lukeyboy95
Topic Author
Posts: 1058
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 7:07 pm

My African Safari (i) ; The Beginning (EZY/ QR)

Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:54 am

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“Please listen carefully to the following safety announcements; in case of emergency you will hear several or more short blasts, followed by one prolonged blast. Please gather at the life rafts which are situated….” The prissy Scottish accent drolls on familiarly. Acrid diesel smoke billows up from three staggered funnels into the summer air, and thruster nanopods propel the ferry sideways from the pier and off out into the serene Firth for the short 20 minute hop across the distended Clyde River. You’ll know this scene; it is where the majority of my reports begin. From the back of the roro-ferry I see mum giving a final wave and then driving off round the coast back home in her black Saab. This fairly standard event weighs on me heavily – I will not see my mum for at least another 14 months, nor shall I see this enigmatic area I call home. For I am Africa bound, and I have no intention of returning home in the very near future. The ferry is pushing me off towards uncertainty, adventure and exploration. Shall I explain?


If you’re connecting the dots of my haphazard life, you may well remember that back in 2010 I graduated. Turning a blind-eye to the lure of further education or internships with oil companies, I had long made a conscious decision to go off travelling for a few months, or such like. Other options seemed like a trap, and too with the grain. I had ruminated over either South America, or the African Continent. Adventure and losing the gap-year crew pushed me to Africa. It seemed vast, misunderstood, relatively unknown and full of adventure. Each time I travel, I like to do a journey or a route. I feel a bit dissatisfied using a base as it limits me geographically. So I had set aside in my mind that I would travel from the very Southern tip of Africa (that is to say Cape Agulhas, South Africa) to the most Northerly point possible at the time (which was roughly Alexandria, Egypt). Officially it is Ras ben Sakka in Tunisia, but getting there would have meant a massive detour or a potential guide through Libya. So it was in my mind.


Little did I know that this would truly turn into my very own self-styled African Safari. Cast aside the more typical uses of the word safari, that oh so exploited Swahili term; the original term was for a ‘long journey’ and this is what I would embark on. This is the report of 15 months of travel that took me from the most Southerly point of Africa, all the way back through three continents, thirty three countries, 24,668 miles and taking 329 hitches to get to that very place I saw my mum fade of into the distance. As you will discover, in the end I didn’t stop at Egypt, and I completed the whole journey back to Scotland by hitch hiking.





Ladies and Gentlemen, Welcome to my 9th Trip Report – My Dark and Bright Star Safari. The Beginning



Clearly the majority of users couldn’t give a dickybird about that preamble as it nods to no aviation. However, during the course of the trip, I took three series of flights. The first to get out to South Africa, the second as a holiday (and excessive treat) at the midway point of the trip and the third as a medical emergency. I give my usual precautions – if your obsessed with nothing but the raw aviation and technicalities, then this is not the report for you (go away), but if you like aviation within the context of the story that goes with it, please read on, as I guarantee this will be an intriguing insight into Africa. You should have a rough idea of QR's product to Africa by the end too...



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[Edited 2012-02-27 17:38:31]
Breaking down the stereotypes - one by one
 
lukeyboy95
Topic Author
Posts: 1058
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 7:07 pm

RE: My African Safari (i) ; The Beginning (EZY/ QR)

Tue Feb 28, 2012 1:03 am

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Three months prior to departure; I am writing a dissertation. It is about marinas. Well, more specifically marine spatial planning. Controlling the excitement of my planned trip is paramount to completing this thesis with a passable grade. So it is with less ceremony, and in the course of a night that I book my outbound flight. Ordinarily I would get joyous on whisky and let off fireworks to bring in the flight. Having monitored single fares out to Cape Town for a good month, I commit late into a studying session.


I was searching departures from Istanbul to Cape Town. Primary carriers; EY – they had offered a nice culmination of geeky incentives; option to codeshare with TK, long stop-over in Abu Dhabi (enough to explore) and a reasonable price. But my old faithful QR eventually lowered its fares too. In the end I booked with QR at £294.50 single.

Advantages in this included flying the illusive (in my case) 777, a poor connection that warranted a transit hotel and a stop-over in JNB en route. Hurrah. Booking all done in first person via QR website. You can’t knock it – all clear and informative, a soothing maroon theme flowing throughout, and seat selections etc. all possible. In rapid succession that night, I booked an Easyjet flight from LTNSAW for £37.99 (extraordinarily user-friendly – big fan of EZY website), an Easybus Finchley Rd – LTN transfer for £2.00 and most excessively a Virgin Trains First Class ticket from Glasgow to London. Joining up journeys; in one fell swoop I had connected my little home in Dunoon, Scotland to Cape Town in South Africa in an admittedly convoluted way. It was a serious surge of excitement and nervousness for me, which fortunately manifested itself in working hard on my dissertation and graduating with an Upper Second (fastest loser) in BSc MCRM.


Flight routing for the trip, c/o Great Circle Mappers


Summer a joy. If only Scotland could receive perpetual summers, I am sure we’d be a much happier bunch. Initially uncertain, a week prior to departure, I get an e-mail from Sanjid at QR Customer Services who confirms;

Dear Mr Addis,


You have flights from ISTANBUL to CAPE TOWN and you have more than 11hrs transit time in Doha. So we will provide you a hotel in Doha. But I need your passport number and nationailty to book a hotel in Doha for your journey. Please kindly send them to me asap.

Thanks and brgds


This is good news.


On the 19th of August I celebrate my 22nd Birthday with my family. We have a brilliant meal in Inverary. My train south is booked for the 20th August, so this also acts as out final goodbyes before my trips. Get lots of practical presents for the omnipresent trip. Firm hugs and much brave smiling brings the meal to an end, and our separate headlights (for we are three siblings) vanish into the dark of separate directions along the sealochs.


Next day, it is verging on the farcical how unprepared I am. I have to ensure all liquid are under 100ml for the Easyjet flight to SAW (given my comprehensive first-aid kit and overzealous amounts of sunscreen this is a struggle) and have a hundred errands and closures to perform pre departure. I miss two ferries, and make the third. That is where we pick it up photographically. . .



Saying goodbye to my brilliant pup Meg



Myself with bags outside house pre-departure.


Dad, Mum and home fade away. Who knows what lies ahead and when I will next see this sealoch again…



My mum waving me off- sounding like a bit of a mummies boy here!



The weather clears to provide a good send-off on the hop over the Clyde


A vast cruise ship glides into Gourock Ocean Terminal, and we voyage round it to cross the channel. From Gourock I catch my usual 901 Bus into Glasgow Centre. Purchase a compact digital camera, and head to station to board train south.



Cruiseship awaiting berth at Clyde



901 bus after hour hop into Glasgow centre.



Glasgow Central Station exterior.



Central Interior.





Our train to take us South; Virgin Hero Pendolino 18:40 Service to Euston.


You have had a pretty comprehensive Virgin Train review from me in days gone by, so I won’t milk this too much. Except to say it is utterly perfect; great service, sufficient food, brilliant scenery fleeting past expansive windows, drinks on free flow, pleasant ambiance and, for me, a feeling of great detachment. In my hands I leaf through a Lonely Planet Africa (in its entirety) guide book yet it still feels so utterly foreign. I am truly going into the little chartered regions. This guidebook may just as well be blank pages.



Idyllic British countryside whistles pass as the service begins.



Spare Ribs, potato Wedges is freshly cooked and quite yummy. White wine served with.



Followed by coffee



Cheese and biscuits



Generous G&T’s, a sandwich and some crisps to nibble on.



A virtually empty (bar that one lady) carriage is peaceful for this late run to Euston.


The ‘Safari’ theme of the title was abbreviated from ‘Dark and Bright Starred Safari’. This is a reference to Paul Therouxs’ ‘Dark Star Safari’ charting roughly the same route as me except in reverse from Cairo to Cape Town. The route through East Africa is by no means unchartered territory. Every loon and their goon have the option of leaching onto one of the Overland Trucks that plies this route and it is highly feasible. But I wanted to do it differently; I really wanted to get on the ground, understand the ways of the locals, and travel like the locals. As a result, with hindsight, I found Africa one of the most joyous and generous places I had ever visited. But if you indulge in Theroux, you will find he paints it as a place of destitution and despair – he had filled me with a dwelling dread through his narrative. Was I making a big mistake heading to the dark continent? I was to discover differently. . .


My train pulls into demure Euston fifteen minutes early. Hurrah. I totter along the platform, purchase my oyster card and within half an hour am sinking into my Queen-size bed in West Hampstead.

You’ll mutter ‘melodramatic’, but I need a few days rest in London. To prepare, relax and read prior to embarking on the trip. A friend offers their flat. During the day I cycle to Camden Lock market which is bohemian and cool. Sitting by the canal reading by day, sunset up Hampstead Heath by evening.





It is the 22nd of August, and this is where my trip truly gets moving. With an Easybus booked at 07:22 from Finchley Road, I savour my sleep and rise at a ten to the hour. The bus and I arrive at the stop at the same time and I load luggage and we head off. Nice large Greenline bus to Luton. An enjoyable drama unfolds when a lady realises at Brent Cross that it is NOT the bus to Stansted and yelps when the truth hits home. An expensive taxi to STN will have made that BA option seem much more justified. I went to LTN an age ago, beyond recollection. Bus only just makes its schedule. LTN a curiosity, elevated on a plinth of earthworks and quite modern looking. Disembark close to terminal; the morning is cold, yet clear.



Greenline/ Easybus services outside terminal.


Departures is pleasantly peaceful


I will put through my enormous backpack as hand-luggage. Easyjet at least have no weight limit, and I know with some grunting and wrestling I should be able to get it into those terrible tubular metal baggage-dimension things. This issue is that I am transporting over 3 litres in medicine and aid and such like. Got what I could in a clear bag that won’t seal closed. Regardless, I don a confident face and stroll to security. All is quiet, and the men are friendly and pay no heed to my liquid heavy bag. Fine, but they also missed my Swiss Card which contains a relatively blunt knife, fold-away scissors and totally obsolete toothpick - but non-the-less is prohibited...

Blow last pounds on Pret. Apron activity at LTN today makes my Sunday papers a more interesting prospect.


Quiet with a few charter flights to Canaries.


Don’t have to wait an age till my flight is boarding from some dingy gate at taxiway-level. One of last to board, very conscious of enormous back-pack on back. Fortunately nothing said by ground staff – in fact fairly polite.




LTN-SAW
22nd August 2010

Airline……………..Easyjet Airlines
Aircraft…………….Airbus A319-111?
Flight……………….EZY2383
Registration…….... G-EZBV
Seat………………..1F (Economy Class / Window)
Departure time......09.45 (09.44)
Arrival time……….15.30 (15.26)
LF: 95%............. Economy
Distance… ……. 1591 miles (3hr 45 min)

Price……………. £37.99



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Photo © André Castro - Portugal Spotters
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Photo © Kristóf Czakó


BV Ready for what is quite a long-haul for this mini airbus…


Welcomed cheerily on-board. Eyes dart to seat 1F which despite healthy load remains empty. Eye up 1D gentleman. Looks to be grumpy, and with injury. Delicate little wife in 1E. Plonk myself down regardless. Yadda yadda push-back, powerful take-off (we are heavy with fuel, baggage and bodies for what is quite a long sector) and into a standard EZY flight.



Gaining altitude over London. Not sure which airport that is. .

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Won’t bore you – little scenery, good IFS (all buy-on-board) and lethargic from early start. Twice nuzzle into neighbour (the wife) from falling asleep... Mr 1D is Turkish-British, arrogant as hell, disparaging about the FA’s – although admittedly they are a bit ditsy. To my delight the FA’s twice ram into his fragile caste leg (he overdoes it). He does chat to me later, and asks me where I am heading and reels off a few out-of-reach IST bars he frequents. Our flight hugs the black-sea coast, crosses over the thin land mass that is the gateway of Istanbul, descends in loops over the Sea of Asmara and are committed to arrival into the Asian airport of SAW. Easy jet one of the only budget carriers to fly the shortest way to Asia.



Descending over a clear sea.



Leg-shoot. Groan…


SAW hints of off-season Spanish airports. Barren lands, spacious, marble-clad, reflective, cool and functional. Rude immigration men will not accept Scottish pounds, but a friendly London lass in the queue helps out and we swap.



TK bird at SAW



Not overly sure what this aircraft is, but the floor sure is shiney!


Signage and Tourist Info are very hazy on arrival into SAW. Through a haphazard debate with several bus drivers, I deduce that I can take a public bus to a metro, and reach Sisli without too much bother or cash. There I meet my couchsurfing host and settle in.



The short queue for visas, in what is a very quiet little airport.



Ugly exterior of SAW



Crossing back into Europe on the public bus from the airport which shortly drops me at a Metro.


An Istanbul Stopover


My outbound flight with QR, the main event if you like, is not for three days. But why am I randomly in Istanbul of all places? Threefold; primarily, it is always a place that I had wished to visit, secondly – trying to get a single ticket out of Europe equates to £1 cheaper than a return. The first place you can get any sort of realistic price is Istanbul. And finally, my great travelling hero Michael Palin had passed through here on Pole to Pole, and had been beaten and pummelled cleaned in one of the hammams; I aimed to do the same.



Mosques



Nationalistic flags fluttering



Historical Hammams (a little overpriced these days)


My few days in IST were great. I ate heartily, quaffed Efes, dozed the heat of the afternoon away in the back of mosques, met great friends, dashed across the Bosporus on the great ferries. My highlight is sunset from Çamlıca Hill and listening as the entire city exploded into a summer bloom of call to prayer.



Hops across the Bosporus



Sunset from Hydrapasa Station



Kumpir, kofta, Balık ekmek – the only thing I am reluctant to try is the muscles scraped from the river walls…



Fooling kids infront of Mosque…



Glorious final night sunset!

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Breaking down the stereotypes - one by one
 
lukeyboy95
Topic Author
Posts: 1058
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 7:07 pm

RE: My African Safari (i) ; The Beginning (EZY/ QR)

Tue Feb 28, 2012 1:14 am

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The QR Journey Begins


Day of departure. Crikey, a sore head is only exacerbated by the wailing Morning Prayer. It literally feels like the Imam is in the room. With a couple of German travellers, we check ourselves into a Hammam for a full treatment. What pain! Excruciating, I can only think to compare it to child-birth, but I left feel thoroughly stretched and squeaky clean. A glance on my watch confirms in a little less than three hours I will be sipping a whisky on QR, Africa bound.

Without further adieu, I grab a chai, some snacks for the plane and a few cans of Efes before catching the local bus from Taksim Square. Just make it. Journey smooth and a nice little farewell tour of the city.



A final chai…



On the bus from Taksim…


IST. Looks vast and reminds me a little of LHR in as much as development on all sides. The bus pulls up outside… which terminal is it? A fleeting moment of swelling panic, I find I am at the wrong terminal and jog to the correct one. Pre-security clearance is painfully slow and inefficient.

Eventually I get to the QR check-in with not a soul in front of me in the queue. A man with a crew cut and trimmed bush of a moustache solemnly types my details into the system and I muse to myself he looks exactly like the fellow who had not long ago beaten me in the Hammam. Whispers exchanged, mini-Turkish debates drawn out with supervisor, animated pointing, verbal confirmation of my route to me and exaggerated blinking at the screen and finally my rucksack is propelled off into the dark side of the airport.

Here I would include a few informative photos of landside airport, the check-in desk, the uninspiring shopping of IST, the singular mint I spent my last lira on and probably a big Gate number sign. Sadly that was on my point and shoot digital camera, which was stolen by a repugnant racist Afrikaans called Louis in Kimberly, SA a month or so later. Our loss is his gain.

Still, I proceed steadily through IST. Nothing to note really. It is quite open and airy, but not particularly stylish or worthy of much description.



From the SLR – heading towards gate


At the gate area I have to go through another security check (the third so far) before I find a seat in the holding area. Weighing it up, it looks like it will be a healthy load. Mostly Asian businessmen and roguish looking Russians heading off to DOH today. In other news, I am extremely excited about this flight, as it will be one of my first flights from a ‘very foreign place’ to an ‘equally foreign place’. Both airports are strangers to me; also it will be one of the longest full-service narrow-body flights I will have taken.



Third security check into the holding area of Gate 220


Boarding is announced 30 minutes prior to scheduled departure and the scrum ensues. I watch action on the taxiway. The QR A321 looks staggeringly beautiful, long and sleek and glinting in the pleasant afternoon. Class. When the queue has dissipated, I glide over to the boarding gate, careful to not belie how charged with excitement I am.



QR A321 in the sun.



When the gate holding area is sufficiently empty, I head to board.


“’Av a very nice flight, seer” Mr Moustache rips my boarding pass and I proceed down the jet bridge.

Prepare for some serious QR gushing;





ISTDOH
25th August 2010

Airline……………..Qatar Airways
Aircraft…………….Airbus A321-231
Flight……………….QR483
Registration……....A7-ADT
Seat………………..23A (Economy Class / Window)
Departure time......16.00 (16.08)
Arrival time……….20.00 (19.52)
LF: 70 %............. Economy
Distance… ……. 1701 miles (1hr 15 min)

Price……………. £294.50 (with connecting)




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Photo © Frank Unterspann
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Photo © Helmut Bierbaum


Heading down the airbridge.



Typical bottleneck. . .


Entering this narrow body is akin to entering a school hall that has been decorated for prom. After so many times associating the narrow-body airframe with the mundane routine of FR/EZY, reaching the slender, Asian cabin crew at the threshold to this narrow-body set the mood for the flight. With tones of maroon, but floods of hospitality, I was in fact greeted by name and with ‘Welcome on board again, Mr Addis’ – a small gesture easily confirmed by the presence of my lowly-status Freq’ Flyer number – a delicate palm gestures me up the aisle. I see some English papers, and ask for one – ‘erm, sir, these are for business class passengers, but if you don’t say anything’ and I am handed a selection. Encouraging service so far.


The best analogy I can offer is that of a bubble; of a Qatar Airways Bubble of bliss. I am directed to my seat by another proactive Asian FA. I note regrettably that I am positioned beside a bulky Russian. But the middle seat remains empty. A second FA assists me with reorganising the overhead bin to accommodate my modest backpack – as ever, the camera, book and Ipod get slipped into the seat pocket.


The departure ceremony proceeds with vigour; smiling FA’s pirouette down the aisle handing out boiled sweets and a heavily-scented lemon cold wipes from wicker basket, a sleek looking Thai reverse moonwalks down distributing headsets (The IFE system is immediately available - I earnestly begin producing my playlist for taxi and take-off – like a good movie, I like to do things to a theme-tune) but the oddity is the frowning Arab FA doing checks on seatbelts and positions who is, well, almost sneering. Gosh. She deals with a busy Turkish businessman on the opposite aisle still blabbering down his mobile with assassin-like precision – ‘Sir, Your phone; Off’ . . . Gosh. Thankfully, I am not infringing any rules (I slip my headphones off as she passes).



A boiled sweet, nothing quite sets the QR mood like it. . .


The flight-deck makes a barely audible announcement. Small delay in taxiing and the rest is gone in a crackle. We push back 10 minutes or so late. Pause a good few minutes at threshold for runway, before entering active, and with quite a throwback, accelerate towards a warm Turkish afternoon. Can only imagine this Airbus is pretty heavy. Steely Dan croons to a climax in ‘Time Out of Mind’ – my official track for this trip.



Pushing back and heading for active.



Business class English newspapers



Busy IST on this nice afternoon.



And then liftoff





Above the hazy suburbs of Istanbul, we conduct a series of correcting turns until we are pushing pretty much South-East towards Iraq, and further down the line, Doha. A second Thai crew member introduces herself as the cabin manager and announces a catastrophic glitch in the IFE. Right enough, Donald Fagan has been noticeably absent for about 10 minutes now, so she says it will be rebooted. To her credit, she keeps us informed the whole flight (it is a reoccurring problem) and comes round the cabin to explain individually. Impressive.




Mouth of Bosporus


The seat. Well, wriggling back into it, I can confirm it is utterly comfortable, slender and sleek. We have headrests that adjust so that you can angle your head to lean in, a sufficient recline, a slim line design that neither obstructs you nor your immediate Russian neighbours. I am so impressed by these seats. The touchscreen is large and responsive (when it works), and you have a handset if you’re a ‘remote sort of bloke’. My Sennheisers fit well enough, so sound is great too. That pesky Russian has moved off too so I have three seats to stretch over.

Meanwhile, service is kicking in. Aromas are in the air. Just 35 minutes after gliding off into the sky, an FA brings round a hot hand-towel, given with a gracious smile. Secondly, a jazzy-coloured placemat floats down onto my small table.



Hot Towel



Dinner movie will be another Pixar, which I am drawn to on planes. Perhaps Wall-E?



Jazzy Place-mats


Today’s culinary choices (will try to dig official menu out) are beef stew, or a Cajun chicken with roast vegetables. I select the chicken. Got to say, right up there with the best inflight meals I have ever tasted. Shall I attempt culinary critique? Why not – chicken is very moist, and well-seasoned with a delicate hint of spice. Potatoes have been cooked in chicken stock so are tasty and fall apart in the mouth, except for the caramelised top. Roast Med Vegetables also tasty, and all in a shallow puddle of delicious flavoured olive-oil. Accompaniment is a more Arabic themed morsel of lentils in tomato, with a cooling cucumber and yoghurt dip. Also very tasty. Pudding is an apple crumble with a tangy raspberry coulis. Really; airlines, all you need is a pre-packed GU moose/ cheesecake/ baklava.



Chicken dish



Starter and pudding


Regard the greed, which I fob off as hunger and, to you, research. A polite request for another tray of chicken is granted with a big smile. Even better, a request if I can try the stewed beef is just as easily granted and is brought in a jiffy. I am a huge fan of airline food, so this is all brilliant. FA’s will happily back-track, meet call-buttons and respond to the vaguest eye-contact. That is, the Asian ones, but the black sheep of the flock (the Arab FA) continues to be sultry and a bit rude. Conversely, a particular beautiful one piques my curiosity – it appears she is from South London, is lively and chatty and performs her job brilliantly. Always proud to see good British FA’s.



The second tray.



The beef – also tasty



A desert has appeared over dessert. The light is fading.


A brandy is served during the clearing of the trays. Not all that tasty, but a good gesture. I bing to ask for a beer, and get the sultry Arab FA, shall we call Syrah for ease, who is huffy at my request for a beer. She appears and begins pouring my beer.
It is a staggering site – the beer is warm, and she pours it from a heady height, so a massive head forms in the lugubrious, yellow plastic cup. To my surprise, she produces a second cup to continue the head, then a third, and finally, it is on the forth that she successfully empties the contents of the Heineken Can. I could not help chortle at this site, made all the worse for her deadly seriousness. After all that, I ask for a coffee as well.



The beer saga… with the remaining heads having dissipated



Coffee is served, Not too bad for instant...


It only becomes clear later in the flight that it is Ramadan (curse my cultural insensitivities, for next year I will be fasting too not far above where we are flying) and as such, fellow passengers are saved the abomination of seeing open alcohol containers via this slightly farcical decanting policy. The surrounding Russians had also smirked at the beer spectacle.



A visit to the restroom. All good and proper.



A pleasant atmosphere onboard…



As the sun finally sets on what has been a great day…


Blankets and pillows are handed out, and I chill right out to some good movies, whilst a steady stream of Johnny Walkers makes their way to my seat, and makes the experience so much more excellent. The flight is not a flash in the pan, and I am enjoying the length. However, I am surprised, when I bing the call-bell some place over the Tigris River in Iraq, and get Syrah who refuses to serve a drink because the bar is packed up. She does this neither politely nor tactfully. Since I am not inebriated it suggests to me this might be sheer laziness.

As the Thai Senior FA is passing through I ask her if it is in fact true that the bar is closed at this early stage. She denies this, apologises and hastily gets my requested drink. It is these misnomers (like Syrah) that really do damage to the consistency of service on Arab carriers. Part of me wonders if it is a nationality (it often can be) and if so, why doesn’t the airline cut down on employment from this area. From my minimal flying hours I have found Arab, Eastern Europe and Western European FA’s can be loose cannons.




Blood-red Sunset. Full moon. It is a stunning lunar display during this flight. More evocative are the ferocious bursts of flames from behemoth oil refineries dotting Iraq as we pass peacefully. The flight deck comes on and announces impending descent and the doom of this glorious flight ending.


Tracking via the new in flight maps.



Iraq



An almost blinding full moon this evening



Checking the cabin before landing.



Imminent, Doha.


Landing is , to quote Thai, smooth as silk into a pretty quiet DOH. Quiet in consideration of peak times. We taxi to one of the gates to the immediate right of the main terminal building where the narrow-bodies normally stack up from their hops. On disembarking, I approach the Thai Senior, and express my dissatisfaction with Syrah in what was otherwise a faultless flight. She is utterly apologetic and sincere or not, promises she will follow it up according to company procedure. The night is hot as we disembark on buses. We spew out at the transfer area.



In the bus heading to arrivals – thanks DT

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Breaking down the stereotypes - one by one
 
lukeyboy95
Topic Author
Posts: 1058
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 7:07 pm

RE: My African Safari (i) ; The Beginning (EZY/ QR)

Tue Feb 28, 2012 1:17 am

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Transfer





A scene many of you will be familiar with. . .


Transfer area is clearly marked, and I find easily my area for ‘Transfer Passengers’. After 10 minutes or so, I am dispassionately handed three hotel vouchers and pointed towards immigration.



With QR’s increasing efficient transfers, a scene many of you won’t be familiar with. Transfer desk.



Simple, three vouchers given for Immigration, Hotel and Passenger


Immigration is done by a fierce but pretty female Qatar national with embellished make-up and hook-nose. A couple of pre-cursory flicks of the passport (this is only the second stamp in my new passport) slams a stamp down with such force it would likely knock out a sole like me. I have 24 hours free entry into the State of Qatar. I don’t retrieve my luggage. Exiting at Doha is unusual in that it feels like exiting Norwich airport, even though the preceding hectic, traffic flow of transiting passengers is more in line with ATL.



Guest workers arriving for some months of hard graft.



Luggage.



The arrivals bank tonight


I am requested to wait inside by a myriad of QR ground personnel. Fine with me, outside feels sensationally hot. I observe with wonder, the grace and affection of rich, incoming Qataris meeting their extended families. Men graciously clad in immaculate, flowing white and woman shuffling along in hand, peeking through slits in oppressive black with often a gaggle of nondescript children.



The Meeting Point at DOH



Quite busy outside…


Someone beckons to me when my minibus is here. An Asian lady gets on, seemingly ill-at-ease with her surroundings. The luminescent green clock reads 8.67 confirming either my exhaustion, a malfunctioning clock or severe inebriation. The Sri-Lankan driver gets us the few miles to the Ali Lewan Suites Hotel in about just as many minutes.



Onboard the bus… time is playing me the fool


This will be my first transit hotel. They treat us courteously; I am checked-in and shown my room by a keen Filipino going by Simon. I am informed I can come down for dinner at any time, use the pool and gym at my whim and dial for service. Simon enthusiastically shows me my (for-me) lavish apartment. I chat to him about the Philippines, and as a memento of this outreach, he returns with a dressing-gown, two extra towels and some dinky slippers and ‘There we go Mr Luke, you can keep zees, but no tell hotel please sir!’



One bed too many


A full kitchen. Glad for the washing machine



Hardly Jo Malone, but not to be sniffed at.

That night passes in chuffed Facebook updates, lengths of a deserted pool to the roar of departing planes from the adjacent DOH, a full and rather tasty buffet and cool cans of soft-drink. Having tainted my singular change of clothes, I call room service, whereby eager Simon appears shortly with endearing smile, tub of detergent and the solemn promises that the washing machine will wash and dry my clothes by the time I wake.



Swimming pool all to myself.



At dinner buffet. Strange atmosphere and disobedience of time-zones, eating habits or sleeping patterns in this transit hotel.

.
Breaking down the stereotypes - one by one
 
lukeyboy95
Topic Author
Posts: 1058
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 7:07 pm

RE: My African Safari (i) ; The Beginning (EZY/ QR)

Tue Feb 28, 2012 1:31 am

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Today We go to Africa; QR DOH-JNB-CPT


Restless night of sleep in anticipation of ensuing flight. Wake-up call comes at 04.45. I nibble unenthusiastically on continental breakfast, throw back a few revolting coffees and raise an eye-brow at the extraordinary cross-section of Africans that trail into breakfast tardily that morning…



Breakfast fuel. 05.00am



Exterior Ali Lewan


Return to my room and punctually arrive at the bus. We wait quite a few minute, the same Sri-Lankan revving with gradually building impatience, and finally two of the most exquisite dressed African elders emerged. I am to learn they are that beautiful race of Sudanese. At airport 5 minutes later. Entirely busy and bustling, by sheer majority of nationality, it feels much more like a baking corner of the sub-continent.



Some of Doha on the way to airport…



Nerry an ethnic Qatari to be seen!


The hotel has given us little pack-lunches for this morning which is brilliant. Furthermore, with boarding passes etc., I can hop through the deathly quiet security check in to the chaos of transfers. A savour this, watching a care-free Indian youth polish a deserted floor, mind probably on what his family are doing back home in Kerala. A security personnel blithely waves me on when I point out my bottles of juice in the pack-lunch – it seems some countries are getting rather bored with those rules. Ahem, why hasn’t this liquid ban been lifted yet?


Staggeringly, no less than 11 QR African departures will leave within the space of 25 minutes, in what is the African bank this morning. From the calm of the DOH check-in area, I am thrown into the melee of connecting passengers once more; a great casserole of flavours, ethnicities, motives and cultures. There is nothing quite like an airport for this sight. I’ve little time till my flight will board, so surf a little on the internet, familiarise myself with how god-awful the toilets are (picture pools of piss, water and foot-marks on the toilet rim from those that can’t quite shake the squatting habit).



QR’s African Bank…



Peaceful gate area



Packed-lunch.. it feels like a school trip!



Emerging into the bustle of transferring passengers


I proceed to the collecting area which is all smart metal, clear flight information screens and an elevator disappearing below to where the passengers will board a bus. I can’t work out whether they pluck the most pernickety bus drivers from the world, but there is always a faff with the buses at DOH. This morning it is an elderly Filipino man who cannot seem to get his COBUS bus to reverse. Eventually he drives off for a circuit and returns five minutes later. We board. The time is a little after 06.30.




DOH- JNB- CPT
26th August 2010

Airline……………..Qatar Airways
Aircraft…………….Boeing 777-2DZ/LR
Flight………….......QR582
Registration…….. A7-BBG
Seat……………….11K (Economy Class / Window)
Departure time......07.00 (16.08)
Arrival time……….17.40 (19.52)
LF: 90 % / 5%..... Economy
Distance… ………(8.5 +2) 10hrs 30 mins @4672miles

Price……………. £294.50 (with connecting)



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Photo © Royal S King
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Photo © Rainer Bexten





Our aircraft is parked on the other side of the airfield, so we get the circumventive tour of DOH this morning which is fine with me. The whole place is bathed in glorious light, and enormous QR birds skim in over our roof with the backdrop of Doha CBD behind. One thing I harrumph loudly at is that the supply road round the runway is pretty much wider than any highway we have in Scotland. We pull off it and circle a few planes: the suspense is mounting to see which one it will be. I’ve no fancy gizmos on any fancy phones to get the life history of whichever one it is, and its previous approach path, so it is a childish sort of tension.



Beautiful morning to spot QR birds



The massive ringroad… with Doha city in background. . .



Doha





We pull up beside, well, being honest, it is a beast. It feels like someone had fiddled with the scale here as our insignificant bus is stared down on by this gleaming, vast, sleek and prospective aircraft. Today we will fly on BBG, which can’t have been a month or so old.



Our aircraft



BBG Tail


Ascend stairs, secure curious looks from Asian FA’s at door as I click away in frenzy at the gargantuan engines. Government of Qatar’s conspiratory techniques kick in and my camera steams up with the rapidly building humidity of the day.


Enormous engines



Refuelling in progress



Fantastic engines



In awe at proportion to the wing


Friendly Chinese FA smiles and welcomes me on-board my first ever 777 and ushers me down the left hand aisle to 11K. The paraphernalia is laying out on the maroon seat – pillow, blanket and headset all wrapped in crinkly cellophane. And a few stickers for ‘Bugger Off, I’m Snoozing’ and such like.



Stickers… a lot of people seem to like these. I am indifferent.



Entering the beast.



Comfortable seating…


The plane fills quite nicely. The row in front with extra leg-room never seems to fill, but it’s a risky old business with QR, because you don’t known when a hoard will come off a connecting flight last minute. I leave it too late, and a South African man snatches it and belches triumphantly when quite comfortable.





In the meantime, water is brought round for those so requiring it, and when a trench of Italians have boarded, doors are shut, the niceties and routine of pre-departure is completed and we taxi the short way to the active. Perish the thought of a wimpy take-off; once straightened out, the engine explode into life and throw the airframe down the runway and into the already sultry-air. Africa-bound.


What you will have to understand, pictorially, this flight is a little vague. That mostly comes back to that Neanderthal racist Louis who stole my camera in Kimberly, South Africa. I had taken the majority of pictures on this sector with the more subtle Fujifilm, including a cracking, and brilliant photo of the crew (which required a staggering amount of effort (see below)). However, who knows what happened with those. However you will see the more vague SLR photos. More an asset to QR though, is that on this flight I was so relaxed and well-catered for, that I mostly enjoyed the experience.


At 08.25, just over an hour after departure, trolleys trundle down the aisles. Choice is typically dull and predictable; rubbery eggs, served with a smattering of questionable meat and some salty accompaniment, or…. Noodles, with Oyster sauce and chicken. I take the latter (brekkie on a plane isn’t appealing for me unless it is BA). This meal is probably nothing to write home to your granny for, but fills the tummy, and is tasty enough. It is accompanied by fruit yoghurt, fresh fruit, conserve, bread and a hot croissant. Knowing my wicked ways, I probably asked for another, but if so forgot to picture it.





Breakfast!


The Middle Eastern airlines have created a great connection with Africa. There is a little bit more distance involved admittedly, but it seems a popular option from Europe nowadays. Especially with EK, if just to fly from your regional airport, and I am sure QR will build that appeal too. The CPT tag-on was only operating thrice weekly, IIRC. I think the service might have matured now, but not sure.


A beautiful view of the large wing


We make a heading over Saudi, Yemen and cut pretty inland of Africa for our cruise south. Glancing out at the blurry nothingness of vast, dry African terrain, I feel I need to order another Johnny Walker at the mere thought I will be retracing much the same route over a year, at probably an average speed of a fast walker. But for now, I sit back and enjoy the superior IFE through Sennheisers, recline the seat and ping the call bell at intervals for a refill.



Shrek the third or forth



Happily reclined under blanket



Demonstrating economy recline.


Probably a good time to mention the crew. A diverse bunch. Can’t give the full inventory, but it includes a Kenyan girl, and extremely bubbly black SA female who oozes warmth, a couple of South Americans, a white male SA who is young and ruddy looking, a pouting and tall US gentleman from Massachusetts, a gaunt man called Vladimir from Russia, a few others that were unexceptional enough to not lodge themselves in my mind, all headed up in the economy class cabin by the most energetic, bounding, camp Capetonian Cape Malay I ever did see.

He was an absolute asset, and constantly maintained a presence in the cabin, supported his colleagues and was pretty hilarious to talk to (the accent). I spent a solid 3 hours in the back gallery talking to this crew, telling them about my trip, joking about, hearing all their stories of how they came to work at QR, getting a lot of the dirt on the way the company runs, explaining the trip reports etc. With permission, they were happy to let me rest in the crew-seat, and kept me well refilled during my time there. The three gents; the Slavic, the SA kid and the American dude were extremely nice and chatty. Both the young dudes and the Slavic bucked any ‘clichés’ in that they seemed grounded, fairly average-Joes. They SA crew furnished me with tips to go cheaply in South Africa – particularly to shop in ubiquitous Pick and Pay. Before I head off, I ask for a crew photo. Some are reluctant to be in it, and all are particularly wary of Big QR Brother. From their anecdotes, it sounds like foreboding terrifying company to work for at times. In the end a few of them consent to what turns into a great photo.

Meanwhile, we were about Kenya, and I returned to my seat. The tipples and chat having taken their toll on me, I snuggled into a blanket (improved materials from previously scratchy ones) and zonked.

Awoken an hour prior to arrival into JNB by the surf dude SA- ‘Shucks bru, you really cunked awt there!’ Nibble timidly on my ‘Monty’s Chicken Balti Pocket’ - not a huge fan of these, but am of the reviving gin and tonic that finds its way to me prior to final descent.




Lining up for JNB


We touch down easily into JNB; a red, arid airport this afternoon. I am a little delirious by this stage. The FA’s dispense clear instructions for those disembarking, and bid farewell to those left. They only leave when the last passenger has departed, and a sort of ‘hand-over’ acknowledgement occurs for the new crew that will take this 77L to its final destination. I take a little walk around the cabin. No passengers join, it just isn’t possible.



Touchdown



Curiously, a dog as a bird deterrent.



A good line-up of other long-haul operators into JNB



At stand


Disembarking at JNB – good to see the make-up of said flight.



Great testimony to genuine warmth of the crew on that flight. . .



The next crew getting settled in for the next sector.



With the last of the cargo (full hold) offloaded, we are shortly to depart. Odd to see a BA 737 so far from home!


According to times on my photos, we take off exactly an hour after arriving in JNB. The 777 zips up into the air and it is great to get another experience of this procedure. When we level out, a second service is commenced.



I have moved seats a little further back for take-off…





Quite definitely one of my top flights ever taken. The plane is pretty much empty, the scenery is breath-taking passing over the high-veld at that time of day that accentuates the beauty of the landscape. The flight attendants are from all the continents, but each is excellent and friendly. One that particularly enamoured herself to me was a friendly Italian FA. She went ‘beyond the call of duty’ later in the flight. Don’t read too much into that statement.


With not much more than 20 folk on this leg, the FA’s can really relax and are not sloppy as a result. I am brought; two glasses of water, a corker of a measure of whisky and a coffee. Going for ying and yang with that. Whilst meals are prepared I watch a short programme on Jeepneys, which I love dearly.



A wild Jeepney makes easy entertainment.



Patch of clouds…


Impressed by meal offerings this afternoon, given all passengers will have had the offering on the previous leg. Still, I guess two ‘snacks’ isn’t too good in a row. And it is getting to a feeding sort of time. The tray consists of a fresh olive tapenade pasta salad, stir-fry chicken with bok Choy, rice and vegetables, and fresh fruit. It is really rather tasty, and they bring me a second without any hesitation. What I particularly like is the ‘with compliments’ slip.



The rather tasty meal





Beautiful dinner landscapes.



A surreal and relaxed calm descends on the cabin.







Mostly Indian South-Africans on board for the hop down to CPT which I am surprised about. It is possible that a lot of the population choose to go directly to Europe.


That done, and cleared, it is time to wander round the cabin. It is a surreal site to see these vast aircraft with barely a sole on-board. It feels much more like an empty conference room like this. Some passengers lounge cheery and untroubled in the aisles, others stretch out over four seats. I make my way to the back, where I meet the Italian lady who I talk to a little. She tells me about the company, explains that this is very unusual load, and outbound it will be completely full. I know some of you hit your head against the wall when it comes to direct speech inclusions… but;

“Can you tell me which side is best to sit on to get a view of Table Mountain?”

“Em, I am not so sure sir, but I know who will be able to tell me” – with that she picks up the internal phone… “'Allo Sir, is everything OK with you. Good. Yes, I have a customer here who would like to see the Table Mountain. Which side should he be seated?” A lot of nodding ensues.

“Was that the captain?!” incredulously…

“ Yes, it is heem, he says both sides. We will approach and it will be on your right. But we overshoot over the ocean, and backtrack for landing. Then it will be on your left. So, I suggest that I will allow you to move when we have completed the turn”.


Obviously I am immensely grateful for this. Really intuitive thing to do. Back in the comfort of 11K I watch as the more arid Highveld, tapers down into the gradually greener Karoo and then the rolling of the Winelands that enshrine Cape Town.



Breaking the clouds into the lush Southern Cape landscape.


The evening is breath-taking, with shards of sun stabbing through thick clouds and reflecting in the watercourses. As always, I stow a whisky so as to enjoy the descent with a tipple, and the crew comes around to check all is in order.


Some runway and lots of recent rain…



A little Fleet for descent.


Table Mountain has its usual ‘tablecloth’ of wispy white cloud. We are shortly over the ocean, not much further than about 100km north of the most Southerly tip of Africa. We perform the nifty turn so that we are heading inland now.



I think Table Mountain is under here! A stunning evening…



Crossing over the sea…



Conducting the turn





Inbound. I take this as my cue to shuffle over the other side of the plane. Apparently one of the Asiatic FA’s didn’t get the memo that I would be doing that, as she immediately began squawking in alarm. I proceeded, buckled up in 11A and enjoyed one of the most symbolic descents of my life. Glorious.



Inbound, speedbrakes deployed


We sway a little on touch down and slow-down using the majority of the runway. CPT is situated out on the plains, gliding down over the extraordinary poverty of townships like Khayelitsha, and quite a crosswind can whip up.



Over the townships



It is a glorious landing…


Park between an EK 777 and a BA 747 which will have come direct. But I feel so relieved to have come my convoluted QR way. I am the last to leave the plane, gathering all my stuff which had become a little scattered given the space on this sector. I am not even off before I hear the turnaround cleaning team leader “Right, 40 minutes to get this girl turned around. Let’s set to it”.


Slowing down…


Pleasant and modern terminal façade.



Beside the competition



Our beautiful aircraft after disembarking…



77L!



With the older, more stately lady to the side…



Once more, during her fast turn-around.


All this aviation fun and I had totally forgotten that I still needed to get into the country! The fact that I had come in on a one-way ticket could provide a potential issue, as a return is required for the visa. If the shit really hit the fan, I could buy a cheap budget airline ticket outwards to a neighbouring country. Standing behind the line of predominantly Indian arriving passengers, I began to become quite anxious. “Next” – I was called forward.

My immigration man was a portly, beaming black South African, with thick spectacles and curly hair. “Good evening – where have you come from? Is this your first time to South Africa? Well, Yikes! You are going to have a lakka time here sir, it is a beautiful land. Have a fantastic stay.” SLAM. That easy, and with such a warm welcome, I made my first footsteps onto African soil.


Briefly, CPT airport clean and modern. Customs asks if I am carrying any prohibited items, and take my word for it. Again, really friendly. Which is more than I can say for my bastard friend not there to dramatically meet me at International arrivals. Slightly older part of arrivals where I went to catch my bus, the recklessly punctuated ‘MyCiTi.’ Service is excellent, though slightly overpriced given how affordable ordinary bus services are. Still, another friendly gent carries my bag to the bus, and it leaves with me as the only passenger. Private. On-board, I change into warmer clothes, having overlooked it is winter and we’re not a million miles from Antarctica.


Sterile Arrivals area


Older part of arrivals exterior



Private bus into town. Not a huge fan of Afrikaans language… but here it is!


One aspect, call me ignorant, I had not factored in, was that the bus drops you at the Civic Centre. Civility and the city centre of CT. This is about 10 minutes’ walk from Long Street (where the majority of hotels are). However, it is not a place to be at night. I amble hastily along the darkening streets. The first person that corners me is a girl asking for money for food – I look out the remainder of my pack lunch from Ali Lewan Suites which the skulks off disappointedly with.

The next encounter isn’t so pleasant. It is a shaking, visibly criminal man who grabs my arm and informs me that he has a knife, he doesn’t want to have to use it, and I should give him some money to allay that requirement. I keep moving, talking to him, until I am close enough to a security guard which loses the pitiful criminal. All this happened within an hour of arriving in Africa, in the city centre of purportedly the most developed country in Africa. I shook it off, shortly met my friend, and drank red wine till I conked out. I had arrived at Beginning of my African Safari.


Fin.


Prologue

Firstly aviation; the entire journey getting out to Cape Town could not have been more perfect. From the pleasant precedent set by Virgin Trains down to London, to my purifying time of preparation in Istanbul and my overnighter in DOH.

Virgin Trains impressed with service and value. No less so, Easyjet were great on this sector. I would happily fly them as it was totally hassle free and I felt a nuance of being valued as a customer with them after far too long fraternising with the enemy.

Finally, QR was on total form for this trip. Every single aspect of the journey, from booking through to departure, ground handling, my entirely relaxing transfer and of course the sublime flights on brilliant equipment, was a delight.
I found the crews engaging and proactive and it was a brilliant start to the trip. Two firsts; a 777 and Africa.

This report will continue with my midway point holiday when I get round to jotting it out... Please find below photos of my travel photos if you are interested.


Most grateful for any comments, corrections, questions or jobs in the energy sector,


Regards,

Luke



Please find below my previous Trip Reports;
BA And Cityjet - Scotland To London (DND/GLA/LCY) (by lukeyboy95 Mar 31 2010 in Trip Reports)
Pivo In Bratislava ; A Day With FR (by lukeyboy95 May 6 2010 in Trip Reports)
An Indian Summer; The North – BA And IT (Part 1) (by lukeyboy95 Jun 11 2010 in Trip Reports)
An Indian Summer; The South – S2 And IT (Part 2) (by lukeyboy95 Jul 15 2010 in Trip Reports)
BA’s Nod To The Northeast – NCL-LHR 747 (by lukeyboy95 Jul 30 2010 in Trip Reports)
~A Promise Kept; To France For Chicken AF A380~ (by lukeyboy95 Oct 23 2011 in Trip Reports)
Part 1; The Rushes Run – BA Vs. Virgin Train 1st (by lukeyboy95 Dec 23 2011 in Trip Reports)
Part 2; To Venice For Filming With BA (by lukeyboy95 Jan 12 2012 in Trip Reports)

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Breaking down the stereotypes - one by one
 
jrfspa320
Posts: 326
Joined: Fri Sep 16, 2005 12:18 am

RE: My African Safari (i) ; The Beginning (EZY/ QR)

Tue Feb 28, 2012 2:49 am

Thanks for your report, Great reading
Well done on your degree!

The BA 737 is a comair a/c, a franchise for BA

sounds like your in for an adventure!

Enjoy and take care!
 
lukeyboy95
Topic Author
Posts: 1058
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 7:07 pm

RE: My African Safari (i) ; The Beginning (EZY/ QR)

Tue Feb 28, 2012 2:54 am

Quoting jrfspa320 (Reply 5):
The BA 737 is a comair a/c, a franchise for BA

sounds like your in for an adventure!

Enjoy and take care!

Oh yes, it looks unclear the way I structured that sentence, but I realise it is the Comair thing going on. Just those colours on a small aircraft so far from home.

Sadly writing about this adventure post-trip. All done now, but thanks for the reply!
Breaking down the stereotypes - one by one
 
lukeyboy95
Topic Author
Posts: 1058
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 7:07 pm

RE: My African Safari (i) ; The Beginning (EZY/ QR)

Tue Feb 28, 2012 3:17 am

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Photos from the Travelling; From Cape Agulhas to the Equator, Uganda.

However, for those who would like to get an insight into some of the enthralling continent of Africa, I invite you to read on as this report transforms into a bit of a travelogue covering between Cape Agulhas, South Africa to the Equator, Uganda.

This takes place over 6 months and includes South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Swaziland, Mozambique, Malawi, Tanzania, Rwanda and Uganda. For the majority, sleeping arrangements are with acquaintances and camping wild and I settle into living a frugal existence.


A rough view of the route… from perspective of SA.


I begin, obviously, in Cape Town.


The beautiful Winelands are a pleasant taste for the first couple of days



Amazing landscapes around Stellenbosch


For the first month, I travel with my best friend northwards through the Karoo, to Namibia. It is in fact in Namibia that I try my first ever attempt at hitchhiking. The result could not have been more wonderful, as a couple of young students picked us up and we went on a 5-day trek to Fish River Canyon with them. Quite stunning.



Heading north through the Karoo to Uppington.



Weaver nests on the straight roads of the north



Despite a poor reputation, most police are wonderful ambassadors. These officers gave us a lift, accommodation and all sorts. True gentlemen.



Staggering Fish River Canyon, Namibia… We would trek for 5 days to the end of it.



A hot spring in the dried-out river-bed of the canyon


Photos from the Travelling; From Cape Agulhas to the Equator, Uganda.
However, for those who would like to get an insight into some of the enthralling continent of Africa, I invite you to read on as this report transforms into a bit of a travelogue covering between Cape Agulhas, South Africa to the Equator, Uganda.
This takes place over 6 months and includes South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Swaziland, Mozambique, Malawi, Tanzania, Rwanda and Uganda. For the majority, sleeping arrangements are with acquaintances and camping wild and I settle into living a frugal existence.

A rough view of the route… from perspective of SA.

I begin, obviously, in Cape Town.

The beautiful Winelands are a pleasant taste for the first couple of days


Amazing landscapes around Stellenbosch


For the first month, I travel with my best friend northwards through the Karoo, to Namibia. It is in fact in Namibia that I try my first ever attempt at hitchhiking. The result could not have been more wonderful, as a couple of young students picked us up and we went on a 5-day trek to Fish River Canyon with them. Quite stunning.



Heading north through the Karoo to Uppington.

Weaver nests on the straight roads of the north


Despite a poor reputation, most police are wonderful ambassadors. These officers gave us a lift, accommodation and all sorts. True gentlemen.

Staggering Fish River Canyon, Namibia… We would trek for 5 days to the end of it.

A hot spring in the dried-out river-bed of the canyon


In Namibia, we took a train to Swakopmund, bit of a train enthusiast. Trains have mostly gone to the doldrums in Africa. Decided to splurge for first class. Notice unusual numbering on the seats… and what should I find down the side but!....

An Air Namib In flight magazine from 1989! These were the old first class seats. Staggering to still find the magazine though after all those years…

The Air Namib seats on the one carriage 14 hour, 218km haul to Swakopmund!

We continued northward along the Caprivi Strip and cross over at Katima Mulilo into Zambia. Zambia is a wonderful, vibrant country full of shockingly friendly people and for the first time, it felt like we had the pulse of true Africa. . . We spent 10 days between Livingstone (for the extraordinary falls) and spent five days with the Tonga tribe on Lake Kariba; this was an undiluted and fulfilling experience.



At the border to Zambia…

On Lake Kariba, early morning…

Nonchalant barmaid, Zambia



Undoubtedly the most brightest part of Africa, are it’s youth.


Cross the Zambezi River into Botswana where two truckers kindly took us the 46 hour haul down to Gaborone. Elephants and Earth-moving juggernauts spotted in Kalahari.



Erm, this is me, very much taking my life in my hands at the lip of Victoria Falls in the ‘Jacuzzi’… Probably the stupidest thing I have ever done, but a huge thrill. Right at the lip. An advantage of visiting the falls is you can get right along the lip and find great spots…



Quite high up…


Angel Pools, again on the lip, only able to get to in dry season. . .

Falls at sunset. Staggering…


The only crossing between Botswana and Zambia. A bridge was suggested, but the Zambians boycotted it as they were making so much money from these barges. Such is the way of Africa. It is approximately a 5 day queue for trucks to cross here.


Through the Kalahari in a refrigerated lorry…. Ours is the small one to the side, hitching through Botswana…


My friend flew home on the AF A380 from JNB, whilst I continued my way down to Cape Town. This was my first time travelling solo, and two days into it at Kimberly I got robbed by the aforementioned bastard Louis. But in Cape Town I stayed with great friends I had met on the trek in Namibia. What a brilliant place CT is to grow up and live.

With my bastard sell-out of a friend going off to work for BP, I found myself back in glorious Cape Town with my own little car…


On the 12th of September I backed up an old school Golf GT and went on a road trip to Cape Agulhas. This exposed outcrop lays at the most southerly point of Africa, and marks the joining of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. But most importantly, it marked the start of my vast journey back home. It was a wild and intrepid moment in my life.



My road trip to the most Southerly point!

Home is that way….

The meeting of Oceans… thankfully I would be following the warmer one North…

A picnic for my night at Cape Agulhas…

The Cape is littered with the wrecks of old ships… quite beautiful

I watch sunset here at the tip, and it is one of the most rewarding moment of the whole thing. Tomorrow it begins…

Out in the townships of Cape Town, watching the flightpath.

Up Tablemountain. Hectic views… Thankfully, it was a bit warmer this visit. . .

On the way out to Darling, I spot this inbound EK 777 to CPT.


On the way north I spent 2 months volunteering with a feminist-based organisation working in the townships with South Africa’s poorest slice of society. It was a shocking wake-up to a country that claims to be the most developed in Africa – rape, crime, abuse and discrimination all rampant. Quite a departure for me.



The shosholoza meyl train from Cape Town to East London. 27 hours and another exemplification of how disastrous the railways are in Africa. Sad when you consider Cecil’s vision. . . scenery is good compensation.

Onboard turns into a boozey riot…

Un up-hill battle. Teaching womans rights in East London. I have punch-ups often in my class. Violence is most prevalent in South Africa.

The beach at East London, where one day I dramatically rescue a drunk, drowning black man. On a later trek, a local police officer gives me the following sound advice “if you get into any bother whatsoever, just jump into the sea, none of the blikx can swim, I know it is bad to say”



And by God, I met so many along my way. They are the true champions of Africa. . .

The charity wouldn’t fork out for accommodation, so I spent 2 months sleeping in a tent. Was quite homely by the end!
After seeing numerous catastrophic accidents with public transport on the roadside in the hilly homelands of Mandela in the Transkei and frustrated by how bad and unstructured the whole system was, I decided to go back to hitchhiking. I had given it up on safety reasons around some parts of SA.

The hilly topography of the stunning Transkei… Mandela’s homeland…


However, hitching and trekking on the wild coast turned out to be one of the highlights so far – rural bliss, only the ocean and occasional livestock for company, camping out at night, watching distant cruise ships lurch around off the coast and feeling a million miles away from everywhere.


Such vivacity… Port St Johns

Grahams Town

One of my first independent hitches… from Grahams Town to East London. After this one ride, a barely once set foot in public transport for the rest of the trip.

The staggering Wild Coast, one of my favourite places on the trip…


4 days of blissful hiking on the Wild Coast from Coffee Bay. Here there is a boatman, but on a lot of the river crossings I have to swim which is pretty wild!



Morning cows, outside my campsite.

This reminds me of the rampant lion emblem of Scotland…

Although staggeringly beautiful, the coastline here is heavy going with all its steep ups and downs…

Glorious place to camp out in perfect solitude. . .

Curious goats whilst drying out from a river crossing

Christmas comes early with this crashed truck, Mthatha


I track via Durban, The Battlefields, and up into Swaziland. One day I hitch with 11 separate vehicles. People are humblingly generous, giving anything they can, stopping just to give me a beer, asking me in for tea. It is wild.



The beautiful beach onto the Indian Ocean, at Durban.

Cultish ceremony going on in the bushes in the middle of Durban.

Durban airport (dropping a friend off… rather swanky)

Still a long way.

Spot this and muse that I know who would like it…

Bunny chow – curry in a loaf of bread, representative of the Indian community of Durban. Greta bunch…

Pietermaritzburg Station where Ghandi had his incident that began his stance on human rights.

Religion is hot potato in Africa.

A hitch.

South Africans generally picked you for fear of your safety. A lot of paranoia goes on here.

Happily hitching in the back of a bakkie with my beer, passing through the vastness of the Blood River Battlefields… bliss…


And into Mozambique. My hitch on that border-crossing is a little shifty, and later in the journey he reveals he has 8kg of cocaine under the bonnet, and asks “Luke, do you really think we are going to Maputo” when I ask him why we have pulled off the main road. But later he says he is only playing… not so sure.



The seafood and Portuguese influence of Maputo. Staggering seafood . . .


Mozambique is vast – spreading like a rash up the Indian Ocean coast. The waters are much more tropical here. Communication is a little more strained as they speak Portuguese, but they are friendly enough people. The further north I go, it dramatically gets less developed. I resort to hitching with big ex-American juggernauts. Great fun, highlight is crossing the Tropic of Capricorn in the cab/ bed of an Evergreen Container lorry carrying mattresses for the army. I get almost to the top of Mozambique, to some friends that live in Pemba. On one overcrowded truck, I refracture my scaphoid. I backtrack and take the ‘Mango Train’ from Nampula to Cuamba. Quite beautiful. From here I ride a Toyota overnight and early next morning from Entra Lago border into Malawi.



About to cross Tropic of Capricorn in cab of lorry. Great moment.

My truck I was hitching with.

Extraordinarily friendly driver, though did regret introducing him to my Ipod . . .

The beach at Beira

The resilience of the kids is shown here, as they begin to ‘bail’ their football pitch out after another flood. . .

Or walking barefoot amongst festering dumps containing hospital waste and glass, all in search for some lumps of charcoal


Most trucker have side-businesses to supplement. E.g. here, charcoal is sold on in the city.


Isla de Mozambique is an extraordinary old Swahili settlement on an island. Staggeringly beautiful and historic, it eclipses Zanzibar easily. But hellishly overpopulated, and with locals that have a penchant for shitting on the beach.

Memorial of Slaves, Isla de Mozambique.

Doorways

Delicious lunch in the heat of the day at an ex-pat Aid workers house.

The Muslim men relaxing after prayer.

Quite rock and roll.

Me in the most disgustingly overcrowded truck. Kids squashed, I broke my wrist. Totally hellish. To get north to Pemba.

Perfect Pemba

Sunrise swims

Midday folly

A mythical lorry full of Somali immigrants heading to South Africa, lubricated by bribes, and getting a big thumbs down from the locals.


Train to Cuamba

Overnight to Malawi border. . .



Railway bridge, Malawi.


Malawi. Where to start. Firstly, it has a lot of links to Scotland, and if you liked could be the closest thing to a colony. Except, the relationship never soured too much, with David Livingstone being a religious saviour. It is a cripplingly poor country, with AID companies all grasping to stake claims. But by God, the people are extraordinary – engaging, gentle, warm people. I had such a thrill hitchhiking up the country. It is the land of lakes and mountains, and is vibrant.
I spent Christmas and New Year here. Quite a brilliant experience, though give me frost of Scotland any festive season. A notable highlight is sailing with the Ilala ferry on her weekly voyage up the lake. M.V. Ilala was built in Glasgow, my hometown, broken up into segments, and then reconstructed on the lake. She is a lifeline, and a beautiful vessel. I slept on the deck each night, and made friends with the young Captain Daniel on the three days up to Iganga Island.


Ilala Ferry!

Much like me, so far from home!

Motoring through the night. Slow exposure. Sleeping out on bow.

Disembarking

‘Hello, I’m a silly shite man, Merry Christmas Malawi’


Captain gave us permission to fool around on one of the stops.

Out drinking with brilliant captain Daniel during loading at one port.


One of the best nights of the trip, sleeping out on the deck of a deserted Ilala ferry chugging down Lake Malawi. Staggering.



Can you guess what it is?!

On walk to Livingstonia.


From Malawi, I cross into Tanzania. The mood changes immediately, money is much more prevalent in the peoples mind. The nature of the people is not as engaging, or interested. White people are dollar bills. I also decide to stop hitching as much, and hop on the Tazara Railway (highly subsidised by Chinese for disproportionate ownership of copper mines). I fall worryingly ill and delirious on this trip, but I have it on good authority that it was beautiful.



What is in my backpack.

Tazara Train to Dar Es.


Spend a few days out on beautiful Zanzibar. I loved the hard-product of the island, but after the solitude of the other countries, I felt it was too busy with tourists and people conning you out of this and that. Not knocking it, but I found many other preferable places. I took a bus to Mwanza on Lake Victoria. Sadly no marine traffic heading to Uganda, so I decide to overland via Rwanda.


A good coffee in Zanzibar.

Dhow at sunset in Zanzibar.

Going to school, Zanzibar.

Coffee, Zanzibar, Jaws Corner.

Delicious soup in Tanzania. Forget name. Oh, and chapattis prevalent from now on. . .

Or if Your Mr Chew you can have your breakfast here!

Squid frying… spectacular sight !


Rwanda is a revelation. Appropriately termed the Switzerland of Africa, it is an efficient little place, with a military government that treats corruption amongst the most serious of crimes. This has attracted investors with assured safety, and is doing remarkably well given the chaos and atrocities that went on in 1994. The people are optimistic and it’s a great, manageable place to visit for your first time to Africa.



Crossing Rusumo Falls (quite dramatic) into wonderfully efficient Rwanda.

Hotel de Mille Colline. Good for a happy hour beer. Kigali.


Behind every infrastructure project is a subtle ‘Chinaman’. I have mixed feelings about their presence here in Africa. Neo colonialism?

I bubble away in Lake Kivu, but sadly can’t afford the Serena hotel like amiable Gabriel!


About a week before the East African teaching term is to begin, I cross Uganda at one of the most staggering border crossings I have seen. It is dark before paperwork is completed, a local offers me a lift on his bodaboda (motorbike essential transport in Africa), and drops me off in the dark. I knock on a local hut and they take me to the local priest where I am put up for the night. It is only in the morning, I realise he is a commanding albino of a man. Also a brilliant experience.



Hot Spring, Gisenyi, Lake Kivu

Heading across DRC border to Goma.

Volcano of DRC, and Goma in the bush.

Stuck at a border one night, I only realise the next morning my priest host is a striking albino of a man. Extraordinary man, and lovely family. They insisted on a bed and full meal.


Travel via glorious Lake Bunyonyi, and hitch over the equator into the Northern Hemisphere. Hurrah. For the next 3 months I work as a primary school teacher at the Johnson Nkosi Primary School, in Mukono, just outside Kampala. Uganda captures the heart, with the people making the best of life with the littlest about. Ugandans know how to dance, laugh and love… always. And nothing pleases them more than a muzungu discussing politics. Teargas flies and Museveni declares himself life president whilst I am there. It is the sad hallmark of African politics, and what’s left standing between development and the current poverty.



Great hitch over the hills to Lake Bunyonyi. Really though I was going to live out an Italian Job moment with this driver!

A simple, satisfying life. Lake Bunyonyi!


After almost 6 months, it is a great weight to get the rucksack off my back, buy some eccentric clothes at Owino Second-hand Market and truly live in a country, and feel that belonging and regularity once more. The children are superb, with typically 60 packed into my classes. The innocence and vitality of Uganda’s youthful future fills one with a delicate optimism.


Towards the end of the term, I decide to treat myself and book some QR flights LXR-DOH-KUL-DOH-LXR. Departing in about 4 months. I have a horrible feeling on inequity when I go to teach my kids later that day in their ramshackle, threadbare surroundings.


Anyway… here I am crossing the Equator into Uganda.



Next time I will cover my segment up to the stark North to try and get the flight from Luxor.


[Edited 2012-02-27 19:24:24]
Breaking down the stereotypes - one by one
 
Flightsimboy
Posts: 1408
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2005 12:49 pm

RE: My African Safari (i) ; The Beginning (EZY/ QR)

Tue Feb 28, 2012 3:39 am

Your photographs deserve to be in some prestigious magazine. Not here!! But thanks for sharing such breathtaking images on your treks. Oh and I now need to go back and really read the report lol
 
SeaMeFly
Posts: 249
Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2004 1:54 am

RE: My African Safari (i) ; The Beginning (EZY/ QR)

Tue Feb 28, 2012 3:50 am

great TR, I love the way you write, the mention about the obsolete toothpick, IS JUST TMI !! Ewww.. !! ;p all in all...do continue ! and safe journeys!
 
sultanils
Posts: 1929
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2010 5:37 pm

RE: My African Safari (i) ; The Beginning (EZY/ QR)

Tue Feb 28, 2012 7:33 am

Hi Luke!

From the moment I saw your 1st photo I got intrigued by your story. Thanks heaps for taking the great effort in writing and documenting this wonderful tale. It is an honouration to traveling and what it does to a human being and by than means, it’s not only a ‘very good TR’ but rather a travel tale. Your writing style is exemplary and witty. If you had an editor, you would do him proud   I bet this ‘voyage extraordinaire’ is to be in your memory for the rest of your life.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
Except to say it is utterly perfect; great service, sufficient food, brilliant scenery fleeting past expansive windows, drinks on free flow, pleasant ambiance

I can only shudder by the name ‘Virgin Trains’ and even more by ‘Virgin Galatic’, but if it does the job like you said, I can only be amazed.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
my great travelling hero Michael Palin had passed through here on Pole to Pole

Ha, good old Michael Palin. I used to follow his adventures too. I’m glad to see you got into his footsteps.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
To her credit, she keeps us informed the whole flight (it is a reoccurring problem) and comes round the cabin to explain individually. Impressive.

That’s quite impressive indeed and a good example of QR’s service level.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
Got to say, right up there with the best inflight meals I have ever tasted.

Catering ex-IST: you cannot fault that.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
It is a staggering site – the beer is warm, and she pours it from a heady height, so a massive head forms in the lugubrious, yellow plastic cup. To my surprise, she produces a second cup to continue the head, then a third, and finally, it is on the forth that she successfully empties the contents of the Heineken Can.

That’s great. Must be a funny consequence of the dry culture in the Arabian Peninsula.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
Since I am not inebriated it suggests to me this might be sheer laziness.

Maybe so...

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
She is utterly apologetic and sincere or not, promises she will follow it up according to company procedure.

I hope she doesn’t get the sack

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
I sit back and enjoy the superior IFE through Sennheisers

Wow, Sennheiser’s? Courtesy of QR or your own?

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
Great testimony to genuine warmth of the crew on that flight. . .

That’s a descriptive pic for that yes.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
Obviously I am immensely grateful for this. Really intuitive thing to do.

A very nice and proactive gesture from that FA. If only the cpt told her for you to come over and experience it at the flightdeck  

Sultanils
In thrust we trust.
 
jetsetter629
Posts: 389
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RE: My African Safari (i) ; The Beginning (EZY/ QR)

Tue Feb 28, 2012 3:17 pm

Amazing report - simply amazing! Quite a feat to travel independently throughout Africa for the duration of time that you have! Safe travels!
 
plateman
Posts: 646
Joined: Wed May 23, 2007 9:36 am

RE: My African Safari (i) ; The Beginning (EZY/ QR)

Tue Feb 28, 2012 3:19 pm

Wow this TR is truly awesome .. you had me at every word, made us feel like you were traveling with you. Awesome shots too, cannot wait for part two.

Thanks for putting it together!
"Explore. Dream. Discover." -Mark Twain
 
dreamlinerAL
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2012 1:37 am

RE: My African Safari (i) ; The Beginning (EZY/ QR)

Tue Feb 28, 2012 3:52 pm

Simply beautiful!

Remember my 46 hours of Tazara Railways from Kampiri Moshi to Dar con only beers and sausages. Amazing trip

Thanks for posting such a great adventure
 
thegivenone
Posts: 171
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RE: My African Safari (i) ; The Beginning (EZY/ QR)

Tue Feb 28, 2012 4:43 pm

lukeyboy95,

This is one of the best reports I have read in a long time. I fall into the category of "aviation enthusiast that is also enthusiastic/interested in the rest of your adventure and story"! I am half African and felt your portrayal and description of Africa was refreshingly positive and open-minded. It is a beautiful continent with beautiful people and a diversity that many don't expect or appreciate. You should be proud of your journey and your safe arrival home.

This was a great story, and getting an in-depth account of Qatar Airways (an airline that I unfortunately do not get to fly often) was the perfect bonus.

All the best!
 
Delboy
Posts: 689
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2001 12:57 am

RE: My African Safari (i) ; The Beginning (EZY/ QR)

Tue Feb 28, 2012 4:58 pm

Brilliant, brilliant trip report, loved everything about it.
 
win1290
Posts: 283
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2012 4:38 pm

RE: My African Safari (i) ; The Beginning (EZY/ QR)

Tue Feb 28, 2012 5:06 pm

Hi Luke,

Thanks for your amazing trip report and your spectacular photos in Africa. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Qatar Airways seems truly 5-star. I really look forward to reading the next coming parts. Thanks again for sharing your experience.

Win
 
User avatar
OA260
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RE: My African Safari (i) ; The Beginning (EZY/ QR)

Tue Feb 28, 2012 5:14 pm

One word AMAZING !

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 8):
Your photographs deserve to be in some prestigious magazine. Not here!!

I think this sums it up prefectly .

These photos are some of the best I have ever seen . In recent weeks we have seen African TRs like we have never seen before in the history of Anet TRs . Its really fantastic to see.

I actually enjoyed your non aviation pics more which is a credit to you .

All I can say is a big thank you for sharing these top quality images and look forward to more from you . You have a huge talent.

Regards

Philip  
 
lychemsa
Posts: 1588
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RE: My African Safari (i) ; The Beginning (EZY/ QR)

Tue Feb 28, 2012 5:15 pm

Is there an easier way to see the pictures? I have to click on each one.

Thanks. Your reports are fantastic. I still remember your India one.
 
lukeyboy95
Topic Author
Posts: 1058
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 7:07 pm

RE: My African Safari (i) ; The Beginning (EZY/ QR)

Tue Feb 28, 2012 5:22 pm

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 18):
Is there an easier way to see the pictures? I have to click on each one.

Thanks. Your reports are fantastic. I still remember your India one.

Hi Lychemsa. . .

A technical issue eh? interesting. . .

It is likely that due to the bulky amount of photos, Picassa is playing funny buggers. My recommendation is to give it a few days and then try it again.

I think it happened to someone elses photos on a Trip Report too and they said it just sorted itself out.

Don't open each photo. Far too much work. They will come online eventually (I hope)
Breaking down the stereotypes - one by one
 
gabrielchew
Posts: 3711
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 5:43 am

RE: My African Safari (i) ; The Beginning (EZY/ QR)

Tue Feb 28, 2012 6:08 pm

Very nice post Luke, thank you so much. Photos are amazing. What camera do you use? So nice to see parts of Africa I didn't make it to (yet)

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
This is the report of 15 months of travel that took me from the most Southerly point of Africa, all the way back through three continents, thirty three countries, 24,668 miles and taking 329 hitches to get to that very place I saw my mum fade of into the distance. As you will discover, in the end I didn’t stop at Egypt, and I completed the whole journey back to Scotland by hitch hiking.

Very nice trip!

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 1):
graduating with an Upper Second (fastest loser) in BSc MCRM.

Congrat!

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
I will put through my enormous backpack as hand-luggage. Easyjet at least have no weight limit, and I know with some grunting and wrestling I should be able to get it into those terrible tubular metal baggage-dimension things. This issue is that I am transporting over 3 litres in medicine and aid and such like. Got what I could in a clear bag that won’t seal closed. Regardless, I don a confident face and stroll to security. All is quiet, and the men are friendly and pay no heed to my liquid heavy bag. Fine, but they also missed my Swiss Card which contains a relatively blunt knife, fold-away scissors and totally obsolete toothpick - but non-the-less is prohibited...

You're a braver man than I! No way I'd chance taking that as hand luggage

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
SAW hints of off-season Spanish airports. Barren lands, spacious, marble-clad, reflective, cool and functional. Rude immigration men will not accept Scottish pounds, but a friendly London lass in the queue helps out and we swap.

You should know that south of the border Scottish money is useless.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
The beer saga… with the remaining heads having dissipated

Ha, quite ridiculous! Seems that lady had some issues.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):

The hotel has given us little pack-lunches for this morning which is brilliant.

Sounds like a nice place to be put up

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
Erm, this is me, very much taking my life in my hands at the lip of Victoria Falls in the ‘Jacuzzi’… Probably the stupidest thing I have ever done, but a huge thrill. Right at the lip.

That does look quite foolhardy - was it as dangerous as it looks?

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
Or if Your Mr Chew you can have your breakfast here!

Looks nice

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
I bubble away in Lake Kivu, but sadly can’t afford the Serena hotel like amiable Gabriel!

That was by far and away the most expensive hotel of my trip. Nice place to splurge though
http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights: LGW-OPO-LGW,LHR-FCO-CTA-LIN-LCY,LHR-AMS-GRQ-SEN,LTN-CPH-LHR-ORD
 
gabrielchew
Posts: 3711
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 5:43 am

RE: My African Safari (i) ; The Beginning (EZY/ QR)

Tue Feb 28, 2012 6:10 pm

Oh yeah, for the next report, can you split it into smaller sections? Makes it a bit easier to take it all in!
http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights: LGW-OPO-LGW,LHR-FCO-CTA-LIN-LCY,LHR-AMS-GRQ-SEN,LTN-CPH-LHR-ORD
 
JL418
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RE: My African Safari (i) ; The Beginning (EZY/ QR)

Tue Feb 28, 2012 7:52 pm

Luke,

I was waiting for some lines from you ever since your Indian reports. I'm a bit of a fan of travel literature and I daresay that you have everything it takes to write a book of your own and to have it published in no time - if you do, give me a shout, I'll buy it in a heartbeat even it it's the chronicle of your travel from Glasgow to Peterborough on Megabus, provided that such a route exists.

It felt strange to see that you were in August around Finchley road as I was there as well... Funny you mentioned Hampstead heath as well, it was one of my favourite morning jogging routes.
 
Flightsimboy
Posts: 1408
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2005 12:49 pm

RE: My African Safari (i) ; The Beginning (EZY/ QR)

Tue Feb 28, 2012 8:34 pm

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 7):
Can you guess what it is?!

Fried chicken feet!
 
buck3y3nut
Posts: 824
Joined: Fri Jul 28, 2006 1:38 am

RE: My African Safari (i) ; The Beginning (EZY/ QR)

Tue Feb 28, 2012 8:53 pm

Hi Luke,
this report is going straight to my favorites... Not only that, it's also getting forwarded to friends & family. This is something truly amazing and a report everyone should be reading... What a wonderful report & epic pictures...
Thank you so much for writing this report & sharing it... I'm truly greatful to have read it...
Cheers  
 
lukeyboy95
Topic Author
Posts: 1058
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 7:07 pm

RE: My African Safari (i) ; The Beginning (EZY/ QR)

Tue Feb 28, 2012 9:10 pm

Hi there. Thank-you for so many constructive comments so far. . . it really does make the effort worth while. . .

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 8):
Your photographs deserve to be in some prestigious magazine.

Ha, I keep meaning to submit something now and then. But for now it seems Anet members appreciate them.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 8):
Oh and I now need to go back and really read the report lol

Good luck. I see you are doing that now!

Quoting SeaMeFly (Reply 9):
great TR, I love the way you write,

Much obliged.

Quoting SeaMeFly (Reply 9):
the mention about the obsolete toothpick, IS JUST TMI !!

Ah yes, do you know the sort? It is in all Swisscard - http://www.businessgiftuk.com/produc...torinox_Swiss_Card_Quattro_338538. It is the plastic bit. They put a toothpick in, but no-one ever uses it!

Hi Mr Sultanils

Quoting sultanils (Reply 10):
Thanks heaps for taking the great effort in writing and documenting this wonderful tale.

Well, it was a satisfying prospect for me to relive it through writing, so we all get something out of it in the end.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 10):
If you had an editor, you would do him proud   I bet this ‘voyage extraordinaire’ is to be in your memory for the rest of your life.

It will be, I truly had an extraordinary time. i wrote alot in dairies and filled about three. lot to observe and think about.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 10):
I can only shudder by the name ‘Virgin Trains’ and even more by ‘Virgin Galatic’,

Despite the name, they have a long history... a very experienced operator you might say! They are doing a good service so far on the tender.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 10):
Catering ex-IST: you cannot fault that.

It seems...

Quoting sultanils (Reply 10):
I hope she doesn’t get the sack

Ach, nah, me too. I know QR are some of the strictest about. But even they are likely to have a two strikes and your out. Everyone has an off day. Yet, she was also a very arrogant and sultry crew member, so perhaps if she cannot do her job in a good manner she should not be doing it at all. Plenty of cheerful people in the world!

Quoting sultanils (Reply 10):
Wow, Sennheiser’s? Courtesy of QR or your own?

haha, my personal faithfuls!

Quoting sultanils (Reply 10):
That’s a descriptive pic for that yes.

An example of why it can often pay to put western FA's with personalities in a cabin as opposed to Asian robotic types all the time.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 10):
If only the cpt told her for you to come over and experience it at the flightdeck  

We can dream...

Quoting jetsetter629 (Reply 11):
Amazing report - simply amazing! Quite a feat to travel independently throughout Africa for the duration of time that you have! Safe travels!

It was testing at time, and took quite alot of endurance, but I was the happiest I have ever been in my life on the road in Africa.

Quoting plateman (Reply 12):
Wow this TR is truly awesome .. you had me at every word, made us feel like you were traveling with you. Awesome shots too, cannot wait for part two.

Thanks Plateman, great to hear you liked, comment appreciated.

Quoting dreamlinerAL (Reply 13):
Simply beautiful!

Gosh, thanks!

Quoting dreamlinerAL (Reply 13):
Remember my 46 hours of Tazara Railways from Kampiri Moshi to Dar con only beers and sausages. Amazing trip

Ah ha - you went the whole hog. I wish I could have seen the whole journey. Was it delayed with you? Approx 17 hour delay on our journey.

Quoting thegivenone (Reply 14):
I fall into the category of "aviation enthusiast that is also enthusiastic/interested in the rest of your adventure and story"!

Ah ha. Just the type I like to read my reports . . .

Quoting thegivenone (Reply 14):
I am half African and felt your portrayal and description of Africa was refreshingly positive and open-minded.

I think it takes a while to realise, but we're all a little bit African in the end! When people realised I was just an average joe, they showed no stigma to a white-man. I had problems on a very few occasions (North of Kenya, and Ethiopia), but was generally amazed how much like family I was made to feel!

Quoting thegivenone (Reply 14):
All the best!

and you too. . .

Quoting Delboy (Reply 15):
Brilliant, brilliant trip report, loved everything about it.

Short and sweet. So glad to hear that. Thanks for a comment!

HI Win,

Quoting win1290 (Reply 16):
Thanks for your amazing trip report and your spectacular photos in Africa. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

Great stuff, glad to hear.

Quoting win1290 (Reply 16):
Qatar Airways seems truly 5-star. I really look forward to reading the next coming parts. Thanks again for sharing your experience.

They are extremely good. But as you will see in my follow-up report they failed catastrophically on one trip. But otherwise I am a big fan!

Hi Philip....

Quoting OA260 (Reply 17):
One word AMAZING !

and a good word too... I think I would have cried if it had been DISASTEROUS!

Quoting OA260 (Reply 17):
I think this sums it up prefectly .

Haha, but it is just the things that I photo that make the photograph. I am not a skilled type.

Quoting OA260 (Reply 17):
In recent weeks we have seen African TRs like we have never seen before in the history of Anet TRs . Its really fantastic to see.

Yes, it has been a great wealth of African Trip Reports. All of a sudden! Mine doesn't explain too much about the aviation sector is in the continent, but it explains a little about the continent. Lots of opportunities to fly in Philip - you should give it a go one day.

Quoting OA260 (Reply 17):
I actually enjoyed your non aviation pics more which is a credit to you .

Hurrah... you don't hear that much on this website. Good stuff. . .

Quoting OA260 (Reply 17):
You have a huge talent.

Very kind.

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 18):
Thanks. Your reports are fantastic. I still remember your India one.

Good to hear, yes that was a few years back. Very slow turnover of reports. I hope those pictures are now working for you - oh and try a different browser if still problems. . .


Mr Chew!

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 20):
Very nice post Luke, thank you so much. Photos are amazing. What camera do you use? So nice to see parts of Africa I didn't make it to (yet)

Thanks Gabriel. Well, you got quite an impressive cross-section of countries in your recent series. Nothing to be sniffed at. . . ! I have still only seen a fraction too. . . less keen on the West Side.. .

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 20):
You're a braver man than I! No way I'd chance taking that as hand luggage

Well, it was a calculated risk, I could have done without the majority of the liquids, or bought them again, and it was also a good way of keeping my baggage weight down. Only essentials!

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 20):
You should know that south of the border Scottish money is useless.

Tsk tsk. . . It's a legal tender isn't it? Always on the offensive in England. It was an oversight though, Mum had given me my spending money in Clydesdale Bank notes. . . I had to mail it back to the UK eventually!

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 20):
Sounds like a nice place to be put up

an added bonus. Was good. . .

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 20):
was it as dangerous as it looks?

Yes, absolutely. Since you ask. It is called the Jacuzzi, and it was a hoppy fisherman that first showed us. Otherwise we wouldn't have dared. The danger was you had to lower yourself into the pool, and for a second, you won't be touching anything. Given the waterflow too. . . no optical illusion. Also, a crab or something, nipped me which gave me a fright. Dangerous enough for me to verbally confirm my will. . .

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 20):
Looks nice

Ah, should have explained. This is the same hotel in Dar as you had your cocktail in. This was the reasonable breakfast buffet.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 20):
That was by far and away the most expensive hotel of my trip. Nice place to splurge though

I know... I saw the tent!

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 21):
Oh yeah, for the next report, can you split it into smaller sections? Makes it a bit easier to take it all in!

Well, I knew this would cause moans. I could not figure out how to split it at all. This is part 1 of 3 parts. A singular Easy flight would have been rubbish reading, so decided to group it a bit more. . . didn't want to have Africa 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 ; I mean, who in their right minds would do that !    Cheers Gabriel . . .

Quoting JL418 (Reply 22):
Luke,

I was waiting for some lines from you ever since your Indian reports.

Haha, I seldom write, but like to when I do so. Yes, had very few long haul flights, mostly run of the mill short-haul things. Thanks...

Quoting JL418 (Reply 22):
I'm a bit of a fan of travel literature and I daresay that you have everything it takes to write a book of your own and to have it published in no time - if you do, give me a shout, I'll buy it in a heartbeat even it it's the chronicle of your travel from Glasgow to Peterborough on Megabus, provided that such a route exists.

I thought you were going to say you could publish it for me. Haha, well, in all seriousness, I wrote fully about the whole trip in a few diaries, and would love to perhaps do something that gives a more positive light to a country that has a hellish reputation.

Quoting JL418 (Reply 22):
It felt strange to see that you were in August around Finchley road as I was there as well...

Ah ha. I am often around West Hamstead area - it is great there. It felt odd heading off on something a bit unusual with everyone going about their normal day-to-day lives.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 23):
Fried chicken feet!


Exactly. Surprisingly tasty morsel. Ate a few other disgusting things here and there. Especially hoof of cow. Revolting.
Breaking down the stereotypes - one by one
 
globalflyer
Posts: 724
Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2005 4:15 am

RE: My African Safari (i) ; The Beginning (EZY/ QR)

Tue Feb 28, 2012 10:04 pm

Hi Luke ... what a fantastic report. QR is indeed a 5 star airline. I have always enjoyed their inflight service! I just love the pictures of your trip. I agree as well that CPT is one of the most beautiful places in the world and your photos captured every aspect of it. The Coast line was my favourite. Also what a score to find the BOAC bag and the Namib Air inflight magazine!!!   Cheers, William
Landing on every Continent almost on an annual basis!
 
dreamlinerAL
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2012 1:37 am

RE: My African Safari (i) ; The Beginning (EZY/ QR)

Tue Feb 28, 2012 10:17 pm

Ah ha - you went the whole hog. I wish I could have seen the whole journey. Was it delayed with you? Approx 17 hour delay on our journey.

Oh yeah! It was, almost a full day. Had non ticket at all but the chinese add another coach so i got to Jambiani in SW of Zanzibar

I'm a African lover. I've done pretty much what you've done in 22 times i went to the continent.

Great job, again!
 
lychemsa
Posts: 1588
Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2009 8:39 pm

RE: My African Safari (i) ; The Beginning (EZY/ QR)

Tue Feb 28, 2012 10:57 pm

Fantastic.

Thank you for posting. I heard that Mozambique have fantastic beaches.
 
planejamie
Posts: 564
Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2011 8:41 pm

RE: My African Safari (i) ; The Beginning (EZY/ QR)

Tue Feb 28, 2012 11:19 pm

What a fantastic trip report! This is simply awesome! Forget the flights, QR are great, U2, well blah blah blah... it was £35 for London to Istanbul, you can't complain.

This is very inspirational and a very rare insight into some of these places.

I'm very surprised you found that safety card/seats though!

I have some friends in South Africa who say crime is particularly bad, so it is no wonder that on your first night in Cape Town you encountered all that! Then later on to have your camera stolen - I would have taken the memory card out first!

Looking forward to the next part! I'm quite speechless at this, it's simply brilliant, one of the best I've ever read on here (and believe me, I read nearly every one of them, most are just EK, SQ, TG, LX first/business class or inter-Europe flights). But what a journey! Really looking forward to the next bit! 
 
ALexeu
Posts: 1444
Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2007 9:01 am

RE: My African Safari (i) ; The Beginning (EZY/ QR)

Wed Feb 29, 2012 12:09 am

Hey,

The best report this year! I felt like reading The Last King of Scotland!  

Reminds me of my trips in Southern and East Africa, as I used to live in Malawi and Lesotho more than 8 years ago...I traveled on the routes you mentioned in South Africa, Mozambique, Zambia, Malawi and Uganda, but I was in my safe car, I think you are very very brave to hitchhike in Africa!!

Did you work in those schools with the help of some organization back in Europe or did you just knock on the doors and ask for some work-help?

How was the Ilala trip, did you visit Likoma? Its one of those things I regret for not doing in Malawi...
btw, you should have visited Lesotho, its a crazy country!

Cheers,
Alex
 
Flightsimboy
Posts: 1408
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2005 12:49 pm

RE: My African Safari (i) ; The Beginning (EZY/ QR)

Wed Feb 29, 2012 1:28 am

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
As you will discover, in the end I didn’t stop at Egypt, and I completed the whole journey back to Scotland by hitch hiking.
Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 1):
Who knows what lies ahead and when I will next see this sealoch again…

A plethora of images capturing life from the countries you crossed!! Cannot wait to see all of them.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
Clearly the majority of users couldn’t give a dickybird about that preamble as it nods to no aviation.

It was a great opening, setting the scene and mood for your world travel!!

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 1):
On the 19th of August I celebrate my 22nd Birthday with my family.

Ah, I know another Leo who shares your birth date and is also like you a world traveller.....another hitch hiker, with equally exceptional photographic skills hmmm!!

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 1):
And finally, my great travelling hero Michael Palin had passed through here on Pole to Pole, and had been beaten and pummelled cleaned in one of the hammams; I aimed to do the same.
Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 2):
What pain! Excruciating, I can only think to compare it to child-birth, but I left feel thoroughly stretched and squeaky clean. A glance on my watch confirms in a little less than three hours I will be sipping a whisky on QR, Africa bound.

Need to read more about him! What visit to Turkey would be complete without a visit to the Hammam! And what a great and relaxed way to start you voyage to Africa on QR

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 2):
Without further adieu, I grab a chai,

Is Chai the Turkish term as well. I know there are a lot of Turkish words in Urdu, just did not know Chai was one of them as well.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 2):
I bing to ask for a beer, and get the sultry Arab FA, shall we call Syrah for ease, who is huffy at my request for a beer. She appears and begins pouring my beer.
It is a staggering site – the beer is warm, and she pours it from a heady height, so a massive head forms in the lugubrious, yellow plastic cup. To my surprise, she produces a second cup to continue the head, then a third, and finally, it is on the forth that she successfully empties the contents of the Heineken Can. I could not help chortle at this site, made all the worse for her deadly seriousness.

Seriously what was she thinking....perhaps pour one glass and leave the rest of the can!

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 2):
However, I am surprised, when I bing the call-bell some place over the Tigris River in Iraq, and get Syrah who refuses to serve a drink because the bar is packed up. She does this neither politely nor tactfully. Since I am not inebriated it suggests to me this might be sheer laziness.

As the Thai Senior FA is passing through I ask her if it is in fact true that the bar is closed at this early stage. She denies this, apologises and hastily gets my requested drink.

This is unbelievable!!

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 2):
Part of me wonders if it is a nationality (it often can be) and if so, why doesn’t the airline cut down on employment from this area. From my minimal flying hours I have found Arab, Eastern Europe and Western European FA’s can be loose cannons.

I think like the UAE and their Emiratisation program they have to hire locals to work on board their jets. The same must apply to Qatar and other Gulf countries, but I don't see this happening in Saudi Arabia just yet. And yes, I was fortunate to have met Etihad's only Emirati female FA and she was the nicest person to talk to. I believe most of Gulf Air's male FA's are Bahraini nationals.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 4):
That mostly comes back to that Neanderthal racist Louis who stole my camera in Kimberly, South Africa. I had taken the majority of pictures on this sector with the more subtle Fujifilm, including a cracking, and brilliant photo of the crew (which required a staggering amount of effort (see below))
Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 4):
Probably a good time to mention the crew. A diverse bunch. Can’t give the full inventory, but it includes a Kenyan girl, and extremely bubbly black SA female who oozes warmth, a couple of South Americans, a white male SA who is young and ruddy looking, a pouting and tall US gentleman from Massachusetts, a gaunt man called Vladimir from Russia, a few others that were unexceptional enough to not lodge themselves in my mind, all headed up in the economy class cabin by the most energetic, bounding, camp Capetonian Cape Malay I ever did see.

He was an absolute asset, and constantly maintained a presence in the cabin, supported his colleagues and was pretty hilarious to talk to (the accent). I spent a solid 3 hours in the back gallery talking to this crew, telling them about my trip, joking about, hearing all their stories of how they came to work at QR, getting a lot of the dirt on the way the company runs, explaining the trip reports etc. With permission, they were happy to let me rest in the crew-seat, and kept me well refilled during my time there. The three gents; the Slavic, the SA kid and the American dude were extremely nice and chatty. Both the young dudes and the Slavic bucked any ‘clichés’ in that they seemed grounded, fairly average-Joes. They SA crew furnished me with tips to go cheaply in South Africa – particularly to shop in ubiquitous Pick and Pay. Before I head off, I ask for a crew photo. Some are reluctant to be in it, and all are particularly wary of Big QR Brother. From their anecdotes, it sounds like foreboding terrifying company to work for at times. In the end a few of them consent to what turns into a great photo.

I'm torn to bits by reading you managed to get that pic with the cabin crews on QR, and now learn the camera was stolen. I do hope that pic of theirs remains safe.

I shall have to leave the rest of my comments on Africa for another time.
 
CXfirst
Posts: 2875
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2007 8:13 pm

RE: My African Safari (i) ; The Beginning (EZY/ QR)

Wed Feb 29, 2012 1:50 am

One of the best trip reports I've read here on a.net. The air travel part of your trip only become a small side story, the rest of the trip seems to be incredible. What an experience this must have been.

I can't wait to see the rest of this trail, and please continue with the same detail for the non-aviation parts as you have here. It is well worth the read.

-CXfirst
 
Knightsofmalta
Posts: 1665
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 10:51 pm

RE: My African Safari (i) ; The Beginning (EZY/ QR)

Wed Feb 29, 2012 4:57 am

Hi Lukeyboy

I just wanted to express my appreciation for the time and effort you put into writing this up so beautifully and for the lovely pictures you took. But it's not just about the aesthetics, I think you really capture the essence of Africa and its people in the pictures and in your writing, with all its good sides and its downsides.

Thanks a lot.

And congratulations on your graduation!

Cheers,
William
 
PlaneHunter
Posts: 6512
Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2006 3:17 am

RE: My African Safari (i) ; The Beginning (EZY/ QR)

Wed Feb 29, 2012 7:47 am

Hi Luke, what an excellent report full of fantastic pictures from Africa! QR looks great, too. Congratulations on your first 777 flight - you chose the most advanced variant!


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
roberts87
Posts: 1091
Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2011 9:59 am

RE: My African Safari (i) ; The Beginning (EZY/ QR)

Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:27 am

What a fantastic read and what a great trip!
Loved the destination pics too!
 
signol
Posts: 2652
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 5:18 pm

RE: My African Safari (i) ; The Beginning (EZY/ QR)

Wed Feb 29, 2012 1:42 pm

Hi Luke,

awesome! I've been waiting for this one   Fantasically written, great pictures, especially of the land-part of the trip.
By the way, I recommend another book to completment Theroux's : http://www.amazon.co.uk/Dark-Continent-My-Black-Arse/dp/141520036X

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
Dunoon

I visited a couple of years ago, nice town. A friend got married in the castle just north of the town. I did a non-av trip report here...
http://w.airliners.net/aviation-forums/non_aviation/read.main/2239602/

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
Easyjet

Another repeated flight I did a few years ago, though we returned home overland...
Cruise Trip Report (with Some Trains And Ferries) (by Signol Oct 14 2008 in Non Aviation)

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 1):
which was stolen by a repugnant racist Afrikaans called Louis in Kimberly, SA a month or so later.

Shame   I hope you reported it to the police.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 2):
feels like exiting Norwich airport

Lol, well it looks busy outside. We've taken the only taxi waiting at NWI before now!

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 7):
The staggering Wild Coast, one of my favourite places on the trip…

Agreed, we took our honeymoon there, just outside Port St Johns at Umngazi River Bungalows. Stunning.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 7):
Durban airport (dropping a friend off… rather swanky)

That it is  

Thanks again!

signol
Flights booked: NWI-AMS-JNB-DUR, JNB-AMS-NWI
 
MH017
Posts: 1473
Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2005 4:17 am

RE: My African Safari (i) ; The Beginning (EZY/ QR)

Wed Feb 29, 2012 7:33 pm

Luke,

What a great TR: love your routing by train/air and by land...

They say, once you're hooked to Africa, you'll always come back and back there...

Your 'unknown' aircraft at SAW is a YAK-42 of Sar(atov) Avia, I believe...there's also a TU154 in one of your other SAW pictures...

Good to see the excellent care of QR: catering looks quite good - still wonder why the FA used 3 cups and poored them all for you i.s.o. given you the can and 1 cup......hhmmmmm...

Hope to see more; LOVED it a lot...thanks for sharing !!!
don't throw away tomorrow !
 
LH4116
Posts: 1183
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2007 4:39 am

RE: My African Safari (i) ; The Beginning (EZY/ QR)

Wed Feb 29, 2012 9:30 pm

Hi Luke, about time I catch up on your reports.

First of all, what a magnificent report! I've read your previous ones, and each of them is an adventure of its own. There's something very quintessentially british about you with your adventurer's lifestyle. Your writing really capture the moments, the scenes very well, as if being there myself. Once again, bravo!  
Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 1):
I booked an Easyjet flight from LTNSAW for £37.99 (extraordinarily user-friendly – big fan of EZY website)

Really, you think so? I've always found the Easyjet website very difficult to use, especially with all those add-ons that keep popping up as one desperately tries to make way to the payment stage. Sadly I've never been patient enough to endure the site for that long.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
Except to say it is utterly perfect; great service, sufficient food, brilliant scenery fleeting past expansive windows, drinks on free flow,

Must say that 1st Class on Virgin Trains look really nice, a proper experience with the glasses, and proper plates and so on. Really making use of the space inside a train, as opposed to the X2000 where they serve the food on airline trays. Serves no purpose for a train, in my opinion. Was the meal included in the ticket?

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
Not overly sure what this aircraft is, but the floor sure is shiney!

Hmm, looks like a Yak-42, but I'm not completely sure.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
There I meet my couchsurfing host and settle in.

Aah, good old couchsurfing. Really have to use it more often, and perhaps try out sleeping on someone's couch, especially in cities where the hotels are expensive.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 2):
I can only think to compare it to child-birth, but I left feel thoroughly stretched and squeaky clean.

There's nothing like the feeling of coming out of the Hamman, I quite like it. To me it's become a tradition to always visit the Hammam the day prior to a long trip.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
Jazzy Place-mats

Wow, they even substitute tablecloths in Economy Class on QR nowadays!?

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
Shall I attempt culinary critique? Why not –

Perhaps the most vivid and precise description of an airline meal I've ever come across.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
It is a staggering site – the beer is warm, and she pours it from a heady height, so a massive head forms in the lugubrious, yellow plastic cup. To my surprise, she produces a second cup to continue the head, then a third, and finally, it is on the forth that she successfully empties the contents of the Heineken Can.

Just awful behaviour, clearly she must've been doing this on purpose. My guess for her scrumptious behavior might be the lack of food as it's Ramadan. But then again, no excuse for not doing your job properly.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
It is these misnomers (like Syrah) that really do damage to the consistency of service on Arab carriers. Part of me wonders if it is a nationality (it often can be) and if so, why doesn’t the airline cut down on employment from this area.

Now that's a very good theory. The other gulf carriers suffer from that too, especially Emirates. My guess has always been that the large size of the airline makes it difficult to keep track of quality control.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
A full kitchen. Glad for the washing machine

Hmm, seems a bit unnecessary for a transfer hotel, don't you think? (at least for non-adventurers   )

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
‘Monty’s Chicken Balti Pocket’ - not a huge fan of these, but am of the reviving gin and tonic that finds its way to me prior to final descent.

G&T and a Monty's? Hmm, that sounds awfully a lot like your Bog Standard BMI flight, courtesy of Mr. Chew 
Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
Private bus into town. Not a huge fan of Afrikaans language… but here it is!

Must say, Afrikaans seems just like Swedish except the spelling is all f*cked up. A lot of the words are understandable to me at least.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
The Air Namib seats on the one carriage 14 hour, 218km haul to Swakopmund!

Seriously, 14 hours for 218 kilometers!? Now that can't be! I'm guessing it must've been 2180km?

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
A simple, satisfying life. Lake Bunyonyi!

Surprised they haven't changed the name to President, yet. At least that's what they said they would do if Obama won the -08 election  

Thanks a lot for sharing
//Jonas
SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
 
MSS658
Posts: 2454
Joined: Sat Oct 16, 2010 8:16 am

RE: My African Safari (i) ; The Beginning (EZY/ QR)

Thu Mar 01, 2012 10:12 am

Hi Luke

Great work, you sure managed to enjoy this trip! QR service looks fantastic. I also like the high quality pics you took in South Africa

Greetings
Marc
Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
 
lukeyboy95
Topic Author
Posts: 1058
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 7:07 pm

RE: My African Safari (i) ; The Beginning (EZY/ QR)

Thu Mar 01, 2012 6:01 pm

Evening, Thought I would reply to a few comments whilst I have some spare minutes. Thanks for continued positive feedback on this report. . .

Quoting buck3y3nut (Reply 24):
Hi Luke,
this report is going straight to my favorites... Not only that, it's also getting forwarded to friends & family. This is something truly amazing and a report everyone should be reading... What a wonderful report & epic pictures...

Haha, great. Infact, I have pointed some friends of my own towards the report, told them to ignore the first two sections of intense aviation but to enjoy the rest. I feel honoured.. cheers Mr Nut.


Hi Global,

Quoting globalflyer (Reply 26):
Hi Luke ... what a fantastic report. QR is indeed a 5 star airline.

Thanks. Yes they were top notch. but my next report will show that they have their bad days too...

Quoting globalflyer (Reply 26):
I agree as well that CPT is one of the most beautiful places in the world

And it is quite a frontier in the winter. It felt cut-off and part of a lost world at times.

Quoting globalflyer (Reply 26):
what a score to find the BOAC bag and the Namib Air inflight magazine!

Yes, retro stuff! Sent the Air Namib thing home too...


Hi Dreamliner,

Quoting dreamlinerAL (Reply 27):
I'm a African lover. I've done pretty much what you've done in 22 times i went to the continent.

Great job, again!

Awesome to hear. I am now quite hooked. There is a certain vitality and uniqueness to Africa. Terribly sad that such a bad reputation precedes it though. But I do not know if I could cope with the West.

Greeting LYCHEMSA,

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 28):
Fantastic.

Thank you for posting. I heard that Mozambique have fantastic beaches.

Glad you finally got to see the pictures with ease. Yes the beaches are quite extraordinary there, it is true. But mostly coastal beaches, not pretty islands so much. Still a problem of lack of education on their coastline, so some polution and overfishing going on too...


Hi Jamie.

Quoting planejamie (Reply 29):
What a fantastic trip report! This is simply awesome!

Wow, brilliant to hear.

Quoting planejamie (Reply 29):
I'm very surprised you found that safety card/seats though!

Yeah, nice find. The seats were quite comfy too... Lots of hidden treasures in Africa. . .

Quoting planejamie (Reply 29):
I have some friends in South Africa who say crime is particularly bad,

Its terrible in SA. It was worse there than any of the other places, and was were I felt least safe. But best not to dwell on the dangers. Aware, yes, but not paranoid.

Quoting planejamie (Reply 29):
I would have taken the memory card out first!

Sadly that wasn't part of the theft deal. Heard lots of 'friendly thefts' like stealing a wallet and giving them enough money to get back to the city by taxi etc. in Africa!

Quoting planejamie (Reply 29):
Looking forward to the next part! I'm quite speechless at this, it's simply brilliant, one of the best I've ever read on here

Cheers. It might take a little while to get down. And will likely be alot longer than the first. Which is saying something!



HI Alex!

Quoting alexeu (Reply 30):
Hey,

The best report this year! I felt like reading The Last King of Scotland!  

Haha - I saw that film just before I left, and at times felt as aloof and free as he seemingly did. I spent a bit of time in Uganda, but ran into no dictators thankfully. . .

Quoting alexeu (Reply 30):
I used to live in Malawi and Lesotho more than 8 years ago...I traveled on the routes you mentioned in South Africa, Mozambique, Zambia, Malawi and Uganda, but I was in my safe car, I think you are very very brave to hitchhike in Africa!!

Great! Lucky you. What were you doing out there? Deeply regret not getting to Lesotho, but I had time and money issues. SA is extremely expensive to travel around when I was there. They are a great clutch of countries around that part. Which did you prefer?

Quoting alexeu (Reply 30):
Did you work in those schools with the help of some organization back in Europe or did you just knock on the doors and ask for some work-help?

Right. Well, I have a friend in London who had helped with some of the projects, so she set me up. But that said, it would have been more than easy to rock up to any school and teach for a few weeks. . .

Quoting alexeu (Reply 30):
How was the Ilala trip, did you visit Likoma? Its one of those things I regret for not doing in Malawi...
btw, you should have visited Lesotho, its a crazy country!

The Ilala was just insanely great. I think making friends with the captain, the significance of its origin, and how friendly Malawians were all helped. I was 3rd class, but slept out on the deck mostly. So perfect. Yes, spent a few days on Likoma island and had a general great time. I might put some more pictures in at a later point of Malawi, as I feel I missed some parts.

Hi Flightsim.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 31):
It was a great opening, setting the scene and mood for your world travel!!

Thanks for your further comments. Well, it is important to establish you will not just get aviation in this report!

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 31):
.....another hitch hiker

Good to hear, it is slowly reviving. I was recently in Canada, and it is quite easy to do there.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 31):
Need to read more about him! What visit to Turkey would be complete without a visit to the Hammam! And what a great and relaxed way to start you voyage to Africa on QR

No, it is the perfect start, it just gets you feeling alive. I love them so much. More reasonable that Budapest prices too....

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 31):
Is Chai the Turkish term as well.

I think it is spelt a little different... like Si, but pronounced the same.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 31):
Seriously what was she thinking...

Someone duelly noted, she might have been under stress because of Ramadan, but that doesn't cut it with me.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 31):
they have to hire locals to work on board their jets. The same must apply to Qatar and other Gulf countries, but I don't see this happening in Saudi Arabia just yet. And yes, I was fortunate to have met Etihad's only Emirati female FA and she was the nicest person to talk to

This might well explain it then. It does almost seem like that, I suppose alot of it is a wide language base too which is helpful.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 31):
I do hope that pic of theirs remains safe.

Sadly I am sure it will have been deleted, horrible man, but we live and learn. Thanks FSBoy.


Will reply to other comments soon. Rgds
Breaking down the stereotypes - one by one
 
Flightsimboy
Posts: 1408
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2005 12:49 pm

RE: My African Safari (i) ; The Beginning (EZY/ QR)

Thu Mar 01, 2012 7:04 pm

Just some very quick respones.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 40):
Someone duelly noted, she might have been under stress because of Ramadan, but that doesn't cut it with me.

There are some devout followers of the faith that carry out their day without as much as a groan, having fasted all day from sunrise to sunset. (When you are there next year, as you indicated, you will proabably come across such individuals and marvel at how they do it)

Unlike the other expatriate FA's on QR who fear losing their jobs, she probably being a local hire could not care less. So I doubt very much a fasting issue. You noticed the Thai FA immediately attended to your request and apologised profusely!

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 40):
This might well explain it then. It does almost seem like that, I suppose alot of it is a wide language base too which is helpful.

There are other Arabic speakers on board from other Arab speaking countries, so getting a language speaker is not the issue. It's getting their own nationals on board, perhaps to indeed give the airline the "National airline" feel to it.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 40):
I think it is spelt a little different... like Si, but pronounced the same.

I just found out it's çay! (Probably has the same sound as Chai)
 
auntie
Posts: 60
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 10:16 pm

RE: My African Safari (i) ; The Beginning (EZY/ QR)

Sat Mar 03, 2012 9:54 am

What an absolutely fantastic Trip Report. I was hooked right from the start!

You have a superb writing style, I was in awe at a lot of your descriptions of incidents / people, wishing I could be as descriptive as that!

Your excellent photos really capture the welcoming and friendly nature of the wonderful people you met along the way

Africa never appealed to me if I am honest - however you have most definitely changed my mind - it is now right up there on my list of must-see's !!

Right now I'm off to read all your other TRs

Good Job!!

 
 
deltamartin
Posts: 981
Joined: Sun Dec 05, 2010 5:48 pm

RE: My African Safari (i) ; The Beginning (EZY/ QR)

Sat Mar 03, 2012 3:14 pm

Hi Luke!

Great report! I really did enjoy reading about your flights to Africa, as well as your hitch hiking and experiences down there.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
Ugly exterior of SAW

I have never been there myself, but on all the reports i've read which is covering SAW, I have always found the exterior to look grand, and over all nice.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
Finally, QR was on total form for this trip. Every single aspect of the journey, from booking through to departure, ground handling, my entirely relaxing transfer and of course the sublime flights on brilliant equipment, was a delight.
I found the crews engaging and proactive and it was a brilliant start to the trip. Two firsts; a 777 and Africa.

Wow, it does indeed seem like your experience on QR was spectacular, I hope to try them myself some day.

I'm really looking forward to the next part.

Martin
 
User avatar
airbuseric
Posts: 3560
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RE: My African Safari (i) ; The Beginning (EZY/ QR)

Sun Mar 04, 2012 2:09 am

Luke,

I just want to say that I am totally intrigued by your story and the lifestyle you've taken during the trip. Wonderful writing like you're a real writer, great photos that fit perfectly to your story and can be part of a documentary of some kind in a magazine or newspaper covering life in Africa. Topclass! I've never seen a better report on this website then this one. Looking forward to read your continuation!

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 38):
Must say, Afrikaans seems just like Swedish except the spelling is all f*cked up.

Jonas, Dutch language is where Afrikaans comes from. For me, Afrikaans is easy to follow and I would be able to conversate easily with this language.

Regards
Eric
"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
 
lukeyboy95
Topic Author
Posts: 1058
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 7:07 pm

RE: My African Safari (i) ; The Beginning (EZY/ QR)

Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:18 pm

Thanks for the continued comments... what a kind bunch you are;

HI CXfirst...

Quoting CXfirst (Reply 32):
One of the best trip reports I've read here on a.net.

Gosh, thanks very much.

Quoting CXfirst (Reply 32):
The air travel part of your trip only become a small side story, the rest of the trip seems to be incredible. What an experience this must have been.

No it was truly the time of my life.

Quoting CXfirst (Reply 32):
and please continue with the same detail for the non-aviation parts as you have here. It is well worth the read.

Well, I ought to, it seems to not have scared anyone off yet.


Hi William

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Reply 33):
I just wanted to express my appreciation for the time and effort you put into writing this up so beautifully and for the lovely pictures you took.

And the effort to comment is also duly appreciated.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Reply 33):
I think you really capture the essence of Africa and its people in the pictures and in your writing, with all its good sides and its downsides.

Thats what I hope would happen. I reined in the writing a bit for the travel photos, but hopefully they convey what a positive time I was having! Might even tag a few more onto the end of this report tonight.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Reply 33):
And congratulations on your graduation!

for what good it did me! I reckon I learned more on that trip than I did in all my time in Uni!


Hello Udo,

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 34):
Hi Luke, what an excellent report full of fantastic pictures from Africa!

But not a problem, for all the hard work that you put into your reports. Copied you in altering some of the colours to match the airlines flown on, but couldn't find QR's maroon anywhere!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 34):
Congratulations on your first 777 flight - you chose the most advanced variant!

She was beautiful. Just in from her South American run too... found a menu in the seat-pocket.

Hi Roberts,

Quoting roberts87 (Reply 35):
What a fantastic read and what a great trip!
Loved the destination pics too!

Thanks for the comment, and glad to hear!



Hi Signol,

Quoting signol (Reply 36):
awesome! I've been waiting for this one   Fantasically written, great pictures, especially of the land-part of the trip.

thanks for the compliments, it does help when writing these things.

Quoting signol (Reply 36):
By the way, I recommend another book to complement Theroux's : http://www.amazon.co.uk/Dark-Contine...0036X

Perfect, I felt sure there must be a more positive aspect out there! Lots of good literature and commentary on Africa...

Quoting signol (Reply 36):
I visited a couple of years ago, nice town. A friend got married in the castle just north of the town. I did a non-av trip report here...
http://w.airliners.net/aviation-foru...9602/

Gosh! How interesting, and I appreciate about keeping a civil tongue on Dunoon as it is a hellhole of a small town. I live about 5 minutes walk from Hafton castle. Not sure it does weddings any more. Good to see your report. The large vehicle ferry (highly subsidised) was removed and replaced by crappy passenger-only vessels recently.

Quoting signol (Reply 36):
Shame   I hope you reported it to the police.

Pah, I thought it was not worth all the hassle. I was in Cape Town when I had realised he had it, and for all the support I would have got. Bit of a bugger though...

Quoting signol (Reply 36):
Agreed, we took our honeymoon there, just outside Port St Johns at Umngazi River Bungalows. Stunning.

Oh it was just excellent. I probably trekked right past there too! I did stop at one lodge to get water one day. . . It is so beautiful, and relatively accessible to you I suppose. I had heard it wasn't safe to walk alone, but had no problems. You will know those swollen rivers too then!?



Hello MH017

Quoting MH017 (Reply 37):
Luke,

What a great TR: love your routing by train/air and by land...

They say, once you're hooked to Africa, you'll always come back and back there...

I'm pretty sure I am hooked on it then! Yes, it really gets into your heart if you meet the right people.

Quoting MH017 (Reply 37):
Your 'unknown' aircraft at SAW is a YAK-42 of Sar(atov) Avia, I believe...there's also a TU154 in one of your other SAW pictures...

information appreciated. What a novice I am !

Quoting MH017 (Reply 37):
still wonder why the FA used 3 cups and poored them all for you i.s.o. given you the can and 1 cup......hhmmmmm...

silly eh?! I suppose it will be policy, although saying that, I cannot remember if any other drinks from other FA's were treated that way.



Hi Jonas, what a detailed reply. Appreciated.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 38):
First of all, what a magnificent report! I've read your previous ones, and each of them is an adventure of its own. There's something very quintessentially british about you with your adventurer's lifestyle. Your writing really capture the moments, the scenes very well, as if being there myself. Once again, bravo!  

Cheers - good to hear nice things!

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 38):
Really, you think so? I've always found the Easyjet website very difficult to use, especially with all those add-ons that keep popping up as one desperately tries to make way to the payment stage.

Well, it's budget, so they all have those dastardly pop-ups. But Easy's are easily removed. It is more the interface allows you to see fares for pretty much the whole year. I am less keen on this 'service' levy as it penalises sporadic travellers.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 38):
Was the meal included in the ticket?

Oh yes, and there was a cheese plate which I forgot to include. Ticket price was about 50 pound so reasonable.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 38):
Aah, good old couchsurfing. Really have to use it more often, and perhaps try out sleeping on someone's couch, especially in cities where the hotels are expensive.

Ah ha. Now, I also joined CSing with that initial mentality of saving money, but you soon realise it is alot more than that - it is more an exchange - ideas, stories, cultures... anything. It can be a hundred times better than hotels at times.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 38):
To me it's become a tradition to always visit the Hammam the day prior to a long trip.

You can find them in Sweden? Great way t start a journey!

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 38):
Wow, they even substitute tablecloths in Economy Class on QR nowadays!?

seems - just paper, and I suppose it reduces clean up costs a little

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 38):
My guess for her scrumptious behavior might be the lack of food as it's Ramadan. But then again, no excuse for not doing your job properly.

haha scrumptious... perhaps it was this. But travelling Muslims are permitted to eat I believe?

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 38):
Hmm, seems a bit unnecessary for a transfer hotel, don't you think?

haha. A little, but nice non-the-less. I put my water in the freezer - there was a tv and a sitting room too.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 38):
G&T and a Monty's? Hmm, that sounds awfully a lot like your Bog Standard BMI flight, courtesy of Mr. Chew 

Indeed... not a huge fan of them

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 38):
Seriously, 14 hours for 218 kilometers!? Now that can't be! I'm guessing it must've been 2180km?

sadly, that is no typo, it is just a carriage they plonk on the back of a freight train, so riddled with delays. Nice run though...

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 38):
Surprised they haven't changed the name to President, yet. At least that's what they said they would do if Obama won the -08 election  

eeeeyyyy they love Obama alot out there.


Hi Marc!

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 39):

Hi Luke

Great work, you sure managed to enjoy this trip! QR service looks fantastic. I also like the high quality pics you took in South Africa

Greetings
Marc

Thanks very much, was a great trip indeed...

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 41):
So I doubt very much a fasting issue.

me too... so many FA's out there doing a job that their heart isn't in.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 41):
you will proabably come across such individuals and marvel at how they do it

Well, I did it! But only managed 3 days... but I had to have water in the heat. I loved breaking the fast at night...

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 41):
çay! (Probably has the same sound as Chai)

yep!


Hello Auntie

Quoting auntie (Reply 42):
What an absolutely fantastic Trip Report. I was hooked right from the start!

perfect - great to hear!

Quoting auntie (Reply 42):
You have a superb writing style, I was in awe at a lot of your descriptions of incidents / people, wishing I could be as descriptive as that!

I think I might just have an over-active mind!

Quoting auntie (Reply 42):
Africa never appealed to me if I am honest - however you have most definitely changed my mind - it is now right up there on my list of must-see's !!

Well, find the right places and the right people, and it is an undisputed gem of a place.


Hello Martin.

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 43):
Hi Luke!

Great report! I really did enjoy reading about your flights to Africa, as well as your hitch hiking and experiences down there.

Glad to hear!

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 43):
I have always found the exterior to look grand, and over all nice.

Well, I suppose it is, but it isn't graceful architecture or anything - quite an obtrusive building. But it was practical enough, and a very viable alternative to IST

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 43):
I'm really looking forward to the next part.

Martin

Will begin writing it tonight probably... The writing on the one above took 3 weeks! Got to start cutting it down...


'Ello Eric....

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 44):
I just want to say that I am totally intrigued by your story and the lifestyle you've taken during the trip.

Ha - the lifestyle of a tramp! Well, it is something I can just about get away with. It was enormously liberating, and disconnected.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 44):
Wonderful writing like you're a real writer, great photos that fit perfectly to your story and can be part of a documentary of some kind in a magazine or newspaper covering life in Africa.

Well, I wish. I had considered asking a publication if they would like progress reports, but was satisfied I could share it on this forum. Sometimes I also think, who really wants to read about my adventures? Perhaps it is a little arrogant of me...

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 44):
I've never seen a better report on this website then this one. Looking forward to read your continuation!

Eric, coming from an aficionado such as yourself, this is a great compliment. Many thanks...

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 44):
For me, Afrikaans is easy to follow and I would be able to conversate easily with this language.

Yes, it would be. I had heard it was like your primary level Dutch. I found it a very brash, harsh language - perhaps it was some of the people I met using it. That said, I really enjoy the sound of true Dutch. It sounds softer.


Thanks all for kind comments....
Breaking down the stereotypes - one by one
 
Pe@rson
Posts: 16001
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2001 6:29 pm

RE: My African Safari (i) ; The Beginning (EZY/ QR)

Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:39 pm

Absolutely brilliant! Well done and thanks.
"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
 
lukeyboy95
Topic Author
Posts: 1058
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 7:07 pm

RE: My African Safari (i) ; The Beginning (EZY/ QR)

Sun Mar 04, 2012 7:51 pm


Erm, well I thought everyone was so nice about the photos of Mother Africa itself, that I would attach a few extra ones to the end of this report that got omitted in the first, savage edit. Much of the same things as before.


The cheese plate I forgot to add. Served as part of the onboard 1st class service on Virgin Train


Local fast food in Istanbul - basically a jacket potato with every topping imaginable.


Hyderpasa station where the famed trains to Iran run from.


The nice Turkish national flag


One of the independent wineries in SA


Endless straight roads in the north of South Africa.


Hitching a ride in the back of a police van, Namibia. Thought these two were quite striking.


Salt fields of Namibia. This all goes to South Africa.


Hiking through Fish River Canyon



Church - Cape Agulhas


Cape Agulhas


With some of my pupils.


The way to collywobbles, Transkai


Rivers in flood, Transkei - here they meet the Indian Ocean, and a whale was breaching just at the interface. amazing site.


Curious kids


Camp for the night...


Cows lazing on the beach


Traditional Rondeval housing...


Bad rural roads in Transkei


Old signs of apartheid. In a museum, however, it is still present in every part of society, attitude, fear and suspicion. It will take a few more decades for a true equal society to mature. Not a fan of the ANC by any measure...


Street names read like Mandela's autobiography. These were the men that brought down Apartheid.


Guard dog. This was my tent I carried the whole journey. Great feeling knowing your home is on your back!


My dodgiest hitch - this man later told me he had cocaine under the car after crossing a border into Mozambique.


Crowded beach at Maputo


Piles of tomatoes by the roadside - alot of produce is sold in this way, and if you are polite, they will normally throw in a couple extra.


Plane wreck in main square of Beira.


Old bus still going strong...


Taken on World Aids Day - still a cataclysmic problem in most of the countries I passed through.


Catch of the day in Beira.


My silhouette for the next 15 months


Moments of glory - the beaches in the north of Mozambique.


Vendors who rely on the daily train... yo could pick up about 5kg of mangoes for 10p or so here. And the mangoes were so delicious... oh!


lumpy, bumpy Mozambique interior


Fairly atypical reaction to photographs in Malawi. Randomly, word spread (as it often does in Africa) that white people use these photos to elicit charity money in the West. Sigh...


3rd class accommodation on the Ilala ferry, Malawi.


This cloud on the lake is actually a swarm of small flies. We sailed right into it.


On the roof of church, Likoma Island


I like this photo - it was taken in the dead of night on a slow exposure during a pretty ferocious thunder storm that not 10 minutes later blew my tent away!


learning to live with the flies


Nice phone number


where EVER you go in Africa, you will always find a coke.


This is local sourgum beer called chibuku (or shake shake) on account of you need to shake it before opening. It is live, and ferments in the bottle. Crazy cheap...


Letting god be god, hair cut time


Being sold bananas, Livingstonia.


Mbeya Train Station - you can tell it was built by the Chinese.


Beach at Zanzibar.


Stonetown.


Frying squid at the fish market, Dar Es


Mwanza policeman


Tough Africans... this girl of about 11 is ploughing her families patch of land, whilst her sibling clings to her back. Amazing, all in the mid day heat.


Plenty of crashes in Africa...








Having a Savannah Dry cider in the 'Jacuzzi' on the lip of Victoria Falls. very cool... had to lower myself down from where my jacket is. Bit scary...

Breaking down the stereotypes - one by one
 
sjacob
Posts: 43
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 10:59 am

RE: My African Safari (i) ; The Beginning (EZY/ QR)

Mon Mar 05, 2012 10:13 am

Wow.....Welcome to Africa, welcome to Uganda and East Africa...This was awesome, i am sure you had fun to the fullest
 
LH4116
Posts: 1183
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2007 4:39 am

RE: My African Safari (i) ; The Beginning (EZY/ QR)

Mon Mar 05, 2012 10:51 pm

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 45):
You can find them in Sweden? Great way t start a journey!

Hehe, sadly no hammams in Sweden. But whenever I'm visiting my relatives down in Morocco, I always make one last visit before heading home  
Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 45):
haha scrumptious... perhaps it was this. But travelling Muslims are permitted to eat I believe?

That's true, Ramadan makes exceptions for sickness and traveling. However since she was technically at work, it wouldn't surprise me if she was fasting, and besides surely that DOH-IST-DOH made up for her work that day.

//Jonas
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