Travel blog by a global nomad

22 Sep

Finally, Mother Russia lets me go

It had been a long hard haul. 4 days delay in a remote bush camp.  A tense couple of flights to Magadan. The sinking despair of changing plans en route to Moscow. A close call with death in Moscow. But now it was 4.30am and I was with a tired bunch of people waiting for the Aeroflot counter to open and check us in.

At 4.30pm, one lady came over and opened up one counter. We all fell into a jumbled line, a few Russians forcing their way in ahead of others, but most were orderly.

My ticket was accepted with no comment, my bags were checked in smoothly. I didn’t have to pay extra on the 8kg overweight (probably only because the excess baggage counter wasn’t open). Passport control let me through smoothly. Several shops were already open in the Duty Free area. I bought a bottle of water – and hit my only snag – it was sparkling water. I hate sparkling water. Water is (usually) delicious and refreshing. Adding bubbles to it does nothing for it!

I went through security. I demonstrated for the upteenth time that I had no water in my aluminium water bottle. For the upteenth time they proceeded to tear apart my bag – to pronounce the ‘dangerous’ item was my Peter F. Hamilton book…

We boarded the plane at 6.10am. We pushed off at 6.27am. After 5 days of delays, this was going very smoothly – and ahead of schedule (barely)!

The flight was uneventful. I got to London in just under 3 hours 30 minutes – again less than usual 4 hours and less than the 3 hours and 30 minutes they had quoted this time.

It was like Mother Russia gave up the ghost. She’d lost me from her suffocating embrace and knew it. She let me go….

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