On day 17 of my trip to China, the journey turned homeward back towards the UK.
We eventually arrived in Beijing & then get held up waiting for our shuttle from the internal terminal to the international terminal. By the time we get to our gate, they are boarding already and it's not long before we are airborne again & on our way home. Once again I notice that although the plane for the long flight home is larger, the room we have in our seats is less than it was for the internal flights.
I enjoy a few films & eat my last Chinese airline meal before we arrive at Gatwick slightly early. We arrive early but there is no gate for us to use so we have to sit on the runway for half hour before we get a gate to go to.
We all leave the plane, collect our luggage & say our goodbyes. I can honestly say I am going to miss the new friends I have made on this trip & hope that I get to see some of them again. I am met at the airport by my friend Tony who drives me home to Fareham.
On getting home I find that mum has been ill again whilst I have been away. Her cousin Evelyn has been looking after her & has called out the Dr to her more than once. The Dr has told mum she should be in hospital but mum has refused to go into hospital. When I get back the Dr is due out again & now I am home mum finally says she will go in but as the Dr explained the great English health service closes down over the weekend & it will be pointless taking her in today. He arranges for her to go into the hospital Tuesday next week.
I am pleased that mums cousin Evelyn has stayed on for another day as it gives me a chance to unwind after a long flight whilst still knowing that mum will be looked after even whilst I'm asleep.
This was a fantastic holiday. It was a very busy holiday & if you want a relaxing break, this holiday is not one you should consider taking. I saw some amazing things in my time in China & met some amazing people. I went on holiday a single man with no children & I came home with a wife, a daughter, and tales of a 2nd marriage & concubines. I have eaten far too much and tried some very strange things like starfish, snakes & scorpions. I have been to see my first opera, seen giant pandas & walked along one of the modern wonders of the world.
I have met & become friends with some great travelling companions & hope to remain friends with them for many years. I have realised what a small world we live in, some of my companions for this trip were born near where I was born, some live in places that I have travelled to whilst tracing my family tree whilst some of them live closer to me & drink in places that I have drunk for years.
My long-standing memories of this holiday will be of fantastic places, fantastic adventures & fantastic people. I would like to thank my travel Rep Branwen, the many local travel guides that showed us around throughout China & all of our drivers that got us about safely for making it a great holiday. Most of all I would like to thank all of my travelling companions for your company your friendship & the great memories that you have given me of this holiday. Some of you I will be meeting again, I hope we may all meet again somewhere, maybe on another trip but I wish you all love, laughs & happy travel memories from this trip & the ones you are still to make. If any of you that didn't get my email address want to contact me you can do it via the contact page on this website.
I purchased a silk duvet & silk pillow on my trip & now I have been home for a while I can say that they were worth the money I paid for them. They were expensive but they do what the people in the silk factory said they would do. In the hot weather, the duvet has kept me cool & in the cold weather, it has kept me warm. The pillow has stopped my face from getting too hot in the warm weather or cold in the cooler weather. I am very glad I made this purchase, I will not say what I paid as you must decide what you want to pay yourself for your purchases, what I will say is that I am very pleased with them.