Saturday 23 June, Tokyo to Charing
After a yummy buffet breakfast we were told that our flight was running four hours late, so we wandered round the hotel for a while. The weather was muggy, but the hotel was very pretty. At the airport, the airline gave us each a 1500 yen food voucher for lunch (they were meant to give us lunch on the plane), so it was MacTeryaki Burgers and Grape Fanta from the airport McDonalds for lunch. Yum!!! And everyone was so friendly - the McDonalds girl bowed with every other word!
A little window shopping (where I got very good at dividing by sixty very quickly), and it was time to stock up on bottled water for the twelve hour flight to London. Not nearly as crowded as the Sydney-Tokyo leg, which was a very welcome relief. We watched a couple more forgettable movies, read our Worst Case Scenario Survival Guide and Worst Case Scenario Survival Guide: Travel), and played Squares (Kate won, but only just). But we were still very bored and very tired by the time we finally hit Heathrow, where I was delighted to find that both our bags were waiting there for us. Having not seen them since Sydney, we were a bit nervous. Lesson #4 - when travelling with someone, put one change of your underwear in their bag and one change of theirs in yours, so that if one bag ends up in Vladivostock, you still both have clean knickers.
Kate's neighbour's sister, Jane, had offered us a room for the first week, so we caught the tube from Heathrow to London, then on to the BritRail station to try to find the train to Charing (the town in Kent, not Charing Cross) where Jane lives. Of course, the line was closed, so we had to go to Ashford instead, and Ashford wasn't listed, and we hadn't slept (or showered) for well over 24 hours, and I was paranoid about thieves and there was a strange man taking an unpleasant interest in our bags and I was very, very jumpy. Not fun. But, Jane knew what to do, and Kate had Jane's phone number, so we found the right train in the end. Ninety minutes (and twenty pounds) later we were being picked up by the wonderful Jane, who took us home and showed us our room.
Sleep, blessed sleep.