A false start

Well, what a disastrous start to ‘The Big Adventure’! The Air Ivoire flight was cancelled without them giving any reason—in fact, their representative took forever to get to the airport to tell us what was going on. Then, to cap it all, he didn’t seem to have a clue either!

Can you see Ian standing around awaiting developments?

Can you see Ian standing around awaiting developments?

First he gave everyone a piece of paper which would, he said, get us on the Air Burkina flight if they could delay our connecting flight in Abijan (Côte d’Ivoire). When the Air Burkina flight arrived it was fully booked anyhow, so no go.

By this time voices were rising and arms were waving—quite funny to watch from where I was sitting. After a four hour wait, the poor man decided to take us all to an hotel. More grief for him, as the hotel sent a kombie and only a third to a quarter of us could fit in. While everyone was still complaining on the pavement, Ian and I slipped into the back seats, and left them there waiting for the kombi to return for them.

We are now ensconced in the Angie Hill Hotel awaiting developments, but resigned to spending the night here. Ian didn’t want to go back to the company guesthouse because he’s afraid that we’ll be forgotten unless we all wait together. The poor hotel cannot cope with a lot of people in the dining-room, so we had to wait for more than an hour for our chicken and chips to arrive (more complaining from the others—mostly in French).
The menu was extremely limited, so we took a taxi to the Golden Tulip Hotel for supper, one of our favourite spots. The taxi was a wonder to behold. It made strange noises, had no window winder in the back (the window was down), and Ian said that every light was on on the dashboard—check oil, check engine, check air-bag, etc.

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