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Ireland Bound-The Wheelchair Wizards

The Wheelers (2)

Ireland, A trip to remember.

At the insistence of our children, my wife and I decided to pack up our home in South Africa and emigrate to Ireland. Given our age and many other vital factors, we decided this would be the wisest thing to do.

It was late 2020 and under severe lock-down conditions that we made our flight reservation. With all our paperwork and forex on the ready, we began the packing of our four suitcases. We sold our apartment, cars, and other possessions and put, what remained of our lives into four bags. This was a remarkable feat on its own, as these contained our lifelong possessions.

Seniors Seats

Understanding that we were leaving on Thursday, we were busy packing early on Wednesday. Our travel agent called to remind us to be at the airport before noon. “You mean today?” My heart skipped a couple of beats! “Yes,” he replied. Pandamonium broke out in my family’s home. How were we going to pack and still make the airport by 12? We all began running around like headless chickens, with me in the lead and yelling, “It’s impossible; how will we make it?” Moments later, the travel agent called again. He apologized profusely saying, that our flight was Thursday, not Wednesday. There we were, six family members, having different expressions of relief. Some were angry at the agent’s error, others, including me, lying on the floor, gasping in relief.

Once all settled down, we reverted to a more leisurely packing process.

Our Daughter-in-law called from Ireland to check all was running to plan and casually asked if we had requested assisted travel, as we were both over seventy, “I thought that was just for minors,” I remarked. She reassured me it was a wiser arrangement to make. I duly called our agent and organized it with him.

When we arrived at the airport, two gentlemen shepherded us to wheelchairs. I was shocked, as I was sure we didn’t need wheelchairs.

Family

It turned out the best arrangement for the two of us. Our carers wheeled us to all the correct checkpoints, ahead of the long queues, and knew which documents were required, helping us select these from the huge pile we were carrying.

On boarding the aircraft, we were seated in a convenient place (near the loo) without another passenger squeezing into our three-seat row.

On landing at our first destination, we enjoyed a similar treatment on both arrival and departure.

What amazed me was, on our arrival in Ireland, we were afforded the same treatment. Our trip was seamless because three different sets of carers in three countries were skilled, compassionate, and understanding.

We arrived, if not a little weary, in our new country, safe and sound. A surprised (at how fast we came through the red tape.) but relieved family welcomed us, and we drove to our new home.

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Bags & Bags – Johannesburg, South Africa

Reblogged from: Bags & Bags – Johannesburg, South Africa – DanVenture Travels

Earlier in the year, I wrote about flying home for the first time in a while. I wanted to share an experience I had on my way back & give some advice to help you avoid being in the same situation.

After having 2 weeks at home, it was time for me to go back. I packed my bags & kept valuables in my hand luggage & other items in my checked-in bags – as best as I could. I weighed the checked-in bags & I was underweight – Perfect! I headed to the airport.

Checking in for an international flight is not as quick as it used to be so it took a while for all my documents to be checked & finally my bags were looked at. I know this happens often, but it has been years since my hand luggage has been weighed so I have developed a habit of stuffing as much as possible into the poor bag. It weighed 12kgs & the airline allowed 7kgs. The gentleman working at the check-in counter asked me to remove some stuff & place it in the checked-in bags. I happily complied. Some of the stuff I removed were sweets & treats (Important info for later). I would strongly advise you to follow your airline’s baggage weight restrictions & this is something I will be taking a lot more seriously from now on.

I said goodbye to my parents & then boarded my flight. Everything went smoothly from then onwards, the flight was great & the arrival procedure was so much easier than I expected. I was on this wonderful travel high… and then I got to the baggage belt.

I knew something was wrong when I saw the front compartment on my one bag was open; I never leave that open. So I take my bags off the belt & notice that both have had their locks & zips cut open. I reported this to the airline & then I went to my apartment to see what had actually been stolen. I lost 2 pairs of shoes, fragrances, biltong & those sweets & treats I mentioned earlier. This isn’t the first time this has happened to me flying out of Johannesburg & I am quite certain it happens to dozens of people daily just at that airport. Having said that, I don’t promote negativity & DanVenture Travels is not intended to incite anger. It did happen though & unfortunately, it is a risk you take when traveling by air.

The first thing I would recommend regarding this is making sure there are no valuables or important/sensitive documents in your checked-in bags. Secondly, get your bags wrapped. Most airports offer plastic/saran wrapping for bags, but it can be quite pricey so perhaps buy the plastic at a supermarket & do it yourself.

I sincerely hope this never happens to you & wish you the best of the travel experience.

Use #DanVentureTravels on your Instagram posts so I can follow your adventures. Follow the DanVenture Travels Facebook page for other travel content.

Keep traveling, keep safe.
DanVenture Travels

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Sylvia Rose’s Story – Part Seven

Dhubai Trip

The UAE was never ready for me

When the ‘almost husband’ invited me to come and spend Christmas with him in the UAE I was ecstatic.

Firstly because I have never traveled abroad. I know right, 46, and never traveled internationally! But the main reason was that I would get to spend five whole weeks with him all by myself! No children no work pressure NOTHING! Just him and I basically on a honeymoon.nd believe me Dubai, is the best place to spend a honeymoon (trust us to do things the other way round). And we have never had that kind of time alone in all the ten years we have been together. So it was a first time and a very exciting one at that.

Continue reading Sylvia Rose’s Story – Part Seven

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Theodore Dingelberry

Theodore Dingelberry

Hello to all you wonderful people out there in the big wide world.

My name is Theodore Dingelberry and I am a travelling companion to my very close friend Antoinette.

Can you believe it? Here I am on my little red rubber dingy (especially made for me – I might just add) in a swimming pool at a very, ritzy hotel on the sea front – where? Wait for it – on holiday in Dubai, Yaaay!!!

Emirates JetI flew all the way over from Africa in this beautiful big silver jet. I sat with Antoinette in the cabin (no being stuffed away in suitcases with other little creatures that were travelling with us).

Continue reading Theodore Dingelberry