It’s 8.30pm Togo time and we are in darkness winging our way to Johannesburg. We’re on a Asky 737 flight. An hour ago we spent 40min on the tarmac in Kinshasa (capital of Republic of Congo) refueling, dropping off the majority of passengers and taking on some new.
Niger River below. Huge and muddy.
Leaving Togo was more stressful than entering by road. First the check-in clerk seemed to be taking way too long to issue us boarding passes and it was clear something was wrong. My passport was the reason. Did I need a visa to enter South Africa? We knew I didn’t since February this year, but Asky didn’t and they were not taking any chances. Phoning anybody who they could to find out. New Zealand. Where’s that!
With some data left on his phone, Adam was able to google the visa status and showed it to them. I don’t think they wanted to take any notice but after another 30min, handed us our passports and boarding passes. While putting our bags on the scales we had to “assist” the weight of two items
Then we faced Immigration. The officer was mumbling something about filling in a form but you had to go online to do it. Adam started the process and it was clear they wanted even more information than was on our passports. I went over to the officer and told him “ompossible” in my best French. After a couple of minutes they called me over and handed us back our passports and boarding passes indicating for us to “clear off”. We’re not putting up with that nonsense…:)
Then into the security section. Here’s me thinking this tinpot airport would be a breeze. Not so. They wanted me to remove my sandals, belts and nearly everything else. Fine, all airports have these measures but then we had to do it again to board the plane!
Stanley, our shipping representative was wonderful. Arriving at the hotel in Togo to pick us up in his own car at 10.30am and whisk us to the airport.
I don’t think it has quite sunk in yet that we have after nearly month, left Togo for the last time..:) That is of course, unless the box doesn’t arrive in Durban with two Landy’s in, in two weeks time!
How much time we have spent waiting and not driving. An American couple who we may have mentioned earlier trying to get a visa to enter Nigeria, have passed through that country and are in Cameroon. They sent us some pics of the road. Any rain would have turned it into an impassable quagmire. We are envious but they say that the temperatures are almost unbearable.
Sebastien & Alex are in the Congo having found an excellent road onwards, that means they now don’t need the tyres Adam has on the roof rack of his Landy. They were worried that if the road was mud, their worn tyres wouldn’t cut it. Maybe we will meet up with them in Angola soon?
On that matter, Adam has been regaling us with stories of places he want’s to take us. The question we’ll have to face once the Landy’s are back in our possession and any remedial work has been completed, which way do we go to begin the exploration of Southern Africa? Up through Mozambique and across to the west or, south via Cape Town and up through Namibia to Angola, then across to the east? The answer will be decided for us by seasons and when the ‘must see’ sights are best visited. We’re excited.
Meanwhile, we arrive in Johannesburg at 1am and will look forward picking up our booked rental car then some sleep before heading to Pretoria tomorrow, for a couple of days.