You know it’s a Chalky trip when…

Posted by Chalky on Oct 13, 2009 in Bad Luck |

There’s lots of Bad Luck! I really should have probably guessed that my trip to Sri Lanka wouldn’t quite go according to plan. I didn’t, however, expect it to start going wrong before I’d even left the country!

A couple of days before my departure, I received an e-mail with my Schedule for the week. The original plan was to leave on Saturday afternoon, arrive Sunday, work for 4 days, enjoy a day off in Colombo and then return Saturday afternoon. As it turned out, I was now working 5 days with no time to do much sightseeing. It was a bit of a blow but I thought I’d at least have the Sunday afternoon to play with… How very wrong I was!

On Saturday afternoon, I embarked on the trip down to London. We set off at about 12:45 and popped to Meadowhead Post Office before heading towards the M1. We were not due to Check In at Heathrow Terminal 4 until 6pm but I set off really early because I was expecting there to be a lot of problems with Road Works and general weekend traffic. I was pleasantly surprised that despite there being 4 lots of 50 MPH SPECS controlled Road Works that we managed to get to the Purple Parking (just a few miles away from the airport) in very good time. We arrived at Terminal 4 just gone 4 o’clock and was immediately greeted with the Departures board informing us that our flight had been delayed until 01:00,the original flight time being 21:35.

After the bitter disappointment and as the Check-In Desk wasn’t yet open, we decided to get some dinner before embarking on our imense amount of sitting around. We headed over to Cafe Rouge, which I’m pleased to say, went without a hitch. I know there is a Cafe Rouge in Sheffield but I have not been for many years, and even then, it was only for a Coke. I treated myself to a Leffe Blonde which I’ve not had since I was in France last Christmas. We also ate there, I had a rare Bavette steak which was lovely. I’m used to expecting sub-standard food from Airport eateries, but this was as I’d expect if I’d bought it elsewhere and reasonably priced!

After the meal, we headed over to the Check-In Desk which we were still expecting to be closed but we though we’d start queueing up so that we could get a decent seat. To our horror, the Check-In Desk had opened early and there was already a huge queue for the flight. By the time we had got to the front, all the window seats had been taken so we ended up being stuck in the middle of the aircraft. This certainly didn’t help matters as I often get Travel Sick unless I am next to a window and I was a bit disappointed that I wouldn’t be able to see the Maldives as we came in to land as I’ve been told the view is beautiful. But, never mind, I would much rather have had the meal in Cafe Rouge than have been stood queueing any longer that we had already.

After clearning security, we had a wonder up and down the Duty Free area to get our bearings and see what was about. It was disappointing to see that a large number of the shops were actually closed for refuribishment, typically the ones I would have actually like to have gone in too! I’m unsure how we managed to pass most of the time but eventually, we decided that we should probably go for a beverage. The terminal only has one Public Bar which, as you’d expect, was absolutely rammed! So we wondered around some more. Eventually, we were the only people left in the Terminal and I managed to sneak a quick pint of Gaymers in before Last Orders and the bar closing. But, it was still only 10pm so we had another few hours to kill. By this time, everything was shut so we had even less to keep us entertained.

The Depature Screen was updated to show that we were now expecting to leave at 24:00 so we were hoping that would lead to one less hour of sheer bordem. This was not to be the case because as we arrived at the Boarding Gate at 23:00 as advised, it was clear we were in for another wait. We didn’t actually start boarding until about midnight.

After boarding the plane, I’m happy to say that the flight went without a hitch and I managed to have a nice long sleep through most of it and then watched The Proposal when I woke.

When we touched down in Colombo, I was expecting to be bombarded with people wanting to carry my bags for me. I was pleased that this was not the case. It took a little while for my bags to come round on the conveyor belt but eventually I was wondering towards the exit looking for my chauffer over to the Cinnamon Grand. Unfortunately, with a mix up with the dates and the added delay of the flight, there wasn’t actaully anyone to pick us up. Luckily, there was a representative of the hotel at the airport who quickly called for someone to come and pick us up.

After returning from my evening meal, I found that my door kept ‘beeping’ at me. I couldn’t get to sleep because the door was ‘beeping’ so loudly. I went up to the door to see what was up with it; I opened the door to see if the light on the front was flashing. As the door closed behind me, I found out what the ‘beeping’ was, the battery had died in the Card Key lock! So I couldn’t get back into my own room! I went down to the Reception desk, but I don’t think they quite understood my explaination of what was wrong with the door. They issued me with another Card Key which after waddling 7 floors back up to my room, I found didn’t work. So I waddled back down and this time the Receptionist followed me up to the room with a key. He then sent for some Hotel Engineers to come and attend the door. Three sets of batteries later, I then had a working door once again!

Obviously, I have and will have a lot more to talk about, but with the amount of bad luck I had at the beginning, I thought it deserved its own post!

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