Finally some ‘ME’ time ! Part 3
Sri Lanka is a much easier trip to plan and as time passes I arrange transport and accommodation for my 6 night stay there. After emailing several tour operators and toiling with the idea of making my own way around on public transport, I decide to hire a driver that comes recommended by a friend. He arranges the whole trip for me taking into account sights highlighted in the ‘Rough Guide to Sri Lanka’ as well as booking my accommodation and my itinerary is agreed as follows:
Collect from Colombo Airport-Kandy.
Kandy-Dellhousie, Little Adam’s Peak.
Little Adam’s Peak-Ella
Negombo-Colombo Airport and onwards to the Maldives.
There are many places of interest which I will visit during this time and on reflection I wonder whether I have been too optimistic to cover this ground in just 6 days. However I don’t want to miss anything so I’m prepared to hit the ground running and rest my head in a different bed each night.
After some negotiation between the two of us we agree a price and it’s booked. I will be collected from the airport, transported from place to place and deposited back to the airport for my flight onto the Maldives, this brings with it an overwhelming sense of reality that this is actually happening and I am excited!
Before I know it 8th March 2017 finally arrives and I am chauffeured by the ‘middle one’ to Manchester Airport, where she waves me goodbye with a slightly worried look of ‘please look after yourself’ on her face. (Now she knows what it felt like when I have dropped her here, when she has departed Manchester airport to spend summers as a 18-30’s rep in Bulgaria and Kos……..)
I breeze through the usual handing over of luggage, security (no alarm bells as I pass through the metal detector) and no liquids in my hand luggage…….easy. I have 90 minutes to now kill so I peruse the usual shops pick up some sandals, a holiday read, magazines and water, then head to Bar Mcr in terminal 1, where I purchase a glass of Prosecco and take a seat.
My phone has beeped several times whilst perusing and so I retrieve it from my bag, returning text messages of ‘have a wonderful time’ and I post the obligatory Facebook ‘Lisa checked in at Manchester Airport Terminal 1 travelling to Sri Lanka, with a status update of ‘Hello midlife crisis!!’. I savour the glass of Prosecco and then make my way to the Emirates Airbus designated gate with mixed emotions.
My thoughts are full of…..’shit this is a big plane, how’s it going to get off the ground’……..’shit this is going to be a long flight’……’shit what if I’m sat next to someone who wants to talk for 7 hours!’ I get a grip and consider my colleagues at work reminding myself that I could be sat in the office right now writing a Pre-Sentence Report. This puts things into perspective. I board the plane and take my window seat, which was pre booked and as the plane fills I begin the hope that the two vacant seat beside me remain that way and I can enjoy the first leg of my journey in my own company.
I watch the steward that is assigned to this particular section of the plane to see whether he gives me any indication that the doors have now closed and I do indeed have enough room to stretch my 5ft 4inch body all over the seats next to me. The captain’s voice comes over the airwaves as he tells the cabin crew to cross check and I feel myself inwardly smiling, that’s the three seats all to myself then….