Explanation As To Why Tanbay Was Two Weeks Late

Wednesday 17th July 2013 
Mummy and John took us to Heathrow and made us a lovely goodbye lunch (thank you). Tanbay and I got to the check in, which is when disaster struck. They looked at Tanbay's passport and the woman said 'this isn't a passport'. I was thinking she was the stupidest woman ever and we explained it was just because it was German and we'd used it many times to get to Germany/Dublin. She showed it to her colleges who all agreed.. We then went to a new counter and the woman explained that it was indeed an Identity card, not a passport, and whilst T could travel around Europe he could not leave Europe with it.

The ironic thing is Tanbay always showed off about how cool his laminated piece of card was and how much better it is than the English passport.

So after freaking out we called mum to ask her to come back, which is when she suggested that I go by myself...

In the end we agreed this would be for the best, and the reason for it was three fold:
  1.  We didn't want to let down our lovely house sitters
  2. We figured T would be able to get some flight money back as he literally could not fly, but I could so wouldn't get any back
  3. So I wouldn't have to buy a new flight ticket for later on.

Thus I began the first flight I'd ever taken by myself.

Of course there were lots of things around the airport to make me miss Tanbay even more. I got stuck behind a woman on those flat escalators and her bag said "L and T".. and then this advert was everywhere:
Needless to say this is Tanbay

Whilst I was waiting for the plane I got talking to a guy who had business in China and he was one of those travel saints who let me use his priority boarding so I could get on the plane first. Thank you man.

The flight to Beijing was okay, it was 9.5 hours long, I managed 4 hours sleep, got a massive dirty look when I ordered a beer and a wine and watched Fantastic Mr Fox which may be the best film ever, though it may be because I was in a bad place and missed my weasel. Incidentally it taught me that Mustela Nivalis means least weasel.

Thursday 18th July 2013 
Then I arrived in Beijing. Now you may or may not know that I have not had the best track record with Beijing:

My friend Pip will tell you that as I have only been there once I can't make an informed decision about Beijing, though once is more times than she's been there ;) I love you more poo.

Anyway so in keeping with my bad track record, the plane was late which only gave me an hour to get through the airport, which I thought would be fine. However, they made me queue in the wrong place twice which lost me 30 minutes.

 Tanbay would have been invaluable, one of us could have queued and one of us could of have checked with another queue that we were in the right one.. Anyway eventually I found the correct queue: 

Well named

Then I had to endure an overstuffed incredibly slow train through the airport, miles of walking to the baggage claim, a back track to an escalator which took me up three floors to the baggage check. Luckily I got to go through the quick lane, but I didn't have time to get the laptop and electric things back into my bag, so I had to leg the last section with the laptop in my hand, my hat with my passport and ticket in the other and my rucksack on my back. I just made it to the bus (equally overcrowded and slow) which took us to the plane. 

The second plane was sadder than the first, because it was just me and my empty Mustela Nivalis seat, plus I read the goodbye card my sister Em gave me which was sad too. It wasn't long before we arrived in Shanghai, it looks awesome from the air:

It's like legoland! 

I didn't realise we had to get off in Shanghai, but fortunately the airport was lots better than Beijing, mainly because a man met us with a sign and lead us the whole way. I met a nice ozzie who said he'd flown from Gatwick to Beijing and had to stay in the airport for 9 hours! We had to rescan and de-liquid again...

Friday 19th July 2013 
This flight was about 11 hours.. but here is my first glimpse of Australia (Darwin)

  But it was still 5 hours until I had my first glimpse of Melbourne:
Looks like Europe..

Until you see the sea!

When we got off the plane we had to walk in single file and get sniffed by a dog, which was exciting.. However, the Australian passport check was very quick and easy. Then I waited so long for my baggage to arrive that I missed my bus. Fortunately a lovely Australian let me use her phone to email Sara and Richard. 

There was a visa check and then I was finally free of my ridiculously long flight! I waited an hour for the next bus and successfully caught that one.

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We overland. We eat plants and fungi. We live outside as much as possible. We are all connected. A female travel blogger overlanding and writing about ecotourism, ethical and sustainable travel, socially conscious travel and housesitting. An online travel magazine since 2015.


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