Sunday, 10 January 2016

Heathrow to Manila in a day - literally ....

So there was a slight hitch with the first part of our trip - and that was before we even left the UK! 

My cousin Ros was kind enough to take both TC and me to the airport at 10am this morn. We pulled up outside TC's flat, she climbed into the car and just as we turned the corner, she realised she didn't have her phone! 

So, we drove back to the flat, TC ran inside and searched it from top to bottom, but to no avail. Panic was setting in, I rang it and from a small distance away, beyond the front door, we could hear the dulcet ring tone and ran outside to find the phone lying in the middle of the road!  I have never seen my little curly haired friend move so fast, (well apart from 'the Monkey Incident' in India four years ago), she ran over and grabbed the little device from the wet Tarmac, within minutes of a car rounding the corner and innocently driving over that spot!

Panic over and we headed off to Heathrow to catch our first flight to Abu Dhabi and then the connecting one an hour and a half later to Manila. Or so we thought ...

Having spent a couple of hours mooching around the shops in terminal four, I glanced down at my newly bought watch and realised we had five minutes to get to Gate 10 at the other end of the terminal! We belted down there, (TC even managed it in her new walking shoes that were pinching her bunions!) and we arrived in time to find out the boarding was delayed by half an hour.

Finally we were allowed on board and with our flight socks on and seat belts clicked we were raring to go. The plane started taxing towards the run way and the pre flight prayer came up on our mini TVs! (I don't know, maybe this is normal on an Etihad flight, but I've never experienced that before - a preflight prayer!!? It felt quite disconcerting?!) Suddenly a lady two rows in front started to feel unwell! The poor woman was feeling sick and breathless, so unwell in fact, that the plane was turned around and taxied back to the airport, where she was taken off and eventually so was her luggage.

We waited and waited and waited and waited to move off again. No one came to inform us as to what was going on, no one came down the aisles with a few soft drinks or snacks and so we continued to wait and wait and wait. The air conditioning went up full blast and even the toilets remained locked for the first twenty minutes, so by the time they were unlocked again, the rush for the loos was like a stampede of Wilder Beast!

Eventually we set off for Abu Dhabi, over an hour late on a seven hour flight trying not to worry about missing our connecting flight and having to stay over night in the United Arab Emirates.

Luckily there was a whole host of ground staff waiting to direct nearly everyone from our flight to their respective connecting gates and we managed to make it to Manila, arriving 5 minutes early?

The city of Manila is the third most populated city in the world and on our taxi ride to the hotel, it seemed as though every resident of this busy city was on the road!

Having checked into the hotel, TC approved of our room, we went for a quick walk around the block and realising that darkness was setting in fast and there was an array of pot holes everywhere we opted for a quick dinner at the hotel and an early night.

And so now I am writing to you from our room at The Oasis Park Hotel, our dinner was delightful, no complaints from TC about dodgy chicken, we did share the bean casserole so there may be few complaints about that tomorrow?! We met up with 'the two Jos' and their Aussie friend Tracey. Got the run down on what to do here and now I am trying desperately hard to stay awake a little longer in the hope that I can get a full nights sleep and wake up early in the morning, fully refreshed! Hmmm ....

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