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A year ago today…

It was exactly one year ago today that me and my little A got back from our travels after what was possibly the most challenging day of our whole trip…

We’d had an unbelieveable time travelling, and done and seen some truly amazing things, but I think it was fair to say that our final city, Shanghai had dampened our spirits somewhat. Whether it was the continually grey and overcast skies, the expectation of going home or the general tiredness after nearly 9 months on the road, I don’t know, but we were both ready to come home.

After travelling at over 430kmh on the amazing Maglev Train to Shanghai Airport, we went to check-in only to find out that it had closed, as unbeknown to us, our flight time had been move forward by 2 hours. To add insult to injury, our plane was not actually due to take off for another 30 minutes and was still waiting at the departure gate, but despite our best pleading and a few tears…. they wouldn’t let us on.

Anyway, to cut a very, very stressful couple of hours short, we both decided we wanted to be at home so we handed over a huge amount of money, got 2 of the last 5 seats left on a Chinese Airways flight leaving for Heathrow later that morning, and finally managed to get home about 3 hours after we should have done.

With the benefit of hindsight though, this was the best move we could have made. There was another BA flight a week after ours which we might have been able to get on without extra cost, but we were at Shanghai airport at 9am in the morning and we would have to have waited about 6 or 7 hours until our UK travel agent opened to confirm if this was possible. We would also have to find somewhere to stay for a week and things like that are not easy to do in China, the internet is not as easily available as it is elsewhere in the world and independent tourism (i.e. doing it yourself) can be pretty tough. So we took the plunge and got ourselves home on our emergency money.

The final punchline to this story (and the reason that we now know we did the right thing) is that it was a year ago tomorrow that the Icelandic volcanic ash clouds came over Britain, grounding all incoming and outgoing flights. We literally made it back just in time.

So a memorable (if for not the best of reasons) end to our amazing journey…

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