This really is the end, but I couldn’t resist telling you about my trip home. I was traveling with Vueling – the cut price arm of Iberia – and I really have very little to complain of. They coped well with both legs of the journey, apart from one small hiccup which I’ll come to.
Departure from Banjul was bang on time at 11:30 pm and I was told my case would automatically follow me on the second leg of the journey. Despite dozing on the flight, I arrived in Barcelona at about 6:00am local time tired and disoriented. A security guard wouldn’t let me follow the “transit” corridor due to my surname not being on my Vueling documentation, so I had to go out via arrivals. This led to a long – about three hours – wait before I could check in. I was the first person to check in for the flight to Edimburgo and there was some confusion about which desk I had to go to. Eventually I got through security without a full body search and found the gateI’d been sent to – D07 – with four hours down and two to go. This was when it nearly all went pear shaped.
I fell asleep in my chair and woke at 12:00, the exact time my plane was due to depart! The departures board said, in Catalan, “Tocana” (closed). What’s more, the departure gate wasn’t D07 anymore, but another one not too far away. Almost in tears, I ran to D12 to be told by an officious Spaniard “Ze gate is closed”: I suspect his lineage is German. Anyway, with tears welling in my eyes, I was approached by a more sympathetic senorita who said “You must be on time”. I explained I’d been in the airport for 6 hours, added in various other extenuating circumstances most of which were true, and she telephoned the plane and I was allowed on, stumbling down the stairs, still half asleep, and muttering “lo siento, muchas gracias” to all and sundry. I got a few glares from my fellow passengers, but at least my late arrival meant the baggage handlers could stop looking for my luggage to remove from the hold.
I had barely strapped myself in when the plane began the journey home to Edinburgh. It would have been ironic in the extreme if I’d missed that plane.
I don’t know the Mandinka, Wolof etc. for “goodbye”, so it has be “Hasta la vista, baby”.