Cape Town to Los Angeles…. "Homeward Bound"
Had a couple days after crating my bike…. Very strange without my bike and transport. Got the rest of my gear packed up … Then waiting. Fortunately I could track and see that my bike flew out of Cape Town Wednesday Morning very early and flew through Amsterdam. Bike flies North-west to LAX. And I fly North-east , meeting half way round the world in Los Angeles. Crazy.
Lily took me to the airport, and gave me her Tour Guide VIP treatment…. Got through the VAT return process and got some money back from the gear/stuff I bought! Then Lily went right up to the counter… This is her home away from home…… Chatted with people she knows…. Got me sped through check in and an Exit row for my flights !
All checked in…. Thanks Lily!!
Had some Rand to exchange back to USD…..
Well…. Soon Cape Town is in my Rear view Mirror. Had a great time in Southern Africa. Wonder how long before I return?
Final stamp in my Passport. Used 30 pages of this passport. Just a few left….
Cheapest option flying home was one way on Emirates through Dubai. About 26 Hours in the air flying….. and over 32 with stop over and waiting for flight. Long day ahead. I am very calm. Not too excited or too sad. Timing for wrapping up this big journey feels right. But it is not the end for me…. Just onto new chapters… Cannot yet express my thoughts on the trip…. or the weeks to come. Guess it will start to clarify in the weeks ahead.
Watching them load other cargo on huge pallets…. My bike must have done the same on some other flight. It shipped KLM per Airway bill I got this morning…
Growing up in Seattle, I had many neighbors, friends, and family that have worked there. Always good for me to Fly Boeing!!
My flights we uneventful….. After leaving Dubai, we flew up over the mid east, and right up over the Arctic, before flying south to LA. 16 hour flight
Arrived LAX at 1PM Thursday…. Here I am, Back in the USA on the final leg of this trip!
After arriving, checking through Immigration, getting my bags, and customs approval… Walked out into the cloudy LA day… Picked up by the hotel shuttle. got to Hotel…. Check in and dropped my bags. The shuttle driver told me he would take me over to KLM air cargo office on his way back to airport!!! (thought I would have to cab it)!
Bike was there… just needed the paperwork, then walked the mile over to Customs to get it approved for entry. The two Customers officers were interested in my ride… New Radioman readers Thanks Guys!! But they could not stamp my Carnet, as the USA does not use them But They approved the import. Stamped all my documents for KLM….
Back to the KLM cargo office I walk. It had only taken a couple hours to get all the docs done, signed off, and now ready and excited to pick up my bike!!
They got the crated bike and brought it to the loading ramp for me to get it ready. I jump into taking the crate apart. The guys in the cage are watching me, and checking out the bike.
I need help with holding the bike up on the side stand so I can put the front wheel. Two of the drivers, jump in to help! Thanks Amigos!! Lots of spanish spoken….. I am understanding it !! Will have to keep that up!
All together. Rode it off the crate….. and back to the hotel. at 8PM….. Happy to have my bike and all my gear. But really hungry and tired. Unload the rest of my gear, and find a Mexican restaurant next door for dinner…. Then off to sleep. Welcome back to the USA