Published: March 3rd 2012March 1st 2012
In Africa, you need to be a little flexible to go from A to B....and to reach Congo DRC...you need to be even more flexible...and not to worry when it comes to air travel. Not many planes fly to and from Congo, but each year, at least one of them, or more simply don't make it. If you are anxious about flying...this is not for you, period!
I was supposed to fly Bangkok-Addis Ababa-Lubumbashi...and instead, we ended touring Africa for a while.
A plane had simply been stuck on the runway in Lubumbashi few minutes before we were supposed to land...and that was not a simple plane, just an cargo Antonov who burst 3 of his tyres trying to stop on the runway as it had overrun it....slightly.
They couldn't moe the plane, because first the tyres had to be changed...and well....here it takes some time.
So we first landed in Lusaka, Zambia, where we waited for an hour....next, on to our next stop, Lilongwe, capital of Malawi to let few passengers out. An hour later, finding that clearing the Antonov on the runway in Lubumbashi...would take some serious
african time, we were let off the plane to spend the night in Malawi.
I have landed few times in Lilongwe, but have never been out of the plane. So Malawi, here it is, country number 106 on my little count....I know, it's pretty childish fun count!
First impression...this place is very green. The airport is around 30 minutes out of town...and even in town, green is the main colour. We saw heaps of corn fields all around. The streets are clean, the roads are nice...and they have a Spar and Shoprite...this tells you a lot in the region!
We were roughly 60 passengers stranded and Ethiopian Airlines put us in two clean hotels...nothing fancy, but not bad either.
What is Africa becoming? Easy answer, the playground of China. At least half of the passengers were chinese, going to work in RDC...you don't do much tourism in RDC.
I was with a group of fun people for the time being. You know, it's always somebody who knows somebody....small place that is earth...
I wish we could have discovered a little more of
the place, but by 7pm it was dark...and without any public lights, and no knowledge of the local environment, it was not really a great idea to try to explore around. So I spent the evening in nice company before an early night.
Next morning, we toured a little more Lilongwe...Lubumbashi may be only 55 minutes flight from here, it's simply another world. And it's kind of fun to see people living in Africa stopping to have their picture taken in front of a Spar, just to show the friends back home.
We were soon on our way to Lubumbashi, landed safely. So time for me for a week of work, meeting great friends and having some good time. I understand that this entry is a pretty short one, and not that interesting. It was just a fun way to add a little country to my count list, in a way I had never planed. So Malawi, I slept there, but I cannot really say that I've seen much. It was just clean place were people seem to have enough food, but where they seem also to have a serious shortage of petrol as
we saw every single petrol station with at least 100 cars queuing...
Next entry coming pretty soon....from the South as we say here...
And I know some of you are curious. Leslie and Tiffany are doing great at home, with a very nice person to take care of them...some may have wished me not so nice things lately, it doesn't really go that way so far...smile!
There are more photos below