So this thing finally (“yes” I hear you say!) got some legs today. I actually have been trying to get a flight sorted for some time, and having been advised to look on lastminute.com, I duly did. I found however that almost without exception, every flight that is shown on there comes back once you click on ‘book’ as “this flight is no longer available”, so I gave up on them.
So having tried a few other agencies online, there was not much coming in below £600. Some were £800+. Which is a lot of money, in anyone’s book, particularly when this is a flight overnight to Kenya first, which I am told is not the nicest of airports to have to spend any time in at all. So on Saturday I was in Oxford, as I had decided to be a bit touristy for the day (I must tell you more about that sometime, I loved it with a passion), and I happen upon a branch of Trailfinders, so I walk in on a whim.
I get to meet a very helpful and efficient lady there, who gets me a quote on a flight, and it is a.) on the day that I want, b.) it gets me to Kili at a good time on Monday morning (my trek starts on Wednesday, so that is a good enough time I reckon for me to acclimatise), c.) it leaves from Heathrow at 7pm on a Sunday evening, and so that means I don’t have any worries about not getting to the airport on time, d.) there is only an hour and a quarter layover in Jomo Kenyatta Airport, and e.) it comes in at under £600 (£570 to be exact). Oh and f.) she is very nice:) and has also been to Kilimanjaro before!
I therefore decide as a result of the above that I should just go for it, but she throws me a curveball with the following question: “Before you hand over your money, the flight is totally non-refundable. Are you sure that your trip is 100% guaranteed, only I have made bookings like this before when the trip didn’t happen, and it caused some problems”. Heck! Is my trip 100% guaranteed? I have no idea! I have paid no money, and so I suppose anything could happen yet, and so I thank the Trailfinders person and decide to check first. I head off to the pub in Oxford for some quiet contemplation, as it were, and send Henry an email.
So by the end of the weekend, and Monday morning in fact (I don’t expect anyone to work weekends after all:), although ‘nice lady’ from trailfinders does her job and chases me, having held the flight), I get the confirmation I require. Henry says that it is “100% guaranteed”, which is good enough for me!
So, to cut a long story short, I ring Trailfinders (who are super efficient, first time I have used them I think), pay my money, and I am booked! I will therefore fly on Sunday evening, the 21st February 2010, and will arrive at my destination in Arusha , at somewhere near the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro, sometime after breakfast the following day. The 22nd February 2010 will be my first steps in Africa, and what a baptism awaits!
Tomorrow I need to select my hotel. I also got my nice lovely new boots today, which cost me about as much as my flight did (not really, but they are by some distance the most expensive footwear I have ever bought), and so I will tell you about those in the next post………
I am closer to walking, and running, and treadmilling too, so these will be covered next time also.
Bring. It. On. Marvellous.