28th May – Homeward bound

We elected not to have breakfast at the hotel as it would have left us short of time and besides, neither of us tend to be particularly hungry at such an ungodly hour….. I’d checked with the hotel reception that the airport did have cafés as we were bound to have time whilst waiting for our flight. Weren’t we?

We got to the hotel entrance at around 8.20 am – a result for us – to find our taxi driver already awaiting. In no time, we were bowling down FV-1 towards the airport, largely uneventful, notable only for our driver endlessly twiddling the tuner on the radio to find crap Europop.

Got to the airport in, notionally at any rate, plenty of time, accompanied by coachloads of bloody tourists. As a result, the check-in queues were massive. There were also supposed to be three desks open, but in fact only two were, and there seemed to be lots of problems, particularly with larger groups checking in. After all this time, I still don’t know why they can’t organise things so that any problems like this are shunted elsewhere and don’t hold the queue up. One group in front of us took a good 15 minutes to sort out and the tension was rising rapidly, not helped by an excess of screaming infants. And I mean screaming. Our grandson had nothing on that….. 

We finally managed to negotiate this, only to find ANOTHER massive queue to get through Security. Surely there must be a better way?? 

At least that didn’t cause us too much trouble, but time was now short and I was not in the best of tempers. Grabbed an indifferent coffee and snack before heading to the departure gate to find YET ANOTHER huge queue to get through passport control. Ye Gods!

Fuerteventura Airport is much bigger than I expected, and the signage wasn’t of the best, so it took us a while to ensure we really were in the right queue for the right plane.

Thankfully, we were, and as I’d pre-booked a front row seat for me and one immediately behind for Jean, we were soon seated, although one couple had to be told to move.

The flight left around 15 minutes late, and was smooth and uneventful, landing dead on time at Gatwick. Thence a long walk to passport control and the usual struggle with the automatic passport recognition system. For probably the first time, I got through with no trouble, but Jean was forced to take the manual route. We agreed that I should go and collect the luggage and she could join me at the carousel.

I was expecting to have taken the bags off by the time Jean joined me. Nope. The carousel hadn’t even started to move, so we waited. And waited. Two announcements from DHL apologised for the delay to Easyjet travellers. No explanation as to why, of course. Eventually, to loud and sarcastic cheers, the carousel started to move, and our bags were amongst the early ones.

Off we went in search of the bus to take us to the long term car park, which we found with a bit of difficulty. Ten minutes later, the bus turned up and ten minutes later we were deposited at Stop T1, Rows 10/11, as I’m sure you remember. Yeah, right….. 

The car started first pop and we found our way out of this enormous car park. The gate opened and we were free!

Up the M23, around the M25 and up the M1 was as smooth and fast as any motorway journey I can remember, mercifully. We decided to stop at a pub we hadn’t visited for quite a while for our evening meal (the Chequers at Westoning, since you ask) as we couldn’t be arsed to cook anything. Glad we did, as it was an excellent meal. They also do a very nice line in off-licence wines, so I avaiIed myself of some bottles of Negroamaro. Top stuff.

We were home in less than half an hour to find it still standing. I’d switched the heating and hot water on remotely, so everything was hunky-dory when we got in. Just had to deal with all the bumf that was in the post, unpack, fill the laundry basket and go to bed. Which I did – eventually. The Italian version of the Tour de France was on catch-up and the stage I watched will probably be decisive in the context of the race overall. Very exciting for a cycling fan, unutterably boring for most others.

So we come to the end of this short break in Fuerteventura. Most enjoyable, and my final post on this blog will be some conclusions about the trip as a whole. 

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