South Africa · 56 Days · 7 Moments · November 2014

Lesley Jones

Lesley's adventure in South Africa

1 January 2015

Where did the time go? As I sit in Johannesburg airport waiting to board the plane to Addis Ababa I wonder what happened to the last 8 days? A bit of jetlag as well as not being well when I first arrived and poof it is time to go home already. I have got a couple of hours on a plane or 2 soon so will do my journal retrospectively. Must say it has been a great time spent with my amazing hubby, catching up with my little sis and meeting up with loads of old friends all over South Africa. Most of all my moms ashes are finally reunited with the love of her life. Job done! Being in all these places has brought back many great memories which I will share with you all shortly.

28 December 2014

Not really got internet access, only when we are in a wifi hotspot so my posting is a little sporadic. We have scattered my moms ashes and I will write in more detail about this when I have more access to photos and Internet. But it was beautiful and Sarah, Tony and I think we have mom a good send off, one that she would have been happy with.

24 December 2014

We found the check in desk but were so worried about missing this flight too. As usual tony turned on his relatable charm with one of the SAA workers which got us bumped to the business class check in and through to board in a matter of half an hour. My biggest worry was always getting my moms ashes through customs.... Funnily enough there has not been one question at all! The staff in the airport were rude, dismissive and not at all focussed on customer service. Our patience is running low, we are hungry and thirsty! Our first meal on South African soil is wimpy burger and chips. Are So the flight is just about to take off to Durban. I must say that the staff on boArd the SAA flight are amazing. Thank goodness as I was starting to lose the will to live. Just 50 minutes and then we will be at King Shaka International Airport. X
Welcome to Africa!!!!!!!!!! So all was going so well and then we arrived in Addis Ababa!!!!! Flight was an hour delayed which meant we would arrive at 2.15pm in Johannesburg and our flight to Durban was 3.15pm (note how this is written in the past tense!!!!). So we landed and then had to get our baggage and recheck it in. By this time our flight had already left without us. After walking up and down Johannesburg airport for half an hour we appeared at the Ethiopian airlines desk..... Which was closed! At this stage to say we are both a little stressed is a major understatement! We then found another desk where we were issued with another ticket but 3 of us on one ticket which meant that we had to stay with a young lady called Fiona that was also travelling to Durban.

23 December 2014

So we have taken off and mom is tucked safely away in the baggage compartment. Check-in and boarding went really smoothly and let's hope that this is how the whole trip is going to go. Left about 45 minutes late though so hope we will be able to catch up the minutes along the way!
So my moms journey "home"begins! I have been super stressed about whether or not we would get through security without being asked to remove my moms ashes from the luggage! The universe must be in my favour today as the flight attendant that checked us in used to be my beauty therapist in Harrow. So that was a good start and calmed my nerves straight away! Got a couple of hours before we fly so just chilling in Leon in the airport having some dinner. Will keep blogging updates as we go.

7 November 2014

Planning and preparation. So the time is getting closer and the reality that we are going back to South Africa after 11 years away is dawning on me. There are so many things to think about. Most of my concern is about getting my moms ashes through customs and onto the plane! I am nervous about putting "her" in my luggage as if it gets lost who knows if we will ever get her back. So my plan is to take "her" in my hand luggage so she is closeby at all times. I have to get back in touch with the funeral Man to get a proper casket for the ashes and need to do that soon. Trying to get hold of Ethiopian airlines is proving to be tricky and I now have the travel agent on the case too. I know this is going to be an emotional trip but I need to make sure that we are still able to have a holiday. Will keep updating as I go along.