The Sweet Service Award goes to Bahia-Sub in Vilanova de Arousa, and its skipper Santiago. The boat company uses its rubber duck, seating about twelve Camino pilgrims at a time, transporting them on the Rio Sar, from Vilanova de Arousa to Pontecesures, a journey of about one hour, but we were on the water for 90 minutes. Skipper Santiago was a true gentleman, slowing down or stopping the engine to show and inform us about interesting sights along the way, including the mussel farming outside Vilanova de Arousa, the second largest in the world, clam fishing, crosses in honour of Saint James and two other holy persons on a little island on the river, and ruins of a church and a castle on the river bank, with a replica of a Viking boat that pilgrims used to travel to Santiago de Compostela. The real spoil was a tea break, with hot tea and a mini muffin served.
The Sour Service Award goes to FlySafair, and its flight from OR Thambo Airport to Cape Town at 10h30 on 2 September. While the check-in was efficient, being provided with a boarding pass and gate number, we were shunted to a new gate five minutes before departure time, verbally announced by being shouted at in the waiting area by a staff member. Then we were made to stand in two rows, separated by our row numbers, like at school, but were mixed when we all rushed through a door only allowing one person through at a time. There was no chute to the plane, and a lady in a wheelchair had to walk down steps and up other steps to get into the plane. We were one hour delayed in taking off, due to the refuelling staff being behind schedule! I fell asleep on the plane after a sleepless overnight fight from São Paulo to Johannesburg, and woke up to the smell of food. I asked an air hostess for water but was told that I had to pay R15 for it. I hadn’t yet dug out my South African cash, so had to decline. In the end I was brought a cup of water. I felt like I was traveling in a second class cattle truck on this flight!
The WhaleTales Sweet & Sour Service Awards are presented every Friday on the WhaleTales blog. Nominations for the Sweet and Sour Service Awards can be sent to Chris von Ulmenstein at chrisvonulmenstein [at] gmail.com. Past winners of the Sweet and Sour Service Awards can be read on the Friday posts of this blog.
Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: www.chrisvonulmenstein.com/blog Tel +27 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@Ulmenstein Facebook: Chris von Ulmenstein Instagram: @Chrissy_Ulmenstein