We’re in Gatwick at a B&B for the night before heading to the airport at 8:30 tomorrow morning. We both woke up feeling a bit stressed and frantic this morning. I realised I’d left a few important jobs until it was to late – no time now to get my legs waxed (do people wax their legs in Tanzania? My complete lack of knowledge about Africa is becoming painfully apparent. Can we buy clothes? Pillows if we need them for camping? Somehow my brain has substituted the environment of Mars for Eastern Africa).
Malaria meds were another thing on the list. I’m planning on buying them when I get there because I went into Tesco to buy it at the in-store pharmacy and the non-prescription tablets were over 100 pounds for a 7 week course so I went to the doctor in Bar Hill but it was 45 pounds for a consultation. Online research says I could get the tablets far cheaper in Dar Es Salaam so I’ll aim for that and try to avoid getting bitten before I can stock up. Considering that you’re supposed to start malaria meds before you leave… well… there’s no point in telling me off in the comments box because it’s too late. So don’t bother. Besides, I can feel your judgement from here. And yes I know malaria can be fatal. Quiet!
So, I woke up at 6:45 and couldn’t get back to sleep, not only because I’m disorganised but because we’ve got three flights in a row in 48 hours, which multiplies my punctuality anxiety by a million. If any flight is cancelled or delayed that’s about $2000 down the toilet. Just thinking about it raises my blood pressure. We’re flying London to Istanbul (7 hours) then Istanbul to Dar Es Salaam (about 6 I think) and we arrive there at about 3am and have to wait until 11am for our flight to Arusha. Long airport layovers are among the more serious first world problems, I’m sure you’ll agree. We’re spending one night in Arusha because my school’s World Vision sponsor child lives there and although the tour we’re doing passes through Arusha, it passes through on a Sunday and, being a Christian organisation (but not in the slightest bit charitable or relenting), they won’t offer any visits to students on a holy day. Which has cost me quite a bit of money but I’m sure it’ll all be worth it. The bonus of doing it this way is that we get to visit with this student at school, which is more interesting for me and will also mean better footage for the short film we’re planning to make and send back to the kids at my school to show them where their sponsor money is going.
But until we’re in Arusha and in the hands of our WV rep I’m going to be stressing about getting there on time and with all baggage accounted for. Our carrier, ‘Precision Air’ (ahaha! The irony!) is apparently renowned for losing baggage.
I’ve probably mentioned before that I’m somewhat notorious among friends for being chronically dreadful with times and dates, so organising these flights, the hotels and everything means I’m just waiting for that heart-stopping moment when I realise that I’ve booked a hotel for the wrong night, or that our flights don’t match up or some other obvious and costly thing has been miscalculated. Honestly, it’s only a matter of time.
Today’s mission, to get from Cambridge to London, change our pounds for US dollars (popular in Africa) and then get to our B&B went hearteningly smoothly. Fingers crossed for the rest of the trip.
I should add, before we fly out, that we have no idea what internet access is going to be like over the course of the tour. Hopefully we’ll get occasional opportunities to update but otherwise we’ll be offline for ages and ages. I might die from blog withdrawal, only time will tell. I am planning to buy a paper diary so that I can then transcribe every bit of the trip into blog posts when we get to somewhere with wifi. This, probably, is one of my traditional grand-plans-that-never-happen. We’ll see. I’m envisaging my African tour as heaps of fun with me moaning every half hour or so to anyone who’ll listen that I wish I could put this in the blog and then forgetting about it half an hour later. Just in time to moan about the next thing.
You see what Luke has to put up with.
We get back to Turkey at the end of August. Catch y’all on the flip side!