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slow beginnings

BNE, SYD, JBURG, NAROBI, KIGALI.....a long bloody way!

Day One 28 January 2011

Well… so this is actually happening. We were up late last night, fumbling around finishing C’s uni applications, sorting out phones etc. Anyway, made it to the Qantas check in on time, escaped extra luggage charges (43kg) and swanned our way to the lounge. After the short flight to Sydney we emerged into the duty free, which for some reason I always feel like a kid in a candy store. We avoided smells, drinks and electronics, saw the hideous line for the duty refund and decided to escape to the lounge. That was C’s turn to be like a kid in a candy store…. Bring on the champagne :} On the flight while I wasn’t around Chris even managed to tell one of the hosties that we were on our honeymoon so we got glasses of ‘’business class’” champagne when we took off. The same hostie then gave us a bottle of bubbles half way through the flight!

After about 13 hours and a few good/bad movies and ok food, we landed in Johannesburg. We cleared immigration and found our packs, however spent 45 mins waiting/looking for the trekking pole box. (that mum had so brilliantly fashioned). It was located with the unusual sized item place [next time it’s going to be strapped to one of the bags].
After blowing off the initial wave of taxis, porters etc we had our first go at carrying everything ourselves (a whole 100m). We did see a guy manage to put a full trolley of luggage going up on the escalader, but we figured we were better off lumping it. The hotel welcomed us with open arms (and a trolley) and we proceeded to have a shower with the intention of going exploring, but managed to break the cardinal rule of travel……. We fell asleep at 4pm and so it is now about 2am local time and we’re bloody wide awake re-packing and drinking French champagne. I think it’s about 10am at home. Oh well. We are learning as we go!


Day two 29 January 2011

Today was a little more challenging than yesterday. We slept as much as we could, but were up by about 6am. We opted for breaky at the hotel then headed off toward the airport. Johannesburg airport is pretty impressive. It seems to be fairly new and has everything at a price. After finding a few ‘forgotten’ items we found the gate and waited for the plane. It seems as though each flight we get, the planes get smaller. The flight wasn’t too bad, and before we knew it we were in the thick of Nairobi airport. There were people everywhere, but after a bit of searching we changed some money and found cold beer. We had befriended an aussie girl on the plane and we chatted while waiting which made the time go faster. She is a med student who just finished a rotation in cape town and was heading to Moshi to do another four weeks at the hospital. Pretty gutsy!

I freaked out a little on the flight to Kigali- as we were getting on the plane the mechanics were putting the pins back in the front wheel of the plane….. don’t even start about bush mechanics – one guy was jumping on the jack (or bruce for dad) trying to loosen something.

We didn’t have seat numbers so they put us up the front and our back packs wouldn’t fit overhead so they just stuffed them in the seat behind. Once we landed, standing at immigration, we realized that we hadn’t printed the visa letter. Luckily they let us access our email accounts and print them off, only a minor heart attack. Why is it that landing in a new country is strangly terrifying, but exhillerating? Don’t know if I’d say the same about Kigali…. For once we were a minority and there are black fellas everywhere offering taxis.

Our transfer wasn’t anywhere to be seen so we tried to see whose phone would work with no luck and the travel sim also didn’t work. We figured that we would change some $$ and managed to find Jo – our tour guide. He bundled us off in a nice landrover to a very nice hotel and now we’re preparing for a 4:30 departure to drive into the mountains. No idea where our body clocks are at this point. We’ve been eating whenever it’s presented to us and trying not to sleep too much. Two alarms and a wake up call to make sure we are up in time. It is already C’s b’’day at home, but we’re a bit muddled here. Hope to make it special tomorrow night.


Posted by ourlife 17:51 Archived in Rwanda Tagged transitt

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