Safari 2018 #22 You Broke It

by david on August 2, 2019

Wednesday, September 19

With another travel day ahead of us, we opted to skip the game drive and get a little more shuteye.  The extra time allowed us to have a finish packing at a leisurely rate. When that was done, we were able to enjoy a relaxing breakfast and some quiet time before heading to the airstrip.  We even had a few moments to read or sort pictures before heading out. Soon it was time to leave and we climbed aboard the Landcruiser for one last time. We were a little ahead of schedule so our driver found us a shady spot to wait for the plane.  It wasn’t long before the drone of the engines could be heard and the driver started up the truck. Before heading to the staging area, he drove from our shady spot to the end of the runway and then about halfway back to the loading/unloading zone. He then parked in plain view parallel to the runway.  As I alluded to earlier, the purpose was twofold. We were checking for any animals that may be relaxing in the shade and, if startled by the plane’s approach, be startled and make their way onto the runway. If the runway was clear and the pilot saw us in the appropriate location and orientation, he knew the runway had been checked and was clear.  Simple, yet efficient.

The boarding process was over quickly and the chill afforded by the planes A/C was most welcome.  The takeoff was uneventful and we were soon winging our way back to Kasane. The landing was not so uneventful.  Just after touchdown the left tire blew, forcing the plane to veer hard left. The pilot did a great job bring us to a safe stop, but we were stranded on the runway.  I can imagine the kind of controlled chaos this would have caused at any airport in the states. In Africa we merely piled out onto the tarmac and walked back to the terminal.  The worst part was the poor baggage handlers had to come get our luggage and haul it a fair distance back to baggage claim. Just as they started out with a push cart, someone pulled up in what looked to be a personal truck.  He motioned for his coworkers to hop in and quick as a blink they were out to the plane, had the baggage into the truck and back to the terminal. Quick thinking on someone’s part. He was my kind of guy. I have always had a philosophy and a saying to go along with it.  “What your brain doesn’t do your back has to”. This was illustrated perfectly by the guy in the truck. Good thing Kasane was not a busy airport, as it allowed for the truck to collect our baggage and the airline employees’ time to change the tire.  Not sure which of the ladies to blame this one on as, but it was definitely one of their fault for breaking our latest mode of transport.  So far this trip, they had been in a land rover when the fuel line broke, a motor launch when the shear pin attaching the propeller to the drive shaft broke, and, now, a busted tire on the airplane we just landed in.  I was going to have lots of fun with some “you broke it” jabs for some time to come.

Previous post:

Next post: