Sunday 25th November 2012
27.11.2012 32 °C
We woke to lovely blue skies and managed to have a last swim in the pool and I had a quick walk to the beach before the taxi arrived to take us to Phuket Airport. We said goodbye to the hotel owners Marcus and Bruno. The journey to the airport was much nicer than we had anticipated as when we arrived in the dark we seemed to go through just a series of rather unprepossessing towns but in fact the countryside was quite lovely with hills covered with banana and palm trees. There were also rubber plantations which were obviously in use as each tree had its own collecting cup. The trees themselves are very disappointing. They are rather spindly and not at all what I had expected.
We queue to get into Phuket airport and then join a long queue to check in. Two jumbos within half an hour of each other are bound for Bangkok and the airport simply can't cope. The plane is packed and lunch is a sort of spicy chicken roll. Tony loves it - it reminds him of his beloved Ginster pies that he never gets to eat anymore. Well that's what he tells me. There are good views over Phangan bay but then it gets cloudy until we get to Bangkok.
Bangkok airport is absolutely vast and there are hoards of people everywhere. It is very spread out, noisy and busy and we have an eight hour wait for our plane back to the UK. We leave our bags at left luggage and try to find somewhere quiet to sit. This proves impossible but we do find a massage place offering one hour feet and shoulder massages! This proves to be too tempting so that kills one hour of the eight! We then wander past the various food outlets and finally choose one that has fairly comfortable looking seats but our idea of killing a couple of hours or so here proves impossible as we are served very quickly and given our bill and it is obvious they would like us to go. We found a couple of hard seats in a long corridor but after a bit I went up to departures on the 4th floor. Incredibly it is even busier here - for some reason loads of people have several huge Samsung flat screen televisions sets each amongst their luggage. Surely they must have to pay a huge penalty which must negate any saving. Anyway the good news is we are allowed to book in four hours before the flight which is not until half past midnight. We had high hopes we would be able to find a nice quiet corner. Honestly we literally walked miles through designer shops, duty free shops and a few fast food outlets but eventually we found a few soft chairs tucked away in a corner by the toilets and bought a screw top bottle of wine and helped ourselves to a couple of plastic cups and stayed just being quiet until our flight was called.
Sadly for us we ended up sitting on the runway for two hours as the automatic refuelling system had broken down and it had to be done manually. Eventually we took off and had our meal at 3am. The rest of the flight seemed to go really slowly but I spent part of it flicking through our photos and looking back it really was a fabulous holiday.