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Chris and Christine Whitaker, Villa Maris Bungalow 21, November 2011 (page 1)
Flights from Birmingham UK to Praia via Boa VistaClick on image to view fullsize image.
Tuesday 29th November 2011
Well here we are in Birmingham airport at 0700 on a cold, windy Tuesday morning. Christine and I have just checked our bags in. This time we have brought a large holdall on wheels with a sun umbrella, a wind breaker, a king size memory foam mattress topper & some netting.
On going through the x-ray machines we mistakenly had a small adjustable spanner in our hand language which was taken away from us, shame that, 'cause it was a good one!
This is the first time we have flown from Birmingham, although it is a long way from Ilfracombe it is surprisingly closer than Heathrow or Gatwick, where we usually fly from.
Our flight leaves at 0900 and we are passing our time in the departure lounge. I must say that it is larger than I expected. All the usual shops are around including a Superdry store. There is a coat in there that I like but don't want to carry it around Cape Verde with me. They should have a service that you can buy now and collect on your return. That's a good idea I could make a fortune with that!
I have just had a Burger King breakfast (other fast food outlets are available) and Christine is vey busy reading her Kindle (other e-books are available), I must stop saying that!
We are flying with Thomson to Boa Vista at a cost of £587 for the two of us plus £371 for all the internal connection's (Boa Vista → Sal → Praia → Maio). So the total cost for the two of us was £958, which is the cheapest we have ever had. It's a bit long winded but hey, when you're an International Jet setter like me you take it in your stride!!!
On our return, which I don't really want to think about right at this moment, we are flying from Maio to Boa Vista 4 days early to catch the Thomson flight connection. This will allow us to explore Boa Vista and also ensures that we are on the correct island for our return flight in plenty of time.
Well we were delayed for 20 minutes at Birmingham due to confusion about baggage in the hold. We took off at 0930. The flight was very uneventful, by that I mean there were no in flight movies, not even a little map displayed to tell us our satellite position. The plane was about 70% full and comfortable. I am happy, however, that I'm not the 6ft 4inch bloke I tell everyone that I am on other blogs, but we won't go into that. The seats were very close together which for a 6 hour flight is not ideal.
We landed in a very hot Boa Vista at and queued up with our passports in hand. The domestic flight organising for passengers from Boa Vista to Sal was straight forward. I will say that the airport in Boa Vista looks new and they seem to have their act together.
Our flight from Boa Vista to Sal incurred technical problems so we all had to disembark whilst the ground crew sorted this out. After a 15 minute wait in the outside departure lounge, the tech guys had sorted the issue.
When we landed in Sal 17 minutes after take-off from Boa Vista it was 1755. Our connection flight down to Praia was due to leave at 2035. Anyway we finally boarded the aircraft at 2200 (yes that's 10pm!!), needless to say we were totally wiped out. The engines started and the propellers whirled and then the captain informed us of 'another technical issue' but to stay in our seats and they will sort it out.
After sitting there for 20 minutes the issue was again sorted and we were on our way to Praia. This time the flight took 35 minutes and true to their word TACV organised all of the internal luggage transfers. But I don't mind admitting that I was relieved to see our luggage on the conveyor belt at Praia. One of the 'many' baggage handlers (not employed by the airport) saw us hovering around outside near the locked 'Left Luggage' room. He said that he would get someone to open it up for us, which was a God's send. We left our two big cases there to collect tomorrow for our flight to Maio. This cost us 200 escudo. The 'baggage handler also wanted paying, he seemed quite happy when I gave him my loose change from an earlier purchase from the café in Sal. We then took a short taxi ride to the hotel which cost 1000 escudos. We also asked him to collect us at 1400 the next day to take us back to the airport.
It is now 2300 and Christine and I are eager to have a sleep. We had already booked a room at the Hotel Santa Maria, which is a perfect stopping over place with no frills but clean and comfortable. The cost for the one night was £47 booked through Destinia on line.
We had to get a fan from reception because the air-conditioning will not switch on in our room, but at this point all I want is a good night's sleep.