Travel G-spots

MY TRAVEL DIARY: back at ‘base camp’

Ahhh… something needs to be said about the ‘base camp’ that makes it the greatest place ever to come to when I’m in Europe: it’s along the Piccadilly line. That means it’s £5.00 to get from Heathrow Airport over an eyelids defying 84 minutes trip. Three years ago it was £2.50! You seriously can’t get a better deal than that, even at £5.00!

The other thing I look forward to about being at ‘base camp’ is: I am greeted by the love of my {metal} life. And that’s not just in the walkway leading up to the ‘base camp’s front door, but there’s at least one of them in every other house’s drive-ins.

If one were to extend it to include the entire range of cars the marque has, it would be 1.6:1 (i.e. ratio of 1.6 Land Rover/Range Rover to House). Yes, it is ridiculous, but I have come to realised this time around that void of the Range Rover in the driveway, I would have zoomed by the ‘base camp’ in the taxi without being able to identify the home. This I have to admit is due in part to age … and zooming past the ‘base camp’ would have been a bad idea as the short 3 minutes, 1.5 km stretch from the tube station to the ‘base camp’ costs me £5.00!

Unlike my last trip where I had flown that nasty not-for-value discounted red airlines and ended up feeling like I had just crossed the vast distances of ocean in an ancient wooden ship, it had taken me a mere 12 hours 20 minutes of flight time, with a 1-1/2 hour transfer time this trip – 45 minutes of the 1-1/2 hour transfer time was spent circling the tarmac in the Airbus A380 that was far too fat to plonk it’s sorry ass in just any gates!

Having waited 1-1/2 hour previously to get interrogated in order to get a rubber stamp endorsement to enter England, followed by another 1-1/2 hours at the conveyor belts that seems to regurgitate a never ending chain of baggage for the 494 people waiting (im)patiently, I wise-up and got myself upgraded to the upper deck. This resulted in an excessive reduction in waiting time: 30 minutes to clear immigration and baggage claims (thanks to the priority lane and luggage), and a final 15 minutes to sort out the purchase of (yet another) Oyster card. I had tried to look for probably my third Oyster days before leaving, but all I found was Hong Kong’s, Shanghai‘s and some unidentified countries’ transportation prepaid cards. Promptly I reminded myself the need to organize my travel stash of mobile SIM cards of various countries, transportation prepaid cards, museum and botanical gardens membership cards … blah3!

What am I saying?!? 32 hours before boarding the flight, I was hyperventilating for not being able to locate ‘base camp’ keys and went about organizing in a cryptic way of how/where to hide them safely over a few long distance phone calls.

I have to say the only annoying thing about my flight was being stuck beside a rather large man who was nosy! No disrespect to men or those who are a bit on the heavy side, but I’ve had many, many, many bad experiences with strangers who happened to be of the opposite sex and older.

This annoyance was balanced out by the delight I had at the sight of the embarrassed check-in counter lady who had sternly told me “check-in for MH002 is behind this counter” when I calmly and deliberately dug my duffel bag for my print-out check-in receipt and passport. I then handed her my 45L backpack, grinned and shrugged my shoulders while saying, “sorry, this bag is probably covered with germs and viruses like Ebola having travelled across Africa“.

When she queried, “is that all miss?

doctor” I corrected her with a half smile and 2 seconds stare and said, “hmm… maybe I should check-in my unwashed clothes too” and proceeded to pull out another fold-able bag and stuffing in my jacket, raincoat, a pair of socks … then, looked at her horrid face and said, “it’s ok. I’ll carry it on board” and chuckled before walking away.

They were of course clean and were intended to be in the hand luggage for my usage upon disembarking the plane at 5:50 am.


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Upon rejuvenating self – with a quick shower, some caffeine infusion and a 1/2 hour nap, I made my way to the suburb’s town for my usual routine of stocking up the refrigerator and snacks for the upcoming trip around Europe at Marks & Spencer Simply Food. This includes a quick stop at Boots pharmacy for the world’s best (unverified naturally and by my standards it is for it’s heavenly taste!) cough syrup – Buttercup Syrup.

03720-shopping ad351-ardneighbourhood



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September 2013
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