We arrived much too early at London Heathrow - my normally over-cautious self. Everything was closed down. The airport doesn't seem to come alive until 0600hrs. The traffic on the A1 and M25 etc was very light enabling a really easy journey. We walked through to Terminal 3 arrivals, then to Terminal 1 Departures/Check-In, all to kill time.
As we returned to Check-in for the flight, I recognised Mike and Dennis, two guys I had met on the pre-trek weekend. I went over to introduce myself and also met the trek leader, Debbie. The Check-In went as smoothly as one would want, but when I returned my family decided to depart. It was awful saying 'goodbye' - my wife was tearful and I had a great big lump in my throat.
At security, my backpack was searched - I thought because of my many electrical items e.g. GPS, Solar Panel, Camera, Head torch etc. Not so though, all the security staff were interested in, was whether or not there was any alcohol in my hipflask! Hiking boots had to be removed and scanned - I suppose to avoid any repeat of the action taken by Reid the 'shoe-bomber'. I have no problem with our services taking care over security - much better to be safe rather than sorry.
I sauntered through to Duty Free where I purchased Johnny Walker Red Label for my hipflask and Lucozade Sport for my 1-litre drinking bottle. Boarding has just been announced, but I am still busy squeezing the contents of the miniatures into my hipflask.
The flight out to Bahrain was uneventful. Attentive staff, plenty of drinks and time for rest. I managed to catnap and get a few zzzz's. Two films were broadcast, but neither watched. There was a rather bumpy descent, but a good landing. We passed through security with no problems and emerged into the transit area, which was bedecked in F1 promotional material in readiness for the Bahrain GP - there were even McLaren and Ferrari F1 racing cars on display - brilliant.
The Duty Free area oozed money... Cartier watches, Gucci bags and the like... and people actually buying. My goodness this seems a rich country. Some very elegant Arabs in flowing white robes, with the ladies dressed in black and gold.
|Bahrain Duty Free|
There was an announcement that the flight was delayed - two hours. I am absolutely shattered as I have been on the go since 0100hrs... and it is now 2315hrs. I decided to go and purchase a piece of fruit cake and a coffee. I was charged 5 US$ which seems a little expensive. I hope I wasn't ripped off.