Finally we are off. After making all the preparations over the last six weeks we dashed out of work on Friday afternoon to head to Heathrow. Tim Prosser was meeting us in Dubai as he was coming directly from Birmingham.
The flight itself was not bad at all, going in the massive A380 was an experience in itself. Emirates treat you to some lovely food drinks and entertainment. Landing in Dubai for a two hour stopover felt a bit strange given that the local time was about 4am. We spent most the time productively, sat in a gin bar listening to loud rap music whilst waiting for Tim Prosser who was flying in from Birmingham, and Sercan, the IABSE team lead who was flying in from Istanbul.
We met up with Sercan ok but we also hit our first logistical issue of our trip. Tim’s flight in Birmingham was delayed, meaning he had to be whisked through Dubai airport from a different terminal to make our Entebbe flight . Unfortunately his check in luggage was not as quick as him and followed behind on the next flight.
Getting off the plane in Entebbe was interesting, with lush greenery all around. After seeing a huge queue for passport control our savvy logistics lead Wojciech managed to pull a few strings and get most of us through quickly. We ended up waiting for Sercan but in that managed to start the lengthy process of buying sim cards. This consisted of filling in forms to be copied into a phone by the assistant, having our passports scanned, photographs taken, and finally registering a thumbprint! Things are a little more relaxed here, it’s fair to say. After a fantastic lunch in Entebbe we pushed on to Kampala, with the promise of a comfortable hotel for the night . The journey was amazing, we saw motorbike taxis (boda-bodas) all over the place, people on bikes, lush green scenery and people everywhere.
At the hotel near Kampala and we met up with the other team members from IABSE, Alberto and Sabrina from Italy and Spas from Bulgaria, over dinner. It was really cool to finally meet everyone after all the skype calls! More to follow…