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Friday, 11 January 2013

Thursday 10th January. Travelling

Well, I finished work at 2.30pm, went home, got changed, called a taxi and that was it, I was off to join Peter on our next Amazonian Adventure.

I had a meticulously planned journey ahead.  It had to be, because the Marco Polo was spending a short day in Funchal, and leaving at 2pm.  Trying to keep within the very limits of my leave allowance and be on the ship in time meant that the only flight suitable left Heathrow at 06.40 am and flew direct to Funchal, to arrive at 10.25 am.

So.  A taxi from my house to Darlington Station (probably the biggest rip off of the whole journey at £25).   Train from Darlington to Kings Cross, Tube from Kings Cross to Hounslow West, Bus from Hounslow West to London Heathrow Central Travelodge,  rest (sort of, I got 3 hrs sleep).
Then (t 4.37 am),bus from the Travelodge to Heathrow Terminal 1, TAP flight from Heathrow to Funchal, where you land at an airport built out over the sea on stilts, and taxi from Funchal Airport to Funchal Seaport.  I booked it online before I left the UK, and there was a man waiting for me.  And at last the ship.

Highlights of the journey have to be watching the aircraft lights 3 minutes apart fly over the Travelodge, the Green Thai curry I ate at the Travelodge, the moment the woman on security pointed out that my fleece was on inside out, (Ooooops, but I did get dressed in the near dark and I’m not known for using mirrors).  And finally the point where I came out of customs at Funchal and there was a man stood with my name or a  iece of paper, like in the movies, waiting for me.  (Call me sad, but I sort of thought it was cool).

Funchal, Madeira
Driving along the coast of Madeira, I saw once again what a beautiful island this is, and I thought of a work colleague, Manj, who had always wanted to visit.   The taxi driver said I should make time one day to stay a little longer than cruise ship visits.  And I totally agree.  One day eh?

We got to the Port, and then there was Peter waiting for me, filming as usual. And there was the Marco Polo, and all the anxiety about missing the boat was gone. So now I’m on board. I’ve had a couple of meals, had a nap, said hi to all the old “gang” and feel quite at home. The cabin is a little snug, but we’ve managed to get everything in OK, the sea is as flat as a pancake, so very little movement on ship, and everything is good in my world. We’re probably gonna go out and get a drink now, and maybe see the cabaret later. Here’s to the start of my holiday.

 Funchal, Madeira 2011.
 Funchal, Madeira 2012
New Years Eve Fireworks, Funchal Madeira 31 Dec 2013
B&B in Funchal, Madeira 2014

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