My next big trip is something I have been wanting to do for a while – a photography tour of Cuba! There were two key reasons for this: a) to take my photography hobby to the next level and b) to photograph/tour Cuba at the same time. I can’t think of a more exciting place to practice photography than Cuba, which is unique for so many reasons. The other great thing about this adventure? The perfect excuse for me to head back to my beloved Mexico for the fourth time! A flight from Cancun to Havana is just under an hour so I figured I could combine two holidays into one long-haul air fare.
Unfortunately, this meant flying from Gatwick airport rather than my usual and easier Heathrow option. As I had chosen flights at a civilised lunchtime hour, this was not going to be a big problem and I could even avoid the expense of the Gatwick Express by jumping on a regular train from London Bridge direct to the airport (I felt very smug discovering this much cheaper option!). BIG MISTAKE. I forgot about the fact that me and the UK train service are jinxed and the journey turned into a nightmare. Getting to London Bridge was fine (apart from the suspect lone suitcase on the bus which nobody seemed to be bothered by apart from me) but after a few stops on the train, the delay began somewhere in Norwood. What started out as a small stop turned into a potential two hour delay because of a “fatality on the track”. Me and some other passengers deciphered this as a “jumper” which is obviously awful. But the train was full of people desperate to get to the airport. Luckily, we were at a station so we could all get off (if not, I would definitely have missed the flight) but we were stuck for what to do. Going back to London to try and get the Gatwick Express would waste more time so 5 of us decided to pool together to catch a cab to the airport together. We made it, JUST. In fact, I have no idea if the girl flying to Jersey for a friend’s wedding did make it or not as she was really pushing it by arriving at Gatwick just half an hour before the flight! The whole experience was so stressful it has put me off going to an airport so far away again but the positive outcome of the experience was that a group of Londoners managed to get together to help each other out – which is pretty great for a city so famed for being full of reserved and unfriendly people!