We were awake this morning well before the alarm-call, so I got up and decided to have a long, hot shower as we knew we had a long day ahead of us. We packed up our cases, labelled them and left them for collection outside our room.
I felt an ominous rumbling in my nether regions and thought “oh no, not Delhi Belly just before a long-haul flight…!”
We enjoyed a good breakfast but, after I had to run to the loo again half way through, I decided to pop a couple of Imodium Plus capsules, to stop any cases of the galloping trots before they started. We then went back to our room, had a final check around before picking up our carry-on bags and making our way to reception.
It only took about 30 minutes to get to Indira Gandhi International Airport, where the Virgin Atlantic desk was already open and there were no queues. We therefore checked in our luggage straight away. 🙂
There were not many shops or cafés landside, so we decided to go through security and have a look around the duty-free shops and find somewhere to sit and relax, as we had about three hours to wait before our flight.
I thought I would try some new perfume and, after looking around the shop and trying some of the testers, I settled on a bottle of Valentino Donna, which had fruity top-notes (raspberries) and warm vanilla base notes. It was $105.00 for the 100ml bottle, about 65 quid. They also threw in a free cosmetic bag and a free men’s shower gel for Trevor. 🙂
There was nothing else I wanted to buy, so we decided to go and find a bar. We weren’t going in the executive lounge this time; we discovered that you had to pay for alcoholic drinks in the lounge (as well as the £15 per head entrance fee) so it wasn’t worth it. Instead, we found a bar with a good view of the aircraft and hangars, and we settled down with a cold Kingfisher beer each, and just relaxed and enjoyed the ambiance, talking over some of the fantastic things we’d seen on this memorable trip.
Once we’d finished our second beers, it was time to start making our way to the airport gate. The round of four cans of Kingfisher beer turned out to be very expensive – 25 quid by the time they’d added their taxes and service charge on.
We walked along the endless corridors and travellators before we reached our gate, and discovered that flight VS301 to London Heathrow was boarding already, so we joined the end of the queue.
it turned out to be the same brand-new aeroplane that we’d flown out on; this time our seats were in row 61 and I’d requested an aisle seat because of my dodgy tum. In any case there were quite a lot of empty seats on the aircraft; the flight was obviously not full and I ended up with a vacant seat beside me.
Not a lot else to say really. One long-haul flight is pretty much like another one. Pre-dinner drinks, meal, post-prandial drinks, in-flight entertainment (I watched the 2015 docu-film Amy about the life of Amy Winehouse – it was great!). Trying in vain to sleep, etc.
The only annoyance was the Indian couple in front of us – I think they were mother and daughter. The daughter put her seat back as soon as the plane was airborne almost into Trevor’s lap. She then stretched herself out over the vacant seat next to her (which was in front of me). That was not enough, however, and she ended up putting the seat back in front of me! How many bl**dy seats did she want?! We forced the seats upright again, viewing her glaring face through the gaps; one of the cabin crew guys said he would see if he could move us if we became uncomfortable. Honestly – some people are incredibly inconsiderate when it comes to other passengers. 🙁
The time passed slowly as it always does when you’re flying home from holiday. Once we were within an hour of landing, the cabin crew came around with a light meal and some tea and coffee; they’d barely got it cleared up when the “Fasten Seatbelts” sign was switched on and flight VS301 started its final approach into Heathrow.
When we disembarked the aircraft it was cold, but still fairly mild for November. We made our way through security to the baggage hall, and had absolutely ages to wait until our cases appeared on the carousel. All around us people were collecting their bags and saying their goodbyes; some only had 30 minutes to an hour to get home, while we were trying not to think about the six-hour journey we still had to come, back to the North-East. 🙁
Eventually we retrieved our bags and made our way to the Arrivals hall, where a private car would be waiting to drive us all the way home. Our chauffeuse was a pleasant Brazilian lady and she was taking Trevor and me, as well as another lady from Bishop Auckland (about 14 miles from Durham) home.
The car was a Skoda Octavia which was large and comfortable; there was plenty of leg room and there was bottled water and tissues in the door pockets for us. We left the airport at 7.15pm, so we weren’t expecting to get home before 01:00am, by the time stops were included. And we had to get up for work in the morning! 🙁
As it happened, however, no-one really needed a break. So we managed to reach our front door at 00:15 hours – five hours after leaving the airport. Then it was into the house, dump the bags, and straight into bed as we were obviously still on Indian time, so it felt like the middle of the night.
Another great holiday had come to an end. Here’s to the next one! 🙂