Hotel securityThe plane was late leaving Sydney, only a couple of hours but that was more than enough to put paid to the 1½ hour connection at Johannesburg. The result was extra time at the Jo'berg airport, not one to relish. There was however time to get a Lonely Planet for South Africa in the Sydney airport something that Whitcoull's in Auckland Airport don't seem to stock.

I sent an email from Sydney and the motorcycle tour operator, Tony France , and by the time I got to Jo'berg he had fortunately sent me phone numbers for the hotel and the taxi company. These were put to good use and Ali picked me up from the Cape Town for a very late arrival the Hampshire House (I'm in the Hedge End Suite would you believe? Very nice it is too). Mine host, Ricky, was up late anyway as it was the 'old fart's night out'. I gather there there several bottles of red wine involved.


It makes you think, up at 03:30 to leave home at 4am and tucked up in bed in Cape Town by 11pm on the same day. The time change makes that possible. I wonder what happens when the fuel run out?

The only major surprise of the trip was the British Airways economy meal. I'm sure everyone in my row said 'lamb' but there was no sign of any meat at all in mine. It was in any case quite foul even by airline food standards. Plainly nothing much has changed at BA in the 35 years since I left.