Our departure from Istanbul gave us from great sunset views of the city below and the Bosphorus.
I sit here in the lounge of my parents-in law watching Wimbledon – the Ladies Semi-Finals (Kerber vs Williams). It’s almost like we’ve never been away.
It’s our first day back in England (Blighty is an old-fashioned term for Britain / England). It was a long and somewhat stressful trip back with Turkish Air / Fast Jet.
It all started back in Mwanza with a lengthy conversation with a ‘jobsworth’ Fast Jet official who insisted that although on weight – we were only allowed one bag each on the plane – this was neither on the ticket or clearly described in the small print – we almost missed our flight!
In Dar Es Salaam – we discovered our 3 am flight was delayed by six hours – resulting in a sleepless night in the Airport. The reason for the delay was never fully explained though attributed to technical difficulties. The result of all this delay was that we would miss our connecting flight from Istanbul to London. Thankfully but after a hour long, 1 – 2am wait in the airport we were re-scheduled for a later flight.
The delay was almost 7 hours in the end and got us into Istanbul with a little over an hour to spare before check-in. So a quick taste of European culture (Café Nero) before boarding our Heathrow flight. Arriving back in the UK about 9pm we realised that of our 7 bags, 3 were still in Istanbul. One of the three belonged to Anita who had no clothes, one to me who had no other shoes but sandals, the other to my daughter.
These were subsequently put on another flight – but one bag only has arrived thus far – the others having taken an even later flight back and expected late this evening. Although all these will be couriered across – things are still very frustrating.
I’m told this is the perils of long-haul travel – just hoping our journey back to Mwanza will be less of an ordeal.
Mwanza has changed in the last few days. The Christmas Holidays are upon us and with international schools having broken up last week the ex-pat exodus has begun.
Not all ‘Wazungu’ have gone of course, but many have jetted off to their homelands or else to explore foreign parts within and beyond Tanzania’s borders. Some local Tanzanians will travel too in the coming days as they visit family across Tanzania.
A few like us are staying put and like us are having visitors to stay. Soon we will welcome family to our Tanzanian home, two Mums Jetting Off from their homes to foreign parts (Mwanza). We’e looking forward to receiving our first house guests, though in actual fact we have secured accommodation in a vacant house next door.
Before they arrive here in Mwanza they will meet us in Moshi – we’re holding out for a view of Kilimanjaro- though this may be a vain hope beyond a glimpse from the aircraft flying in. So we too will be jetting off from a wet and rainy Mwanza, in hope of a dryer Moshi and a more leisurely return through the Serengeti in the days ahead. We are looking forward to visiting the animal park again and introducing it to our visitors, as we will Mwanza. Mostly we’re looking forward to the relaxing time and conversations you just don’t get with Skype.
FastJet is the name of one the carriers who fly out of Mwanza Airport to Dar Es Salaam.
We are currently here in the airport at Dar. Our flight has inexplicably been delayed with no prior warning and our flight number changed. A flight with our old number is departing but there is no space – our tickets are invalid for this flight. People might say – ah well it’s Tanzania – I think it’s just incompetence and bad service.
Here is an open letter to FastJet executive Dennis Chongolo. This has also been emailed directly.
It’s back to Mwanza Airport, the place of our arrival nearly 4 months ago. It’s not the biggest airport in the world. We nonetheless have a two hour wait for our flight. Check-in was lengthy (given the number of people) as with all things here. Next stop Dar!
A distant view of Kilimanjaro.
In Dar awaiting baggage before a slow taxi ride through Dar to the ferry terminal and on to Zanzibar!
T + 17
Last night we had an amazing. spectacle above our house close to sunset as a dozen or more Black Kites swooped and swirled above our heads.
I am used to seeing Kites – in the UK it’s the Red Kite which circles the skies in ones or twos harried by crows. Their cries echoing out across the playgrounds above my old school in Thame and soaring over the hills on my way home to MK. These kites circled silently the only noise from
The chattering birds below and a distant Imam calling the faithful to prayer. Then the scene was broken by the raucous squawks of three Ibises on their way to roost.