MARCH 23 & 24, 2010
03.23.2010 - 03.24.2010 76 °F
I left what will certainly be a very hot day in Cape Town and I feel satisfied that I have seen and done all I really intended and wanted to do. Had a very clear and good view of Table Mountain as we departed to the east flying over False Bay so named because of the many confused ships in the early year reaching the Cape thinking this was the point to turn north to Cape Town only to be trapped in of course False Bay. For those Alaskans reading it would be the same as Captain Cooks naming of Turnagain Arm in Cook Inlet.
I am now awaiting my Cathay Pacific flight to Hong Kong which begins boarding in less than 30 minutes. I am traveling on the upper deck again of the magnificent 747. Seating will be different with single seats angling out toward front center. The upper deck seats actually have longer beds according to my research and are supposed to be truly flat beds and I will be using that bed tonight to get as much sleep as possible as I have a marathon of 4 flight to get to Delhi through Johannesburg, Hong Kong, Mumbai. Had no choice if I wished to see the Taj Mahal and I did in my insanity to experience it all. It is quite hot and semi overcast and fells humid, something I did not experience in Cape Town thank goodness. I had an uncomfortable incident with the cab that was order by my B&B. I clearly asked if 220 Rand would be enough (about $30.00) and the manager said yes. Me the cabbie a very friendly conversation on the 15 minute ride to airport. Upon exiting he asked for 280 Rand. I told him I only had 220 Rand and the guest house said that was plenty. That is one thing about Cape Town people is they are very in the clouds and will give an answer whether it is right or wrong. It also seemed that the many waite staff and service people seemed to be in training. Can’t believe everyone is new to their job but rather a mentality of the culture. They’re going to go nuts when the less tolerant World Cup visitors arrive but I certainly wish nothing but good will. I gave the disgruntled cabbie my 220 apologized and he mumbled something about I will talk to the Guest House. Good luck with that chap! Good bye for now. Mark
I know that that past few years have been very hard emotionally for our family. First, the loss of my dearest sister Gail. We had talked about doing an adventure just her and I somewhere where we could just leave our illness and challenges behind for a while and truly enjoy the moment. Gail gave me the spirit of spontaneity and the understanding that sometimes you just need to throw caution to the wind and do your own thing, but life can be all to fleeting. My cousin Margie who I never considered a cousin but a very special aunt who I think first planted the seed of travel in me. I remember how truly amazed I was that her family had traveled to the edges of my known world (a tiny spec in the Pacific called Guam). I relished the stories of sandy beaches, coral and of course the air travel which back in the 60’s was truly an amazing thing with the beginning of jet travel we take for granted today. By the way, my jet has just past the island of Mozambique and has begun our long stretch over the Indian Ocean to the Asian Continent. Margies dream to the end was to visit Scotland and I loved how passionately she spoke of that dream but alas, life is far to fleeting. Margie and Gail will always travel with me in my heart of hearts and give me the courage and strength necessary to follow my dreams no matter how impossible they may seem including completing this very physically and mentally challenging life dream. If this shared experience does only one thing, I truly hope that it will inspire all of you to dream big and live large because alas, life is truly far to brief. These long overnight flights really give a time to reflect I guess.
There, I have my second wind now and my adventure and my dream is far from over so stay tuned for Asia and Exotic Continent that so eluded the white adventures for so many centuries and that those brave men who challenged the religious concept of a flat earth and a cliff at the end of Africa that would swallow any ship that darned come near! The Cape of Storms as it was known is more appropriately now named the Cape of Good Hope.
Next stop is Hong Kong and here’s a little known personal fact: I have been an avid, NO NOT THE RIGHT WORD, fanatical that’s it, Flight Sim enthusiast for nearly 14 years! My partner Rick gave me my first version of Microsoft Flight Sim in 1997. I honestly don’t know how he knew that it was something that would change my life but he did. My first flight on Flight Sim was a takeoff, over flight of the incredible skyline of Hong Kong and landing at the old Hong Kong airport (make that crash landing) with its famous right angle approach over buildings that gave it the reputation as the most exciting and dangerous landing approach in the world. I remember fumbling trying to figure of how the heck to control the plane because from the very beginning with the simulator I flew by the seat of my pants and I remember never giving up and how excited I was when I landed my 747 safely. Yes, I said 747 my first aircraft I ever flew in FS. Now, maybe you will better understand how thrilled I am to finally arrive in Hong Kong on board my real 747. Unfortunately, they have a newer and much safer airport but the experience still gives me goose bumps as I am only 7 hrs away. Wish me luck as I land this Queen of Skies (Hay, not me the airplane) in my mind. Between you and me I honestly think I could land this baby all by myself but they won’t let me in the cockpit but I’m ready just in case! Time for sleep before I arrive.
Made it to Hong Kong to heavy air polution and 90+ percent humidity and enjoy the pics because I'm out of this place nun to fast for me. Next stop Mumbai and fnally Delhi.