I set my alarm for 6am but only got up properly at 0720am when my bank called to advise of a fraud transaction on my credit card. I had a flight out of Johannesburg at 1115am and the last thing I wanted was my credit card to be frozen. Someone did a R5000 “borderfree.com” transaction on my card.
My car was booked with the airport valet service for 0830am but I only left home at 0825am and reached the airport at 0845am. After quickly dropping off my bag at the check-in counter which also required me to show my yellow fever certificate I quickly ran to the ATM to draw some cash to pay Mr Parking for my previous night’s bill (when I returned from Cape Town). I knew that they wouldn’t be able to charge my now stopped credit card.
I then met my friend near the boarding gates. We’d be travelling to Sao Paulo together. We boarded by 1045 on the 10.5 hour flight. The halal meal served for lunch was chicken and rice. Supper was steak cubes and rice (which I did not enjoy that much). I tried to sleep with little success. 3.5 hours before landing I watched the movie “Wild” with Reese Witherspoon. Interesting with lots of realism, yet not so inviting to those interested in trekking in the outdoors.
We arrived in Sao Paulo at 1640 (which would be 1940 South African time). Immigration was quick. I collected my luggage in terminal 3 and dropped it off in terminal 2 (a ten minute walk) with TAM Airlines for my 2005 flight to Manaus (in Amazonas, Brazil). My friend and I returned to Pizza Hut in terminal 2 for a small bite. This Pizza Hut was pricey. I paid 30 reals for a slice of cheese pizza, some potato slices as sides and a drink (that’s R120). My friend and I then split. He’d stay in Sao Paulo while I’d fly to Manaus. On the TAM flight later that night I finally caught up on some sleep.
They served a sandwich with salami in it that I couldn’t eat. No veg or halal options were available. It was a 4 hour flight and I landed in Manaus at 2305 (Manaus is GMT-6, a further 1 hour behind Sao Paulo)
I took an airport taxi to my hotel for 65 reals, and arrived at Go Inn Manaus at 2345.
After checking in, I showered, unpacked a little and slept by 0030 (0630 SA time).
This was a very long day (23 hours since I awoke and left from SA). Tomorrow, I’d be heading into the Amazon jungle…