Much as I have enjoyed this holiday I’ve not slept well. I was wide awake at one o’clock, quarter past two, half past four, and awake for good at six o’clock.
I sat on the balcony for a bit watching the world go by, and once “er indoors TM” was awake I did a little more packing. There was a minor hiccup in which the room’s safe refused to open, but the hotel staff had the thing open in thirty seconds… which rather made me wonder just how secure anything had been in that safe if it could be opened so easily.
We all went for brekkie where again the small children annoyed me. Well to be fair not so much the children as the parents who flatly refuse to do parenting. One child was stirring the communal bowl of bran flakes with its grubby little hands. I stared at mother who was blissfully unaware of what the child was doing. Eventually she dragged the child away not because small children with filthy paws shouldn’t be playing with communal food, but because I’d shamed her into doing so.
With brekkie scoffed we went out. We’d heard that there were camel rides to be had half a mile down the road.
For fifteen euros each we got to sit (in pairs) on a harness-seat thingy on a camel and go on a half-hour trip round the northmost part of the Dunes. I must admit I’m not entirely sure what to think about the trip. The camels seemed content as we went, but each was wearing a chicken-wire muzzle. I felt they were tethered far too close together as they were sitting down, and the back legs of many camels bore scratches and scars which I can only imagine came from the muzzle of the camel behind.
But I could be wrong; the camels seemed as content as a camel could be.
After half an hour our ride was over. As the camel sat down we clung on for dear life. It was shaky enough as the camel got up; sitting down was scary.
We went back to base, did the very last of the packing and checked out of the hotel… I say “checked out”; we emptied our room, put the suitcases into a locker room, then went and sat by the Over-18 pool for the rest of the day. But for all that we had checked out we still had the use of all the hotel facilities including half an hour in a courtesy room for a shower and change before the coach picked us up and took us to the airport.
The coach arrived at half past seven in the evening, and half an hour later we were at the airport. As I the case in all airports we alternated between being stuck in seemingly endless queues, wondering “WTF is going on”, and charging from one end of the airport to the other because everyone else was doing the same.
Eventually we were on the plane where “er indoors TM” found herself sitting next to a celebrity. Have you ever seen Monty Python’s “The Meaning of Life”? She was next to Mr Creosote; she really was. I know I’m a couple of pounds over my ideal weight, but this chap was so fat he really was having to push rolls of fat around so he could get past the seats as he lumbered down the central aisle. It was suggested that someone else have the window seat so he could sit easier, but he was determined to shoehorn his bulk into the most inaccessible seat, and it took some doing.
His companion (who was also massively obese) was making a great fuss about how judgemental other people were. She had a point; people (me included) can be very judgemental, but the cabins of aeroplanes aren’t spacious places. If you are going to make everyone else wait whilst you try to get yourself into a space which is clearly far too small for you, people aren’t going to politely pretend nothing is happening.
Mr Creosote notwithstanding we took off on time, and arrived back at Gatwick on time. It was a shame that “on time” was half past two in the morning, but Cheryl had looked at flights and flying at night was hundreds of pounds cheaper than flying during the day.
There was a minor hiatus as we waited for Kirsty to collect us, but only a minor one, and I crawled into my own bed at twenty past five in the morning.