The 30 plus hour journey was uneventful… everything went without a hitch. The first leg from Dallas, Texas to Doha, Qatar took 14 and some hours. It was a full flight so any sleeping was done sitting upright. The food was tasty, even Russ found the vegetarian/vegan option yummy. Though he did drool a bit when he heard the passenger behind him being offered beef and potatoes.
The usually hustling and bustling stylish Doha airport was quiet with many shops closed. Fortunately, our layover was but two hours (last time it was nine!) The flight from Doha to Johannesburg, South Africa was 8hours plus and not full, so a bit more stretching room. As before, everyone wore masks, the food was good and the stewards and stewardesses helpful and friendly.
The most nerve racking part of the trip remains the same. It’s standing at the luggage carousel. Watching for our bags to appear. Invariably one is a bit slower than the rest. Invariably, they’re all eventually accounted for. This time we brought new outdoor chairs all lashed together and wrapped in plastic. Russ had found some really comfortable ones we enjoyed in Tembo (our van and USA home.) Before we left South Africa last time he’d taken close measurements to make sure they fit in the back of the Land Rover. Our old ones stowed a bit differently.
The health check and passport control went smoothly. Hat off to the South African officials for doing a fine job. We never have anything to declare, and this time not even a sniffer dog came to check our bags. Maybe because it’s only four in the morning! That didn’t stop our friends Sheila and Johnny form picking us up. COVID still has folks under curfew from 23h till 04h so the streets are pretty empty.
On arriving at their home we first must take a peek at the Landy. There she sat under her cover for two and a half years! After uncovering her Russ connects the batteries. Then its time for rusks and tea before Johnny leaves for work. Sheila and I are cleaning up inside. There’s a honk and an engine revving. “She started!” We rush outside to find a grinning Russ and purring Land Rover.
Who would ever have thought… after two and a half years of sitting! But then, Russ does take the best care of her and did all sorts of things to prepare her for hibernation.
What a grand start to our traveling Africa adventure! More about our first few days back ‘home’ next time.
Be Brave. Only Believe. Just Do.
Margrit Harris loves nature and wildlife pretty much above all else… that is except her spouse, Russ.