Thursday, September 15, 2011

Airport hell

Okay I’m awake now. I wanted to update yesterday but I hadn’t slept for 60 hours and was feeling a bit like a zombie.

As you can imagine, it was a long trip getting to Namibia. I didn’t sleep at all during the flight to London, so by the time I met up with Allison at Heathrow I was in a bit of a daze. It was an unusually sunny day in London. We grabbed a bite of macaroni and cheese at the Bridge Eating House (where sadly they were not offering any bridges as dishes), and then we tried to nap on the bench in front of the Burberry store, but was unfortunately continuously awakened by Katy Perry mall music being blasted to motive travelers to shop.

ah, Heathrow airport, you and your many benches that everyone tries to sleep on.

I didn’t get any sleep on my next overnight trip to Johannesburg either. For the record, an eleven hour flight is an extremely long flight if you don’t sleep through it. On the bright side, we got a glimpse of a full moon over Paris. Also, I was being extremely well fed – over the last few days, I’ve had so many airplane meals that I’m starting to like them, a lot.

view from the plane of the full moon over paris

Once we arrived at the Johannesburg airport, we looked for that sense of Africa, but ultimately we just got a sense of airport, which is pretty universal/international. One more flight, and we finally arrived in Windhoek, Namibia! By that point, I had not slept since Sunday night (it was now Wednesday), and I was pretty convinced I’m never going on a plane again.

These were my first impressions once arriving in Windhoek:
1. Palm trees! At the airport!
2. Wow, there is desert everywhere!
3. The airport is small.
4. This airport reminds me of Kamloops BC.

Driving on the left side of the road is really freaking me out. Also, it was really hot – at least I think it was. Our drive blasted the heater for the whole drive into the city, so maybe actually this is cold for Windhoek. Whatever. As we drove into the city, I got more and more excited. I’m in Namibia! I’m in Africa! And everything was so beautiful – the long stretches of desert, the rolling hills. And then there is downtown Windhoek itself! As we drove through, I got this weird feeling of falling in love with this place. Unfortunately, photos will have to wait because I forgot to bring the right cord to connect my camera to my computer (bangs head against wall).

We had a lovely first night here. We went to a NICE restaurant - the Namibian Institute of Culinary Education, with a scientist from Stanford doing research here, a German woman doing research on water in the north, a UN worker, and a retired businessman motorcycling his way through Africa. We got to try a yummy local beer called Camelthorn (which I keep accidentall referring to as Cameltoe). But most importantly, I got to sleep in a REAL BED, and slept for about eleven hours.

locally brewed Camelthorn (not Cameltoe) beer.