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We’ve made it! Not that there was ever any doubt, but it seems that this time I was packed and ready to go about a week (or was it a month?) before the actual departure date. As some of you may know, once I get home I collect all these daily missives into a book in The Cactus Trip Diaries series, select the best images to illustrate it and then get a printed copy for my souvenir shelf. You can also buy them from the Blurb Store but with a large 30 x 30 cm (12×12″) page size and loads of images all printed on premium paper they work out quite expensive as a purchase.

This time I was SO ready that I had started this trip’s book evn before we left, to use as a planning tool. A picture from Google Earth showing today’s route and possible opportunities for a stop. I will use those images in my presentations when I get back.

As you can tell by me waffling on, nothing very exciting happened to day. Chris Hayes, from BCSS Somerset Branch in Taunton arrived in Salisbury by train, we enjoyed dinner at The Harvester and I then had my customary last minute panic and double checking if I had packed everything I thought I had.

By 08:00 a.m. we were on the road. What should take one hour on a normal clear day took 1:15 in light rush hour traffic so that we arrived at Terminal 5 earlier than anticipated. Jonathan had already arrived and was waiting at the Nero Coffee shop, where I started collecting some of the less useful trip statistics: Chris and Jonathan had each brought a toilet roll for unforeseen emergencies, with Jonathan packing a second one, just in case.  But where was Alain? Thanks to mobile phone technology we soon tracked him down – he had already checked in his luggage and had cleared immigration and security. We joined him and discovered that he too had packed a toilet roll. Do we think that there are no toilet rolls available in Mexico? I usually leave the UK paperless and obtain a small emergency supply in the first hotel where we stay.

The flight left about ten minutes late but we still arrived half an hour early at Mexico City Airport. They are building a new airport, with posters depicting the huge new building on display. Grabbed a taxi to the Ramadan Aeropuerto Hotel and an hour later were sitting in the restaurant, enjoying our first margarita, waiting for our rib-eye steak. By now we were running on vapours, struggling to answer some of the easiest questions, such as what is my name? I can assure you that this was due to tiredness rather than excess alcohol. As soon as my head hit the pillow I was asleep, thus completing the first day of the 2017 Mexico Cactus Trip.

 

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