Four Wales rugby fans turned up to the airport, only to find out their flight to South Africa was cancelled - and no direct flights were available for days.
But rather than turn around and admit defeat, as well as cut their losses sell their match tickets, the quartet weren't giving up that easy. They were determined to get to Cape Town - even if it meant taking the most ridiculous of routes to get there.Over the next 36 hours that's precisely what happened for Roger Francis and his pals Ryslwyn Kinsey, Paul Griffiths, and Gazzy Davies - who took five planes and ended up in six countries during their 11,000 mile trip.Speaking from Nairobi Airport after a 10-hour layover Roger, said: "It was either go across Africa or go home, so we thought let's do it."
The four's epic trek began on Tuesday July 12 when they arrived at Birmingham Airport and only to find out their original flight with Lufthansa was cancelled.It was then the group began concocting a plan. They spent the next two hours, meticulously working out how they could get to South Africa in time for Saturday's game - which was going to be the third and final game of Wales' Summer Tour against the Springboks.Roger, who is from Cwmtwrch in the Swansea Valley, said: "We ended up getting a taxi from Birmingham to Heathrow and staying overnight there. Then a flight from Heathrow at 4.30am to Frankfurt, then Frankfurt to Amsterdam, then Amsterdam to Ghana then Nairobi."We had a 10-hour wait in Nairobi. We were meant to get to Cape town at 10am on Wednesday morning, it's now going to be 10pm on Thursday night."And fortunately, the detour didn't cost the group too much extra. "We haven't had to pay anything extra really," said Roger. "Fair play the man at Birmingham airport sorted it all out for us. He did wish us the best as he said it would be a struggle to make all of the connections.
But it seems as though luck was on the group's side, managing to make all of their connecting flights. Roger said, "We ran as quick as we could, well as quick as four sixty-somethings can, to catch the plane.""One of our friends (Gerald Evans) flew out there from Heathrow and was travelling separate to us and we were going to meet him there but he has been in Cape town on his own now."Despite the detour, it seems as though the men have enjoyed the adventure and said they "didn't really" consider going home and abandoning the trip."We have been taking it in our stride, to be honest. If it was stressful we would have gone back. We have had a few laughs along the way. We're going to enjoy it once we're there. Hopefully, It'll be worth it. We've got four extra stamps on our passports anyway."The Welsh squad will be looking to repeat their historic win over South Africa in Cape town last weekend, by doing the double today (Saturday) in the third test of the series, after Josh Adams' late try secured Wales their first ever win in dramatic fashion in Bloemfontein.