08 October 2017
I have been off the radar for a while, because I have been traveling.
Resting in New Jersey
After my thrilling trip to Iceland – the land of fire and ice! – with Paprika, Oregano, Cheerio and Chamomile in August, we needed about a week to recover. It was lovely and peaceful staying with my friends in New Jersey. As the two of them had to go back to work, I spent my days hanging out with the cats and telling Linus, Otis and young Keebler all about our adventures in Iceland. They were very curious about everything.
One morning, Paprika told me that she and Reggie had figured out a way for me to return safely to South Africa. They’ve been worried about putting me in an envelope and sending me directly to South Africa, because mail is often delayed or lost entirely.
“So how am I traveling back to Cape Town?” I asked.
“Well, it seems that Richard is flying to Manchester in the United Kingdom at the start of October, so Reggie has asked me to send you to their friends in Wakefield,” explained Paprika. “You can stay with them until Richard comes to collect you, and then you’ll fly back to Cape Town with him.”
“Oh, that sounds lovely,” I replied. “I remember them. I’ve stayed with Dr Lizette and Dr Felix before, and their daughter Little N is delightful. I’m sure they’ll look after me well.”
“Excellent. I’ll take you to the Post Office after breakfast tomorrow,” declared Paprika. When she tucked me into my large padded envelope, she also slipped in a little card addressed to my hosts in the United Kingdom. I must say, I was a little teary-eyed to say goodbye to my good friends, but I hope we will meet up again for another exciting trip somewhere!
Stay-over in the UK
The journey from New Jersey across the Atlantic Ocean to Wakefield in England took about a week or so.
My UK family made me feel really welcome, and the time flew past. And then, one day, Richard rang their doorbell! I was so happy to see him! All of us went to a pub to share a delicious meal, before it was time to say goodbye to Dr Lizette, Dr Felix and Little N.
Richard and I drove to Wilmslow, where we stayed for a couple of days. Every morning, he and his work colleagues set off for Jodrell Bank, which is where the headquarters of the international head office of the Square Kilometre Array is located.
Return to Cape Town
At the end of the week, we boarded our flight back to Cape Town. Richard had tucked me safely inside his rucksack, behind his laptop. It turned into an unexpectedly exciting trip.
On the first leg of the journey from Manchester to Dubai, there was a medical emergency on board. Our flight was diverted to Athens in Greece. I would have loved to go exploring, but we weren’t allowed off the plane, unfortunately. Well, it was already night-time, so we couldn’t see much anyway. Fortunately, there were lots of entertaining movies to watch.
After more than 2 hours, our plane was finally airborne again, and we continued on to Dubai. We had missed our connecting flight to Cape Town of course, but Emirates very kindly put us onto the next available flight, and so we landed in Cape Town late on Saturday afternoon. We had been traveling for more than 24 hours, and were absolutely exhausted.
On Sunday morning, we bought some fresh hot cross buns at the nearby shops, and I sat outside in the sunshine, enjoying some buttered fresh buns with a steaming hot cup of tea. Ah, it felt good to be home in Cape Town again.