After a very enjoyable trip to England the time arrived for me to travel back to my home in Paraguay.
Whilst I was in England the weather had been quite unlike normal English weather. It had for the whole of my visit been very hot and very dry. The temperature had reached an unheard of 40 degrees and apart from a shower one evening there had been no rain. I have never before in England not had to cancel a days plans due to rain.
It seems though that as well as taking the hot dry weather with me I also brought it back to Paraguay.
The weather made my last morning in England a little more rushed than it should have been.
I packed my bags and had lunch watching clouds build in the sky for the very first time.
The plan had been to have lunch then relax for a little while before walking down to the train station in Flitwick with my bags. The weather however ensured that was not to be.
Soon after lunch the sky went very black as a storm approached. So I had to rather than walking get a taxi to the station as the first rain drops fell. I wanted to be travelling before the storm started so that I would not have to sit on a plane in wet clothes.
The taxi duly delivered me to the train station before the rain got going and I began my journey earlier than I had intended.
As the train headed south towards London I was soon ahead of the storm and looking up at a blue sky. I knew though that although the clouds travelled slower than a train they were sure to catch up with me later.
Being ahead of schedule when I reached London I then had plenty of time to get across the city. The was no need to seek out a fast train to get me to Heathrow. Instead at St Pancras I simply caught the Piccadilly line underground service.
That took an hour to wind its way though central London and then west to Heathrow. I had ample time to travel that way and in doing so no further changes we needed carrying my heavy bags.
Early as I was the check in for my flight had not even opened. This meant that there was no queue at the automated check in machines so I could take my time working out how they worked and printing my boarding passes and bags label.
with that done I headed back out of the terminal to sit out in the fresh air until such a time as I would be able to drop my bag of. A very relaxing half hour watching the world go by.
Once check in time arrived I then headed back into the terminal to join the queue. Being one of the first I was quite near the front.
That as everything else had done worked to my advantage. My bag it turned out was overweight but being one of the first in the queue and smiling sweetly at the woman on the desk it went through and onto the plane without any problems.
Having got rid of my bag the next place to head was security. Then from there through to departures.
As with my arrival in England a few weeks before I did not know what sort of queues and delays I would find there.
Again in line with my arrival there were none. Heathrow seemed no busier and the queues no longer than on any average day. So as I had as always made sure there was nothing in my carry on baggage that should not be there I was soon through security and customs and walking though Duty Free airside.
With amply time still on my hands I sat with a sandwich and a pint reading a book as I waited for the gate number for my flight to appear.
Soon enough that did and as ever the gate for the flight to Sao Paulo was the one furthest from the departure lounge. So it was quite a walk though the airport to get to it.
Getting there the storm that I had escaped earlier in the afternoon finally caught up with me. I watched as sheets of water fell outside the windows. It was for a while so heavy that I could hardly so the lights of planes coming into land.
I was very glad to see the rain getting lighter before I boarded my flight. I may not have been much fun taking off in such heavy rain. As it was the rain had all but stopped before the plane took off.
I had an aisle seat on the central block of seats on the plane. I hoped that in doing so I might end up with an empty seat next to me. That turned out to be the case and I ended up with two seats and plenty of room to spread out.
Once everyone was onboard the plane took off. It was a smooth take off and we were soon rising high into the London air before turning to head south.
Playing with the entertainment system I found a film to settle into as the plane began its long journey down to Brazil. Being a night flight the food came round long before the film had finished. The meal served was quite acceptable and went down well with a glass of wine.
I then tried to get some sleep. Never an easy thing to do on a plane. Two seats did not give me enough room to lie down but spreading out over them I was able to get comfortable enough to fall asleep.
I must have made myself quite comfortable as I slept for several hours not waking until the lights came back on to announce the arrival of breakfast. That meal was again fine and I only had time to watch half of another film before we started to descend to land in Sao Paulo.
The winds must of been blowing the plane all the way across the Atlantic as we arrived in Sao Paulo a full hour early.
I was quite happy with that as it gave me more than enough time to catchy my connecting flight without ever needing to hurry.
The only slight issue in Sao Paulo was that shortly before take off the gate from which the plane to Asuncion would be flying was changed. Of course the new gate was not a nearby one but instead one at the opposite end of the terminal. A long walk I had not been planning on making after getting comfortable on a chair.
with everyone moved to the new gate boarding was then able to begin. That went so smoothly that everyone was seated and the door closed 15 minutes before the plane was due to take off.
On this shorter flight I had opted for a window seat to see the view as there was now daylight outside. And again I got lucky and had another empty seat next to me.
As we took off from Sao Paulo I saw the city spread out below me. Any views I had been expecting then disappeared below a thick blanket of cloud until we descended to land in Asuncion.
The food on this however was not the best. despite being a 2 hour flight all that was handed out was a cereal bar and a small bag of crisps.
That aside though it was a good flight and I was soon touching down once more in Asuncion.
That done it was off the plane and swiftly through customs. Then I collected my bag and headed on my way.
I was briefly stopped for a bag search but after a quick poke around a stuff at the top of my bags I was free to go on my way.
From there it was just a couple more steps and I was through into the arrivals hall and back in Paraguay.
Ignoring all the touts I walked out of the terminal and quickly found myself a taxi driver. It was pleasing to see the drivers had a written list of costs to various places in Asuncion. The hotel I was booked into was on the list so as we headed away from the airport and out into Paraguay I knew exactly how much I would be paying.
I had myself delivered to a smart modern hotel where I would then spend a couple of relaxing days before seeking out a bus to take me on the final leg of my journey home.