Safari 2018 #55 Heading Home

by david on November 13, 2019

Monday, October 1

My ride to the airport did not show. I ended up getting the hotel front desk to call me a ride. The delay meant being 50 minutes late leaving, and I was more than a little worried about making my flight. I caught a break when my new driver recognized a porter as we pulled up at the airport. The porter ended up being one of the most well connected people at the airport. When there was no one at the police station to check my firearms out of Namibia, he went to find someone. He stayed with me though the whole process and I cleared the police station, checked in, and cleared all of the hurdles in plenty of time. He was a great help. The flight from Windhoek to JoBurg was smooth sailing after that. The layover in JoBurg was a longish one. I found some food, bought some chocolate, and managed to entertain myself until time to board the plane. For some strange reason, the flights from JoBurg to the US have to undergo a secondary security screening. Everyone had already cleared the airport X-ray machine, but we had to undergo a secondary baggage screening at the gate. The check itself was no biggie but, as you can imagine, it takes a considerable amount of time to screen the 400 or so people on the airplane. I was thankful I had purchased the Delta Comfort Plus upgrade. At least I was at the front of the line. The flight was a long one, but I managed to doze off for roughly half of its sixteen hours. We made it to Atlanta a little ahead of schedule and that is a good thing as it can take a while to clear customs. This would be my third trip with Global Entry clearance certification, and boy do I love it. It is the best travel accessory ever. I scanned my passport at a kiosk and went to a special line and, zoom, I was through Customs and Immigration. Smooth as silk. Now, for the pain in the backside part of the process. I have clear my guns. The process is fairly simple, so it did not take too long, but I had to wait for them to be unloaded to make their way to customs. Again, at least I was first in line. Everyone in this line was a hunter, and it is normal to strike up a conversation and compare notes. The gentlemen behind me had a short layover and was trying to get home for his seven year old son’s birthday party. I could not imagine the fear of coming home and facing my wife after missing a birthday party because of a hunting trip. I decided to be second in line. Getting my guns cleared was no problem, and that brings me to another gripe. All of us had to pull our hunting shoes out of our bags and have them sprayed for whatever bugs they could have picked up while in country. It is not the spraying I am complaining about but the fact it is not applied across the board. I would guess that at least double, if not triple, the number of hunters on the plane were safari tourists. They were in the same areas and walking the same ground, but no one even bothered to ask about shoes. If it is so important for hunters to have their shoes sprayed, shouldn’t it be important to spray all the shoes? Enough soapbox time! I got my bags rechecked in time to enjoy a chicken biscuit before the last leg home. My thoughts were wandering, and I end up wondering when I will get to go back …

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