Friday, September 24, 2010

Home, Home on the Range

Our summer holidays are over! Slightly later than most, we had a lovely week in Lanzarote. The weather was good (albeit with a few raindrops falling on our heads occasionally), the atmosphere nice, and a relaxing holiday completed. Nothing much on the agenda for a week except some relaxation, some food, some smoothies and lots of reading. Eight books completed over the week, so my yearly total got a nice boost. The reviews will follow, staggered into next month.

Playa Blanca was nice, and rather than eating in the hotel, we sampled some dining on the town. Seafood paella is a new favourite! One night though, we had the weirdest supper soundtrack. A real mix, including Britney Spears, Green Day, random Spanish tunes, lots of gangsta rap (full of expletives), and the Bible books song by Psalty!

The taxi driver taking us back to the airport must have known we're used to driving on the lefthand side of the road, as he proceeded to spend an awful lot of his time there, overtaking cars, jeeps and anything else in his way, whether there was a space or not!

A great holiday, but it turned into a bit of a nightmare when we got to the airport. Due to the French air traffic control being on strike, the plane was delayed. But then ops and the airline couldn't agree on a route home for our plane. Needing to avoid French airspace would take us further over the Atlantic, and a greater distance to fly. Longer distance needs more fuel, but more fuel on the plane would overload it and prevent takeoff from Arrecife airport. Ops insisted on the extra fuel, balanced by removing 60% of the hold luggage. We watched as the bags were removed and shunted into the airport - they'll arrive some time in the next five days. Very handy.

Remarkably, my bag arrived in Belfast, but most of the rest didn't make it. Hence the exhausted passengers arriving bleary eyed at 5.15am this morning off the Thomson flight (when the new day's flights were beginning an passengers were setting off), four hours late, watching the baggage carousel in luggage lottery. Would your bag make it? If not, the Servisair worker was standing by with claim forms asking for details of the bags, ironically (and slightly frustrating) the form they normally use for lost luggage. No, my bag wasn't lost - you removed it from the plane!!!

The pilot and air stewards did well in a difficult situation, and we can't blame them. Still, the whole experience somewhat marred the end of the holiday. Instead of being home by 2, we pulled up to the house at 6.30 and straight into bed. And that's our holidays for another while. Where to next? Preferably nowhere near French airspace!

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