A Looong Haul and Kiwi.com

I rose early and felt compelled to get up early to capture the sounds of the Indian Ocean for my precious sister.  Hardly a soul was out, except for some of the groundskeepers and a murder of crows.

The water lapped up to the sand and kissed it softly.  Bliss.

It was a disjointed day; leaving day always is.

The cleaner came so we were back at the grill to have drinks or ice cream to stay out from under her feet.

Once we got back in, we started having our last showers.  Zac and I went for a long, hot and fruitless search for an official Kenyan soccer Jersey.

We spent ages, packing and trying to make the strict 5 kg limit.  We were struggling to meet the limit, so we spent ages, strategising and juggling things between bags and jacket pockets.

I took Flynn down for his final swim and chocolate gelato.

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After checkout, we hung out in the lobby.  The heat of the day really began to get to me; I became faint and nauseous.  The thought of this long flight ahead felt untenable.

Flynn, began to fill unwell too, just before our taxi arrived.  Turns out, our original driver in Mombasa m, Ali, had overcharged us so we chose not to call him back.

This taxi driver was trying to conserve energy in his car, so he had the windows down and at first as we passed through tropically leafy Mombasa this was lovely and refreshing.

However, we hit a traffic jam full of ancient trucks and cars spewing out fumes that filled the air and our poor nostrils.  Half of us felt gross and we were so relieved to arrive at the airport.  We gave Flynn a tablet that dissolves on his tongue to stop the nausea.  It tasted horrible but it worked quite quickly.

Imagine our shock, when, during check-in, the TUIfly Kenyan crew brought out a bag-fitter block that informed us our bags had to weigh under 8 kg.  EIGHT KILOS? NOT FIVE KILOS!!!!

What the HECK???

All that stressing and packing for NOTHING!!!!

In fact, no one even looked at our bags at check in! Not a soul!

The other funny thing at check-in was when the cheery check-in man handed the final ticket to Flynn saying ‘And last here is a ticket for the beautiful young lady!’

Seriously, they keep mistaking him for a girl because of his hair over here.  Like every single time! 

Check went smoothly and we progressed to the departure lounge where the ceiling fans moved quicker and were larger.  Much more refreshing.

Kara made a new friend who she spent the time with while waiting, which was lovely to watch. 

We were called in ‘to board’ so we obediently shuffled to a more crowded lounge with smaller slower fans and more people eating up the oxygen.

But that was doable, because we were about to board right?

Suddenly, a kerfuffle began over near the departure gates.  People were crowding around the Kenyan TUI reps; they were not looking happy.

Boarding time came and went; take-off time came and went with the doors to the plane opening, shutting and no-one progressing at all.  Finally, 40 minutes after original flight time we were in the plane.

Apparently a bunch of seats got double booked.  We were all seated in the same row, but kind of split up all the same.  We ended up having an empty seat next to us so we all sat together.

Finally over a full hour late, we were in the air.

TUI service for a long haul is complimentary.  Yay!!!  The food was pretty good.  Dinner was tasty beef on rice, whereas breakfast was a cold hard bun that wouldn’t let the butter spread on it.  My bun broke into pieces, and then the has butter covered in jan slopped jam-side down ( of course) onto my jeans.

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The entertainment  was good, but bring your own headphones.

My impression of Belgians from the stewards and passengers was not a warm fuzzy feeling, that’s for sure.

Somehow, we arrived on time!  We walked straight into check-in for your short Ryanair flight.

Again, inexplicably the line waited and grew and waiting, clogging up the corridor. 

What was the holdupso early in the morning.  When we did get called to board we then stood in the chill winter morning, absolutely freezing for another 15 minutes.  Getting into the plane took so long.

We were all separated on this Ryanair leg.

I don’t recommend it as there was nothing to do or eat without spending money.

Thankfully it also arrived into Barcelona on time!

We had to quickly get from Terminal 2to Terminal 1, a 5 minute free shuttle ride.  

The boarding line began, it grew and swelled and still no one progressed.  Baffling.  

We sat in the lounge and watched it for a few minutes while we took turns freshening up. The young woman opposite me, who I had been feeling sorry for as I watched her boyfriend treat her poorly, cracked open a whole papaya with her bare hands and began devouring it.  Papaya juice intermittently splattering me and her shirt and pants are soaked with it.  I was fine waiting in the lounge.  We joined the queue.

Instead of trying to organise us into Group 1 and Group 2 over a microphone, they slowly travelled down the massive line, doing it manually.

We were half an hour late by the time we were in the bus; then we still stayed grounded.

A little later, a steward announced that they were trying to find a bounced passenger’s checked luggage in the undercarriage.

More waiting.

So we would be arriving 50 minutes late int San Fran and still have to go through customs, show visa waiver and go find another terminal in 1.15 hours.

We slumped into our sits, ready to be fed and entertained for free.  But in our seat pockets were big booklets of the meals you can buy onboard.

Huh?  We are prisoners in this flight for over 12 hours and we have to buy your food? So frustrating!

About an hour into our flight; dinner service began.  I watched carefully for credit cards to come out, but no.  It moved so slowly; everyone got a free dinner!  Phew!

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Not a wonderful flight overall.  The lady in front lay her seat back early in the trip, the guy behind


kicked and moved my chair so much, I thought it was a kid at first.

It was a long  long flight.  Breakfast / lunch// whatever-meal-we-were -up-to came just before landing.

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We landed and then the plane sat for 10 minutes. Then when it got to its resting place, we all stood and waited for about 20 minutes before we began to slowly file out

My heart sank. We only had 45 minutes now to clear customs and board. 

I won’t go into the roller coaster ride we experienced over the next 45 minutes, as I asked offical after official if the could help us as we stood about 11 long zigzagging lines away from a customs officer.

We missed our flight by 15 minutes.

I was near tears 45 minutes earlier, but now I was behind them. 

I had booked this extremely cheap, very close-cutting-it set of flights through a company called Kiwi.com, who guarantee that if you miss your flight, they will rebook a flight for you for free if it costs up to the double the price. 

I had been facebook messaging Kiwi.com all about the drama throughout the customs line.  I was worried because there are so many bad rEvie was about kiwi.com on forums; so many.

But every time I have messaged them they reply promptly with care and reassurance.

Just after we plonked our bags down in the San Fran terminal, I received a phone call from them.

Kiwi.com rebooked is a flight for 6:55 the next morning, then they took care of our accommodation at a hotel with free transport and breakfast and they paid for our dinner as well. Just gobsmacked by their quick and amazing service!

Getting ready for 5 hours of sleep!!

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