Friday, December 22, 2006

Leaving Africa

The last few days have been all about getting ready to leave and saying goodbye, the last few Silerback runs - letting the kids paddle round in my boat for the last time. Then finally it really was time to go.
So leaving Africa happened in true Africa style. As Ben was on my flight I hitched a ride to the airport in the back of Steve Fisher’s ute, after the car almost didn’t make it we turned up at Entebbe to find crowds of African Muslims blocking the departures drop off area. A police man parted the crowd for the car and we managed to unload while Steve went off to find that only passengers were allowed in the terminal building and “I don’t think they’ll let me in now I’ve told them to get f*#ked” he added.
A kayak makes a wonderful battering ram through a crowd and Ben and I made it into the terminal and into the check-in line where we stood for another hour. Africa time – nothing happens fast! At check-in we avoided paying excess baggage with some difficulty and managed to get seated together for the 7 hour leg to Dubai, then it was through the one-man immigration operation and across the tarmac onto the plane which was full of Muslims going to mecca in their ankle length white robes and appropriate head gear … and blankets galore against the plane air-conditioning and … in the case the guys behind us, sunglasses that make you look like the Ugandan mafia.
So taking off an hour late we headed for Addis Ababa with just enough time to sneak in a gin and tonic before landing. This made what happened next even funnier, taxiing to the runway in Addis and the safety video was playing when all of a sudden from the other side of the plane comes the hiss of compressed air…. One of the guys in ankle length white robes now has a fully inflated life jacket to add to the ensemble!
The rest of the trip home was uneventful and long, and I arrived home to a drought-stricken Victoria at 3am. The yellow and browns here are a stark contrast to the lush tropical green of Uganda… doesn’t look like there’ll be any paddling here for a little while.


Blogger Stu said...

Scarah, a great read, whilst only flicking through your blog it appears that it would have been a great highlight in your life. For whatever reason, Africa has always been a place that interests me!

If you ever feel like teaching someone with NO paddling experience excluding some 'white water paddling' with a crew, then let me know, I think I always secretly wanted to learn, but have never had anyone to push me in that direction.

Stu was here!

9:29 PM  

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