6:17 pm, Bangkok Airport
I was shopping till the bitter end! Impulsive. Wasteful? Not necessarily. Got a lot done today. Feeling a bit tired, but almost ready to go through security to the gate. The bus had broken down so I shared a taxi with a German woman from Stuttgart and a free-spirited French woman from Chamonix. The driver had us pay the highway toll to avoid traffic, and then drove like a bat out of hell.
Based on Air Qatar's commercials claiming 5-star service, I expected a great (though long) trio of flights. I got a window seat the whole way, just in case you can spot a herd of antelope from 40,000 feet.
Bangkok, Thailand to Doha, Qatar = 3,304 miles / 6 hours 40 minutes
11:56 pm, Doha Airport
Here I am at the Qatar airport. It's bright, busy, and my laptop can't be charged as I forgot my AC adapter!
The flight service was great. Video on demand and good food. I caught Indiana Jones IV and Meet Bill. I even got a wink or two of sleep. The empty seat next to me didn't hurt either. 6 hours lay ahead. I can read, I can listen to music, I can nod off. I can use a credit card to buy food thus avoiding the need to obtain local currency.
6:00 am, Doha Airport
Fifteen minutes from Gate 6 opening and taking a shuttle bus to the airplane. The last 6-7 hours have been dreary. I managed 1-2 hours of sleep in a contorted position around the arm rests on the seats. Checked my email a few times. My brother sent me a belated birthday present (thanks Jon!) and my friend Kai's friend emailed me back regarding a side trip to visit him in Botswana. Hopefully it will be affordable to make my way up there.
I'm hungry again, and looking forward to saying Jo'burg (short for Johannesburg) with some authority. And so grateful Warren is picking me up at the Cape Town airport.
The flight from Doha to Jo'burg goes over a ton of countries: Saudi Arabia, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe.
Doha, Qatar to Jo'burg, South Africa = 4,156 miles / 8 hours
12:25 pm (South African time)
Knees hurt. Full belly after decent chicken lunch (with yummy tiramisu dessert). Cold, tired, a bit unwell. It'd be best for me to get a good night's rest.
Jo'burg to Cape Town = 807 miles / 2 hours
5:50 pm, Cape Town Airport
Major snafu for me. I don't have any proof of onward travel, so no entry. I was just told I need to buy a ticket out of the country tonight. I guess this was bound to happen at some point, I was being too relaxed!