actually thought that the plane was going down, I was genuinely grateful to arrive.

Checking in and getting all the kit on for only £40 was the start of it. I have to say Virgin Atlantic were awesome at this and I love flying with them because of it. In fact you only ever hear good things about Virgin. So we (Hanna and I) got on to the plane and found our seats only to be joined by a mum and her very fidgety child. This wasn’t too much of a problem but they then swapped with a ‘slightly’ larger lady. This seemed to result in part of my seat being filled by her and the armrest wasn’t holding her back. I’ll get back to her. The troubles first began when we were trying to leave and it took them about half an hour to de-ice the plane, fair enough as it was covered in a thin layer of snow. Stupid reason to cancel any flights though, although I soon realised that during take off you physically couldn’t see even an inch outside the plane window. I guess the pilots were relying on instruments then…

Everything was going to plan, I nice smooth flight, a decent meal was served and about 10 minutes after eating my meal and the cabin crew were halfway down the cabin serving others, there was a small amount of turbulence, one or two bumps, nothing more. Then the plane simply fell out of the sky for a moment, trays, drinks all fell onto the floor, people screamed and I later learnt that others simply just passed out as the plane was thrown side to side, up and down and you could literally look down the cabin as the plane bent and warped!! It was at about this point that I genuinely thought we were going to crash and I started to think about the incredible life I had had. So yes I guess it’s true in a way your life does flash before your eyes before you think it’s just about to end. At the same time I was desperately trying to comfort my girlfriend, Hanna, who absolutely hates flying. Literally as soon as it started the air-hostess told everyone to sit down immediately and as soon as she had stopped the captain came on and told everyone including the cabin crew to get to their seats and buckle up. It was truly horrifying! Sure enough, it soon stopped but still remanded fairly turbulent. By fairly turbulent I mean it was only ‘bad turbulence’. After this though there were still a number of strange events that weren’t explained to us, including the whole cabin being asked to close their window blinds and the captain running up-and-down the cabin, looking out of the windows over the wings! At least the ‘large’ lady next to me was feeling ok, as soon as the turbulence was kind of over, she asked the air-hostess why she hadn’t received her chocolate desert with her in-flight meal! The air-hostess politely said that ‘perhaps this isn’t exactly the number one priority now’. She must have felt a little guilty as she re-appeared a minute or so later and handed it to the lady saying that she ‘found it rolling along the floor in the galley’…

Anyway having flown a lot since I was 7 years old, I have to say that that was without a doubt the most severe turbulence I have ever experienced. The hosts and hostesses were saying it was the worst they had had in 6 years and I had become one of those people that actually enjoys flights and even the lighter turbulence. So the return of my travel sickness that I used to get when I was 8 years old, wasn’t really that welcome. In fact it came back with a vengeance… and what’s more it was even with me on the home journey… kind of looking forwards to shaking this off.

When you genuinely feel you have escaped with your life (YES it was that bad a flight) you kind of start to take a different outlook at things and realise how fast time passes and what you miss to appreciate. With that in mind everything suddenly becomes a little less average…

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