Long haul

We’re flying today. Total time in the air should be around 18½ hours (Cape Town is long way from anywhere), but then when you add check-ins and door to door stuff, you’re probably looking at nearer a whole day.

We could have gone on a much more direct route (and potentially avoided this), but that wouldn’t actually have saved much more than 3 or 4 hours and would have wasted half a day at the other end. It would have also cost a lot more (like almost double), and to be honest we would rather spend that money on experiences and beer than on a slightly more direct flight.

That slightly more direct flight would also be on a very old plane, instead of the shiny new ones we will be enjoying.

And although BA have now done away with their 747s, they are still running 777-200s mostly built in the last century, on the Cape Town route. Those outdated aircraft don’t offer much comfort for passengers, given that it’s their 5th longest flight at around 11½ hours.

BA’s longer flights are:
4: Gatwick to Mauritius (also on 777-200s and doubly awful because you start at Gatwick)
3: Heathrow to Singapore
2: Heathrow to Buenos Aires
1: Heathrow to Santiago

That discomfort noted, it’s worth remembering that BA have been flying to Cape Town for over 90 years now. The first flight (albeit operating under Imperial Airlines, rather than the BA name at the time) was on January 20th 1932. The distance of er… 6000 Miles… being a bit much for aircraft back in those days, there were numerous stops along the way, and the journey took 11 days rather than 11 hours.

Better book a bit more annual leave.

Here we go

Right. Holiday mode is very much beginning here, and so those pre-written posts are going to be taking over this blog for the next few weeks, each dropping at 0800 CAT. There are some absolute gems, so you might not even notice, and I will almost certainly augment the offerings on here from time to time while we are away.

Look out for photographic updates on Instagram, and don’t forget that (since Space Karen killed the twitter API) Facebook is now the best place to go* for regular 6000.co.za updates.

Simply hit the LIKE button (Facebook doesn’t know you’re lying) and get notified of new posts as soon as they are published.

Or, you know, just come here each day. That’s always an option.

* how low have we sunk, that this is even a phrase I am using?

Caught short

It’s the shortest day of the year in Cape Town (and elsewhere in the global south too, obvs).

That means sunrise at 0751, sunset at 1744 and just 9 hours, 53 minutes and 31 seconds of daylight today. That’s 1 second shorter than yesterday, and 0.65 seconds shorter than tomorrow. It might not seem like much, because it’s not, but these things do get measured and those are the numbers.

Make plans now. Don’t waste your 0.65 extra seconds of daylight tomorrow.

Of course, that means that it’s also the longest day in the Northern hemisphere, and from tomorrow, the nights will be closing in as they head inexorably towards winter.

This year, this fact is actually rather annoying, given that we’re heading up to the top half of the world very shortly. But still, because we’re staying (generally) to the west side of their time zone, and because we’re staying (exclusively) a lot further north than Cape Town is south, we’re still going to have some lovely late evenings.

In fact, sunset on our second night in Ireland will only be at 9:58pm. Sunset has never been anywhere near that late in Cape Town.

It’s been a long, hard winter so far, and we’re not out of the woods just yet.
But hey, South Africa: summer is just around the corner.

Get the balance right

Quite a few decisions are still to be made about the trip up North. And many of those decisions rest upon the quandary of balancing spending money and having fun. It seems pointless to spend a huge amount on flights and accommodation going overseas on a break and then have a crap time not doing stuff because you’re forever just watching the pennies. But then equally, it’s dangerous to overspend: something made far easier thanks to our weird government stance on Putin and Russia, and the scary amount of inflation in Europe.

And so we’ll do our best to have all our ducks lined up in advance, and then maybe adapt our decisions once we’re actually there on the ground and can see what things are really like.

One big decision is around the last Saturday of the trip, which was all organised in London, but now maybe a trip further North might be required. That would require sorting some accommodation, changing flights and making several (or more) train trips, none of which would likely be cheap, but then do you just choose to splash the cash and enjoy the experience on this one thing? I’m leaning towards a yes, but a final costing of that 24ish hour diversion might point me the other way.

Lots of calculations to do. Lots of decisions to make.
Must get the balance right.

Writing in advance

We’re about three weeks from heading off to Northern climes, and so my thoughts are turning towards pre-writing posts for our time away, so that if I don’t have time or inclination (or I’m not able) to blog while I’m away, then there’s still something for you to read on 6000 miles… each day.

And if I do get a post done on any given day while I’m away, well, then you get double the disappointment excitement.

Basically, that means writing a couple of posts each day until we leave, publishing one and scheduling the other. I’m usually pretty good at doing that, but I do always have to add the proviso that because these posts are written in advance, and this is a blog at the cutting edge of current affairs, then the subject matter that they cover might have somehow changed: Putin might have dropped the nuclear bomb, Sheffield United might have signed Haaland, Eskom might have sorted the loadshedding problem once and for all.

Sadly, those are most likely in order of probability.

Anyway, on a happier note, if I don’t mess up by writing about something that then immediately becomes dated, you probably won’t even notice the difference each time you access your favourite daily blog.

Or this one.