Luanda to Soyo and beyond
04.10.2007 - 04.10.2007 21 °C
Waking up at 4:30am isn't my idea of 'having a good time' and neither was it, with sleep still filling our eyes we dragged ourselves out of the pit, shower and headed to reception.
Pick up was at 5am, the sun's still hiding and not due up for another hour. the reason for getting up so bloody early is the traffic, our flight to Soyo isn't until 7:00, but if we don't go now it'll take us 3hrs to travel from the hotel to the airport. We arrive at the domestic terminal of Luanda airport, it's not much different from the international.
We are escorted to the 'VIP' area, seems we have a private plane to take us the short 45min hop. I'm not sure what VIP stands for, but it wasn't exactly what you'd expect. 7:00 comes and we are wisked off to our awaiting plane, in reality we could have walked the 50m to the plane, but we were bussed.
The plane is a 14 seater twin prop, we clamor in and I manage to get the back row of three seats to myself. Now this is luxury, a whole plane for six of us (now we know how the rich and famour travel in their private planes :-))
The flight goes well and coming into Soyo airport I get my first look at the Congo river. Even a few months ago I'd never thought watching documentaries and reading books did i think I'd be here.
Soyo airport is just made up of two buildings and we are ushered in one for passport check and baggage check. On exiting the airport the agent asks for our passports, these will be held until we leave the province in a months time.
Soyo is a breath of fresh air compared to Luanda, smaller, cleaner and much less poverty stricken. As we approach the port again we go through another bag check (easy access luggage is a must here) . At the port our ride awaits a 30ft surfer boat, it'll take 2.5hrs bouncing along the 2.5m swell to reach our final destination the pipelay vessel.
Ok we arrive at 11:30 just in time for lunch, i'm on shift at 18:00 here we go night shift !!!