All About Trey

Life, Travel, Adventure

1K Weekend

So I have a confession to make.

I'm a little bit of a mileage whore.  I'm not Flyer Talk crazy, but I do enjoy my status on United quite a bit.  And while I'm typically Premier Platinum, I usually don't make the 1K status where the really good perks are.  So I decided to do a mileage run in order to make 1K this year.

And my run?

Depart Washington Dulles at 540PM on Friday.  Arrive Johannesburg South Africa at 545PM on Saturday (after a stop in Dakkar Senegal).  Depart Jberg at 9PM on Saturday and arrive in Zurich on Sunday at 6AM.  Depart Zurich at 9AM.  Arrive Brussels at 1020AM.  Depart Brussels at 1230 and arriver Washington Dulles at 245PM on Sunday.  So basically my weekend.

Part 1:  Some where over West Africa:

So far so good.   I did manage to get a little sleep.  My persistent little cold isn't killing me yet.  Thank goodness for NyQuil.  And DayQuil.  I was lucky enough to have an empty seat next to me.  So that was nice.

There is a church youth group on the plane.  They are fun.  But they are talkers.  And even the noise canceling head phones aren't enough.   But they are nice kids.

I should be in Paris now.   That's what I'm used to.  An overnight hop across the pond and then arriving at Charles de Gaulle.

Dakkar is not Paris.  I don't have a window seat, so I can only see a little bit outside the window.  But it looks like what you expect.  A tropical feel with palm trees.  Low rise buildings.  Made from cement blocks.   When we left we passed over the ocean and the beach looked nice.

Some people got off at Dakkar.  And some got on.   I still have my empty seat.  So that's good.

The flight map is so weird.   I'm expecting Dublin, London, Amsterdam.  And instead I have Banjul, Bamako, Conakry.   Places I've never heard of.

Another 8 hours to Jberg.  We should arrive early.  I got my boarding pass for my next flight.   So that's good.

Part 2:  Africa Hot

Holy cow.    A long flight. 

So it's summer here in South Africa.   It's hot, it's humid, and like DC, they get thunderstorms in Jberg.    We had managed to dodge most of them, but as we made our descent, we hit a bad pocket.   The plane dropped a good 30 feet.  It was not pretty.  And I had the death grip on the seat handles.   One of the flight attendants broke his leg.  So it was definitely not fun.  

But landed safely, to many applause.   International transfers, cleared customers.  And I've got boarding passes for the rest of the trip. So that's good.

It's hot. Africa hot.   So I hit the gift shops for a pair of shorts and a t shirt.  I have no idea how much I paid.  350 rands?  Whatever.   I really, really, really hope I can find a shower at the lounge in Zurich.  Otherwise I'm going to be ripe by the time I get home.  

Had an iPad problem and now I can't watch my movies.   Not good.  Hopefully I can figure out what the problem is.  Glad I brought some books. 

The next flight is the worst.  10 hours.  But I struggle on.  

Part 3:  Entering Libyan Airspace

Interesting fact.   The Johanesburg airport is 6500 feet above sea level.  At that altitude, the planes can't fully load up on fuel.  They are too heavy to take off.  So for the really long flights to Washington or NYC, they have to stop some place to get fuel.  Hence Dakkar. 

The Swiss Air plane is nice than the South African Airline plan.  Maybe newer.  The business class (which is not full!) has a cool Ikea like vibe to it.

So we are somewhere over the Sahara desert and about to enter Libyan airspace.  More cool names on the map:  Kano, N Djamena, Agadez.   

So I've been to Egypt, Kenya, Tunisia, and Morocco.  And I would like to come back to South Africa some time.   But there are huge parts of Africa that I have no interest in.   I know the term "fly over states" can be condescending in the US, but I really do think there are a lot of "fly over countries" here in Africa. Nigeria? Rwanda? Angola?   Not exactly high on my list for vacations.  

I fixed the problem with the movies on my iPad.   So that's good.  Watched Pitch Perfect which was great.  And Total Recall.   It was different enough from the original to be interesting.   But it still kind of sucked,  though Colin Ferrell is still hot.  

My mission in Zurich is charging the iPad and getting a shower.   Needless to say my little travel adapter that is perfect for Europe didn't work at the lounge in Jberg.  I really want a shower.  Thank goodness I did bring some change of clothes.  

Part 4:  Mission Status

Successfully rendezvoused with the agent in Johannesburg and picked up the package.  Exchanged package in Zurich as planned.  Being followed so I am heading hime via Brussels. 

Sorry.   Watched the Bourne Legacy on the flight and I started to feel all James Bond-ish.  

No shower in Zurich.   Or in Brussels.   Oh well.  I'm almost home.

This has been weird/fun and if, and I do mean if, I do this again, I'm not going to try to do so many miles at the last minute.  This is a little bit crazy.