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Tanzania Trip -- Tuesday, July 10, 2012

July 10
Ready to depart Gate 30

Day 04. Tuesday, July 10. Dallas to London, England.

Cathy spent many hours on the phone during the night and morning trying to arrange flights and unanticipated overnight stays. It looks like we will be delayed 4 days getting to Tanzania because flights do not go there everyday, and the next flight is full -- we will have to wait for the second flight out of London to Tanzania.

After much anguish and time on the phone, Cathy worked out flights from Dallas to London (UK), London to Nairobi (Kenya), and Nairobi to Arusha (Tanzania), bypassing Dar es Salaam this time. Everything will take longer than expected. We recovered our luggage in Dallas and rechecked it to London so that it won't end up in Dar es Salaam, which we avoid on this schedule. We booked online for a hotel near the airport in London.

Link to trip map.

July 10
GPS track shows us turning back for repairs
Departing Dallas on time about 5:30 PM for overnight flight to London, Heathrow. It felt as though we were finally on our way to Africa. I used the GPS to watch our progress as we clicked off the states: Texas, Arkansas, the SE tip of Missouri, the Mississippi River. Finally in the east, the states went by swiftly. We followed the Ohio River as it twisted and turned between Kentucky and Illinois and Indiana. Across Ohio, then Pennsylvania, New York, and the narrow North Eastern states. Finally, and now in the dark, we crossed the coast of Maine into Canadian airspace. We flew over Nova Scotia, which was lit up along the coastline, and Cape Breton Island. Finally leaving the coast of North America and heading out into the North Atlantic, we left behind all lights except those on a few ships.
July 10
Gander, Newfoundland

But of course, there is more ... things were going too smoothly for this trip. More than an hour into the Atlantic (and into my sleep), the restrooms went out (some new fancy electronic toilets, according to the pilot), and we turned back. More than an hour later, we landed in Gander, Newfoundland, for repairs. Here we sit, trapped on a plane without toilet facilities...

We were grounded for less than an hour ... it actually took only a few minutes for the ground crew to fix the toilets (reset a breaker switch?), and most of the rest of the time to refuel the aircraft. Finally refueled and on our way, we again headed into the blackness of a dark night in the North Atlantic. It made me think of the sailers crossing the sea during the dark of night during WWII. As I drifted off to sleep again, I was glad that I didn't have to worry about U-boats lurking below the waves.

July 10
Awaiting shuttle leaving Fairfield Inn for Dallas Airport
July 10
Fairfield Inn, not a bad place to be stranded
July 10
Rechecking baggage
July 10
Waiting at Gate 30
Jult 19
A bend on the Mighty Mississippi
July 10
Power plant on a river in the Midwest
July 10
My in-flight workstation
July 10
Lights of the cities in New England

Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 120818

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