The fun begins

The day began at 3.30am. A quick shower & coffee. Close the suitcases & throw them in the car. Quick injection in the midriff with the DVT prophylactic (not nice at 4am). Drag the Teenager from his bed to drive me to the airport.

Why is Edinburgh Airport so pathetic?

I was already checked in online for my BMI flight, but still had to queue for 25 minutes behind a whole bunch of passengers who hadn’t. One lovely wee lassie re-packed her suitcase at the desk to get it below the limit. The rest of us waited and watched.

The BMI inflight rag urges passengers to check in online to “save time at the airport”. That joke is in poor taste.

Similar shambles upstairs at security. Normal, sad to say.

Anyway, we left on time at 6.30. The pilot hopes to have us there 15 minutes early. Next is a short trip around Heathrow terminal 1 to catch another BMI flight for Beirut and then Addis Ababa. I’d prefer not to be visiting Beirut, but the stopover was to have been Amman when I booked the flights. Then BMI changed them. Twice.

End result is a shorter journey time, so maybe I should be grateful. We’ll see.

Come to think of it, based on past experiences at Heathrow maybe Beirut will be more fun.

Today feels a bit unreal. The flights were booked 8 months ago. The commitment made long before that. I was planning the trip at least 26 months ago. Now it’s happening.

Addis Ababa is just 4 days of rest & relaxation at altitude – well over 7,000 feet. Do some gentle sightseeing. Run and swim a little. I got up to almost 7,000 ft in the Alps in September, so I have some idea of how it feels to exert myself when oxygen is a bit thinner.

Then on to Arusha (Tanzania) on Thursday for Mt Kilimanjaro next Saturday.

Right now I’m looking forward to coming out of arrivals at Addis Ababa and seeing the driver from the Hilton holding up a card with my name on it…

Saturday 7-1-12 (early)

© iain taylor 2012

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