First leg hiccups

Nothing serious! Just a couple of annoying little episodes that I’d have preferred to do without.

First things first though. It appears I have managed to bury the details of where we will be and when we will be there somewhere deep in the recesses of this blog, so I’ve added a link at the top of the page for easier access.

In my excitement, I set an alarm for Tuesday night at 9:29pm so I could check in for the Cape Town flight exactly 24 hours before take off. With BA, you have the opportunity to reserve your seat in advance if you have tier status with the Executive Club. Sadly, I lost those privileges a while ago when I stopped travelling internationally for work. You can still pay for seat selection in advance but an extra seventy quid just doesn’t seem worth it. Consequently, I wanted to get online as soon as check in opened to get decent seats for the 11 hour flight.

Bear in mind that I bought these tickets through BA in the first place, although the first and last flights are the only BA coded ones we have. I was unable to check in online and received the error message: “This booking has too many flights to check in online. Please check in at airport.” Hmmm. Never mind.

We got to the airport in good time for the flight, and were rewarded with Seats 18A and 18E. Disappointing not to be seated together, but they helpfully informed us that we should have checked in online, 24 hours in advance. Ishbel kept me calm and I explained in a controlled fashion that was exactly what we tried to do. Apparently, there was nothing to be done. The flight was completely full. Never mind.

The flight itself was very smooth and entirely uneventful, which is the most you can hope for in a flight. Big queues at South African immigration, but we were processed fairly efficiently and out into baggage reclaim. We picked up our bags from the carousel and Ishbel’s spangly dobro case from the outsize luggage desk. Onward to the Avis desk. If you find yourself at Cape Town airport headed for the car rental desks, take a trolley. It’s a fair old trek.

Easy drive into Cape Town itself and, since we were early for the AirBnB, we parked near the place and had a wander in town. We’re staying in Church St, and grabbed a drink at Greenmarket Square then went to the Slave Lodge Museum to be educated on the history of slavery on the Cape. By then, it was time to pick up the keys and get in to our AirBnB place.

One of the reasons for choosing this place was that parking was included. We went back and grabbed the car so we could drive into the secured parking under the building. By the time we got back, someone had managed to park a pick up truck in front of the entrance to the garage, and been clamped. We went round the block once more in the hope that it would be cleared up by the time we got back. What was happening when we got back was a vociferous argument between the pickup driver and the building’s security guard, which didn’t look like it was headed for a prompt resolution. As luck would have it, the car that arrived at the building immediately after us was driven by a lady who was part of the management committee. There was an alternative garage available and the security guard was able to point us to an unoccupied space there. At some point in the afternoon the situation must have reached some kind of conclusion as I was later able to move the hire car to the appropriate allocated space.

A little bit of excitement for Day 1, but nothing too traumatising. We relaxed in the flat a little, played our instruments then went for a relaxing dinner in Tiger’s Milk on Long Street.

We’re having an early night tonight and doing some planning for the rest of our stay here. We tried to get tickets for the early boat to Robben Island but for the next two days only later boats are available. Consequently, we’re leaving that until Sunday.

We’re spending a lot of time in the Southern Hemisphere on this journey so we’re going to see as many different types of penguin as we can, starting tomorrow.

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