Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Mother City Visit: Leaving under a cloud

Well, despite my doom mongering, Cape Town appeared to only suffer cosmetic damage, although the wind did take down trees, which in turn
took down power lines and causing widespread electricity outages.

Sunday continued to be "changeable" and within minutes the weather would alter from bright sunshine to dark clouds and driving rain. The wind was a constant though through out the day.

I managed to get an occasional view of Table Mountain, but for the most part, this was obscured by cloud or rain. And so it came time to head back to Johannesburg. Arriving for my flight in good time, I was greeted with the cheerful news that flights between Cape Town and Johannesburg were severely delayed. It appears that the foul weather in Cape Town and strong wind in Johannesburg had caused several flights to be delayed. I head in fact that a truck delivering cargo to one plane had been blown into the engine, causing major delay and the plane to be replaced with a fresher model.

My flight was delayed by 90 minutes. The best thing to do was just to tuck into a Juicy Lucy sandwich and watch the second hand tick by slowly. Eventually I was persuaded though to check the information being reflected on the flight information televisions, and was informed that in fact the flight was leaving at 8:20 - not 9:10. Give it was 7:45, this meant I could board within minutes. Rushing through the x-ray checks I was greeted (in a motley tent arrangement currently doubling as the departure lounge in Cape Town) by a long queue of people going through my gate - but none of whom were going on my flight. Apparently my flight was NOT leaving at 8:20 after all. Dejected I started mulling over what words I could put into my next blog post to fully relay my frustration - a dark cloud hanging over my head now similar to that which had smothered the peninsula all day. I roamed aimlessly in front of the counter at the gate, hoping that any moment my flight might be called and I could return home - late, but at least be home.

And then a very kind and extremely helpful lady working at the counter saw my plight and called me forward. I explained to her that I was not booked on the flight that she was loading, but having checked if I had check in baggage, she very kindly made arrangements for me to board the earlier flight. Like the sun that had (on occasion) broken though the clouds throughout the day, my spirits lifted.... I was going home!

The only thing better than that was the announcement from the pilot informing a plane full of weary travellers that the tail wind would shed 30 minutes off the 2 hour flight. So all in all I arrived 10 minutes later than originally scheduled. Tired, but relieved.

My trip to Cape Town had been rushed, busy, and far too short - but I was home at last.


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