Sunday, 27 May 2012

Back on the road - air- road - again....

I'm reaching a point where I don't know whether to keep my blog as a Jewellery blog or to change it to a travel blog with the amount of traveling I now do.

I've been back on the road again, this time to Malawi, flew in Wednesday to Blantyre and then drove into the office to get to work, traveling is not always all pleasure....

To get the journey going; I tried to use the GauBus to get to the gautrain, what a fiasco..... No bus when we got to the bus stop at the appointed time and waited and waited and waited - you get the picture.....
Tried phoning the number in the Gautrain website they told us to phone the call center, tried the call center - just rang and rang and.......Then walked back to the office to get a colleague to drive us by car to the Gautrain.
We eventually passed the bus it was about 20 minutes late - go figure - Africa strikes again.....
The flight was very uneventful, I tried to read a bit -no TV - very basic 737 - wheels, seats and wings and then I fell asleep as I do on most flights until we got to the landing. Now I realize getting a great blob of steel filled with luggage, fuel and flesh into the air is nothing short of a miracle but then came the landing, and to quote Buzz in the movie Toy story " I'm not flying I'm falling with style" .... This pilot tried and I feel it was a rather desperate attempt in the hot still African air but failed rather dismally as the plane swept from side to side before crashing down on the runway - maybe he thought the ground was a metre or two further down than it actually was, but then again I'm not a pilot so should I really comment, I'm just glad to be around to make comment.

Blantyre Airport

Off to the office... Middle of Blantyre ....."interesting place", Blantyre that is not the office, don't have many photos of the place, been warned not to walk alone in town it's not safe, will get mugged so we come and go in bunches to and from work.

Main street by our office

Main street by our office


The work I had to do was pretty standard and uneventful - connect a bunch of computers to a network with a bunch of printers and a large disk unit called a NAS, find an Internet provider and gat them online..... All in 3 days.... No pressure.

House gate with 24 hour security guard

As to accommodation - our company has three houses that they rent to accommodate permanent and transient staff (me) ours was very large - six bedrooms and bathrooms, a bit spartan but very comfortable, with enormous resident spiders, I didn't get any photos of them as I was too busy hyperventilating and trying not to scream like a girl ( i'm living in a house with railway engineers and i didnt want to scare them) while I captured them and ushered them outside.

My bedroom

And then it was time to go on friday......Air Malawi lost its FAA rating or something so I got stuck there as they are no longer flying got to change airlines and reschedule going to be out by Saturday ..... I hope!!! But it did give me a chance to finish off small jobs I hadn't got to.

Air Malawi..... grounded

Comes Saturday and off to the airport.... Dare I call it that.

Ghastly, inefficient, tiny, crowed, smelly abysmally hot, the check in was painfully slow to the point that it looked like it was the first time they were doing it, all our luggage was opened and the contents thoroughly fondled by the security staff then I was thoroughly fondled by yet more security staff just in case the body scanner some how missed something, then the departure lounge or should I call it very small insignificant ante chamber was packed with people to the point where we started to ooze out onto the edge of the runway, and lo and behold there was all our luggage basking in the blazing sun in long rows, we now had to identify it personally prior to it being loaded onto a small trailer located behind a farm tractor to be carried to the plane which was standing possibly 50 meters away from us.

And so we stood, the sun beat mercilessly down on us, like a great hammer to an anvil in the blacksmiths shop of hell!!!
The flies, the heat, the smell........


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