And we are off…


With but eight hours and counting until our airport pick up and a chilled bottle of bubbly in the fridge, we vowed we would not do our ‘usual’; leave final packing to the very last moment and pack half pissed.

Shoes chosen (black strappy), wash kit and jeans whittled down by weight, I hit the wall of tiredness around 2.30am. In my defence, even the most hardened of late night birds, would lose the will to stay alive, much less awake, faced with counting out sachets and weighing cooking/camping utensils! Matt soldiered on and finished off all the joint packing; from medical supplies to sleeping bags. There is still some explaining required as to how a gorilla mask made the muster over dehydrated camping food!

Bleary eyed, we sailed through check in at terminal five and headed towards Travelex to pick up our Money Passports; neat idea – the ability to withdraw any currency from any ATM, worldwide, for small flat transaction fee. Shame about the execution at the desk. Seriously our patience was tested to max as the girls at the desk phaffed, taking the longest time, in fact 35 minutes and counting, to validate the cards. Missed out on DF camera buying and the obligatory fresh and unthumbed trash novel… Just as well we believe in karma is all I can say!

Our frustrations melted away in the care of Iberia Airlines (move over BA, your ranking in the MJ Inflight Service Awards has plummeted further – Don’t.Get.Me.Started) With an opening question from the purser, “Do you prefer English or Spanish to be spoken to you?”, we were won over. Throw in flat beds and seriously fab food, what’s not to like??

The highlights? Veal consomm√© finished with a flourish and splash of Tio Pepe, confit and pickled partridge with vegetables, goats cheese and blueberry jam…all before the main of a piping hot shoulder of Iberian pork wrapped in puff pastry with red wine and truffle sauce. Yum!!! No space for pud, just settled for a delightful sticky glass of Pedro Ximenez!

After blubbing our way thru the movie Mavericks (based on true story) it was time to turn in and catch up on zed’s *sigh* I slept the sleep of the dead (tired) whilst Matt flicked thru’ movies – a real turn up for the books as it is normally the other way round.


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