Across Continents

Ken's Blog

Big Silver Bird

February 4th, 2012

Dull and grey. Thirties semis below. Partly obscured by wisps of cloud. West London. Soon to be on the ground. Flight over had been tolerable. Aroused from my dozing by a mediocre breakfast. As dull as dinner the previous evening. The cabin crew were pleasant enough. Mature. One, I thought, resembled Rolf Harris. But the whole thing lacked sparkle. But I didn’t doubt the coffee was freshly brewed. From old socks.

The final few days across Florida had been hectic. Unrelenting rain on the final hundred mile push to the coast. But a little kindly respite once I’d reached the finish. Intersection of the 206 and the A1A. Not a photogenic spot I’d admit, but I’d not really cared for that. Just glad to be able to head off a short way to find Ron and Nancy, with whom I’d be spending a couple of nights. Hot shower beckoned.

I’d deliberately pushed hard towards the end. Eager to have a whole day off the road to sort out my trusty steed and all the kit, preparing it for the rigours of the baggage handlers. And a chance to have a sociable evening with Ron and Nancy. Mark the end of my fourth continent.

Next morning I’d started in earnest. Rental car. Free upgrade to something more practical. Thrift shop for a couple of cheap suitcases. Nancy had already found me a cardboard bike box from a local shop. It’d be tight, but I was sure I’d be able to fit my loyal companion in. She’d be in pieces of course. Lots of them.

Five hours sleep. Then the three hundred mile sprint south to Miami International. They’d said six hours. Made it in five. Including lunch. Two and a half litres and an Interstate had been fun. I’d half expected dramas dragging everything to Check-in, but in the end a few helpful souls from the rental car company had lent a hand. Soon where I’d wanted to be. Drinking coffee close to the departure gate. Three hours to kill.

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Staying awake

February 3rd, 2012

Ken resorts to a final strong coffee to make sure he doesn’t miss his flight out of Miami and a return to the UK…

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Over the ocean

January 7th, 2012

Searching for a one-way transatlantic flight that doesn’t cost more than a return has to be up there with the efforts of a Papal Conclave to elect a new Pope. And don’t be tempted to purchase a return and fail to show for the second leg. They’ve thought of that. Punitive charges levied onto your credit card.

Of course, you can find singles for roughly half that of a return. Takes a bit of searching on the web, lots of patience, and hoping the online flight discount site you’ve found is legitimate. And being very sure about when you want to fly. Unless you want to pay a change fee amounting to over half the original ticket price.

At least payment with a credit card affords some protection. And there’s a quick check you can normally do once you’ve made the purchase. Log into the airline’s own website and see if they’ve a record of your booking. Fortunately, in my case, they had. Travelling with British Airways on a code share with American Airlines. The one enjoying bankruptcy protection….

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