They say every journey starts with the first step – this 5,000 mile journey started with a 3 hour round trip to pick the kids up from there half term break with my parents (Yes nearly 50 and still reliant on good old Mum and Dad to cover half term). Case packed I head for the rail-air link to Heathrow and Cardiff gives me a real welsh send off – torrential rain. As I sit there cold and wet in the train that has stopped unexpectedly outside Bristol (again) I try and push away the growing worry that my journey will finish somewhere around Swindon that’s to Great Western Rail….thank goodness I left a buffer of 3 hours before light time.
Heathrow > Madrid, Madrid > Sao Paulo runs like a dream. I even get a spare seat next to me on the plane, 5 hours sleep and ‘transporter reloaded’ on the movies – now that’s travelling. However, as I sit in Sao Paulo coffee shop and contemplate the 12 hour connection time I relies I cannot relax just yet. 5 hours learning network theory whilst enjoying free Wi-Fi in Sao Paulo airport Starbucks actually turns out to be a very productive way of spending the time. Then my co-workshop host Tom Meagher (fully recovered from his Scottish 24 hour bug) appears and time speeds up – nothing like good company to make time fly.
Although we have booked the exact same timed night flight to Belem it is actually 2 separate barely 5 minutes apart. But Tom and I arrive in Belem safe and sound even given though my plane takes two attempts to set-down. 28 hours after embarking at Heathrow we arrive in Belem and the mouth of the Amazon.