It occurred to me yesterday that I was effectively on a local train to East Africa. Leaving Boston the immediate next stop was Frankfurt, this is normal for those of us that use Star Alliance; Frankfurt and Munich are usually first stops on the way to somewhere else. This is when I got on a train and the Next Stop was Sudan, KRT. On the way over Europe and into Africa I read the International Tribune, there was a huge section on the Arab Spring and was it going to hit the Sudan and how there were riots in the previous days – with a big spread with burning tires and more. So Sudan was the first stop on my local train and it was uneventful. You would think that the next stop after getting some gas would be Kilimanjaro, but no that would be too simple.
The next stop was Ethiopia, (ADD)! OK, considering the small size of Kilimanjaro (JRO) a move to a smaller plane would be a good idea, so it was time to get on a 727 versus the 747 and now I would be on a new local train for a couple stops. So now I was on a smaller plane that could easily land at JRO but there was no way to go there first, of course, the next stop on the train was Mombasa, Kenya! Now, if we are counting Countries; USA, Germany, Sudan, Ethiopia, and Kenya – and not yet Tanzania.
I was also starting to understand these stops, at every stop about half of the passengers got off and then the plane filled up with new passengers, well this was true everywhere but Sudan (KRT) where we seemed to get gas and run. So at Mombasa half of the plane got off and then it refilled for the final 30-minute or so flight to Kilimanjaro. I guess it is good business. Side Note: If I added another stop in the beginning – I could have done a MHT-JFK-ADD-MOI-JRO and did an extra airport stateside and missed the Sudan, which held a fun 30 minutes of people watching!
So, my trip that started at 4:35pm in Boston ended at 3:30am in Kilimanjaro, technically +2 days. And now I sit in the Kia lodge with an extra day to recover from bad airplane food and long layovers and frustration. I have also went through what I packed and have come to the conclusion that I forgot many things and brought things I did not need, this is par for the course!
Having just arrived in Germany I am now simply waiting for my next flight. The next flight is to Ethiopia via the Sudan and then another one hour lay over and a hop to Tanzania via Kenya. So I am sitting in the club – and I guess the flight back from Africa for this morning just got in as there are tons of shopping bags with the brand name “Out of Africa” printed on them. I had no idea that I would be excited to see a shopping bag. I should add that I love reading, and since I love reading I off course love travel. I think a Saint Augustine said it best: “The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” So today I am reading a few pages, just a few.How fortunate we all are that are travelling to some place for pleasure or work and not some tragedy.
I also think that if Saint Augustine was alive today he would say that in todays world you have to go to a place more than once. I suppose it should also be said that you need to go in different ages. A trip to Africa would not be the same to a 10, 20, or 40 something as each of those ages will not see the same thing!
We know in science that no two people see the same rainbow, excluding a picture, I mean live. We know because our position is different so we have a different view – thus a different rainbow (google it if you are curious about this). The same is true of travel – How could a 10 year old even begin to understand a new place! I remember going to Rome when I was twenty years old – and then going back when forty. Forget that the city changed but did I really miss all of the splendor of Rome at 20 years old, yes. I should also add it was a different period in time and I have memories that are pretty amazing!
Some people say that blogging is about self promotion and in some cases I suppose that is true. Some bloggers also say that blogging is a way for them to wrap their lives in some sort of understanding or justification. I am not sure – I do think reading travel blogs may bring you closer to the world – as long as they are not promotional in nature – try to find the blog where the person is seeking understanding. So, I board in about an hour and I have lost my boarding pass, I can of course get a new one. I will get to the lodge at 2am, I will go to sleep, and then I will wake up and upload some photos to FaceBook.
So perhaps as we are in the summer season (in the northern hemisphere) you should figure out what page you want to read and remember you do not have to travel far or have a ton of money to “travel” you just have to be fortunate enough to hike somewhere or drive somewhere!