Windhoek Airport – Business Class Lounge

Time to bid farewell to Namibia and Africa overall and go home!

After dropping off the car, we walked to the terminal and checked in at Qatar’s Business Class counter – no waiting!  I must say this whole Qatar Airways experience would never have been possible without the American AAdvantage miles I had squirreled away over the years, many transferred from the US Airways merge.

We were invited to the Amushie Lounge to wait for the flight.

It’s a decent sized lounge for this smaller airport and I liked the mural on the wall.They had a good spread at the buffet but I held back, wanting to save room for the flight service.

There are a few shops in the airport if you have some NAD or SAR to spend, otherwise just relax and enjoy the wifi!

Welcome To Trinidad’s Colourful Airport

Probably the most important tip I can give you is try to sit as far to the front of the plane as possible as immigration lines can be long and slow.  We arrived on Copa from Bogota via Panama and were near the front so we got through very quickly.

First stop after exiting customs was the tourist information office to grab some leaflets and maps.  I knew my car wouldn’t have a GPS so wanted to be prepared.

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We then headed to the car rental booths (Hertz for us) to pick up our rental car.  They have a shuttle to take you to where the cars are.dscn3556 dscn3976

After our visit to Trinidad, we were back to Port of Spain’s airport (POS) to check in for our British Airways 5th Freedom route to St Lucia (only 4500 Avios)!dscn3977

We never flew this airline but I love the hummingbird logo!dscn3978

I can’t walk past a Cinnabon stall, we don’t have them in Australia and it’s a rare treat!dscn3979

Once past security, POS has a modern layout with a nice variety of shops and artwork.dscn3980 dscn3981 dscn3982

We could have used Priority Pass to enter this lounge but didn’t have time.dscn3983

I did pick up a few knick-knacks here – bird themed of course!dscn3984 dscn3985

Why You Really Need Lounge Access For An Overnight Layover

This article shows some of the hilarious positions people get into when they try to catch some winks during an overnight layover.  At least most lounges have comfortable couches you can stretch out on!  My personal favourite is the guy who had the foresight to bring a hammock, but also check out the “camper” who is apparently happy to see someone!

Click on image to see more!

I’ve had to spend a few nights in airports, usually Auckland as connections between Australia and the Pacific Islands are terrible but at least they do have sofas where you can stretch out.

A Rocky Road To Colombo (CMB) That Ends With A Shopping Spree & Lounge

Sadly our last day in Sri Lanka had arrived and it was time to start heading home.  After a lazy morning of last chance birding from our balcony, we paid the bill and went down the road a few metres to wait for the bus to Kalawana.  Since it was a Sunday, there were fewer buses and we waited almost an hour but a bus finally did show up.  The trip to Kalawana was around an hour with stops and we easily found a bus for the next leg of the journey to Matugama.  The road was in terrible condition with apparent rock slides and bulldozers everywhere so this relatively short leg (40km) actually took over an hour.

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I love how this bin kind of looks like a bird!

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In Matugama we had an easier task because there were a lot more choices to Colombo.  I was actually more interested in a non-stop trip than the AC so we chose this bus hoping for a better experience.

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It was pretty good and the man behind us spoke English so we chatted a while but he got out before we did.  We took the road along the seaside to Colombo.

IMG_3792 IMG_3793 IMG_3794 IMG_3795 IMG_3797 IMG_3798 IMG_3800I wasn’t sure where to jump off the bus and no one else spoke English so we stayed on to the end.  It was around 3pm and we hadn’t had lunch so were pretty hungry.  I remembered the name of a shopping centre – the Dutch Hospital so we grabbed a rickshaw and asked to be dropped there.  He actually dropped us in front of the adjacent TGI Fridays and we were both in need of a clean toilet so we went in and ended up having a late lunch there.

IMG_3809 IMG_3801After stuffing ourselves, we walked next door to the Dutch Hospital (it used to be a hospital but was now a trendy shopping centre) to have a look around.  There were several boutiques and a snall branch of Odel, a local department store.  I ended up buying a green kaftan top.

IMG_3804 IMG_3805 IMG_3806 IMG_3807 IMG_3808There were some newlyweds taking photos outside.  It’s interesting to see the different styles of wedding clothes!

IMG_3802 IMG_3803I wanted to buy some Sri Lankan art, preferably with birds  so I asked some locals and was directed to Laksala, a huge craft shop a few blocks away.

IMG_3810 IMG_3814 IMG_3811 IMG_3812 IMG_3813I bought a few batiks since they were easily packed in our carry-ons, then we went out and got a rickshaw to the airport bus stand.  It was still a bit early but we didn’t have anything else to do, at least not anything we could do while shlepping all our stuff around!  You get a choice of AC or regular bus and we had plenty of rupees left over so went AC as it was still pretty hot and humid.

IMG_3815It took well over an hour to get to the airport………….and this was a Sunday evening!  When we arrived, we discovered that we would have to wait about 3 hours until the Singapore Airlines staff arrived for check in.  Ina sat with the bags while I scouted the shops for something worth blowing our last few rupees on.  It was nice to see all the Christmas decorations!

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Sand paintings were tempting but I was afraid they wouldn’t allow them in Australia.

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T-shirts were too small.

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Ah yes!  Here we go, bird batiks!  I snapped up a couple and liked them so much I not only finished my rupees, I had to top it off with Visa.

IMG_3819The waiting area was poorly placed where you couldn’t see the board where flights open for check in were displayed.  The seats were really uncomfortable and I was desperate to get past the formalities and go to the business class lounge since we had J tickets on SQ.

IMG_3825 IMG_3826 IMG_3827 IMG_3828Not the best lounge in the world but they did have food, drinks and internet!  I was pretty sad to leave Sri Lanka as we had had a great time and seen some amazing birds but with so many options especially with One World, I am sure we will be back some day!

Flightstats Airport Terminal Guides

While Flightstats doesn’t have a guide for every airport in the world, they do have most of the major airports.  You can always Google the name of the airport to find the airport’s official website for greater details but the Flightstats are available on iPhone & Android apps which may be more convenient.

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On the Airports tab, click on Airport Terminal Guide.  Since Qatar Airways joined One World, some of us may be using Doha as a transit point so let’s go to the Middle East tab and see what the airport has to offer.  Maybe they have a lounge we can use or some good shopping.

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The map on Flightstats isn’t very good but we can see a few lounges (L)  On the Overview tab, they have a link to the official website where we can get more details.