Saturday Feb 23 2013 – JFK and South African Airlines

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620 wake up call for the 7am shuttle to Terminal 4 JFK departures. Gord is a little more comfortable this morning and I can carry both our carry-on bags. Arrived at the airport easily and found a sky cap to transport our bags to the check-in for a buck a bag. Easy wait for boarding – this terminal is not really busy anytime we’ve been here.
We’re very fortunate the plane is not too full and they give us 4 seats across the middle for ourselves, and don’t fuss over our large carry-ons. The 4 seats mean we can lie down if we want to. Once we are in the air the captain tells us the winds are good and they will shave an hour off the 15 hour flight time. How lucky we are! The flight staff – all black – are charming, friendly and very helpful. Lunch is delicious with real dishes and cutlery and Stellenbosch wine. Service is superb. They offer delicious sandwiches after a few hours – really fresh, brown bread with crusts cut off! And then a good breakfast about 90 minutes before arrival. During the flight we share the seats for lying down and have a decent rest. TV choices are quite good. I watch Argo and Lincoln again to catch the small bits I missed the first time. Gord finds a documentary about the life of Harrry Belafonte. All in all everything is very smooth. Gord doesn’t seem to be in excessive pain but there’s a constancy to it that is draining. On arrival it’s a pleasure to hear the beautiful South African accents and see the bright colours of the country’s flag. The warm weather is very welcome.

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