I’m not right in the head. We’ve established that a long, long time ago. The one sensible thing I’ve done travel-wise lately is cancel my New Years crazy trip for the first time in 10+ years because I was simply too tired to go after several trips.
Of course “tired” lasted about two weeks, and I was all rebooked for about 5 weeks after I’d originally planned to go. Same general routing, same countries planned, everything should work out. Well, maybe.
First, the Eritreans. They don’t like giving out visas. As a matter of fact, I’m about to get on a plane and still don’t have one. Hopefully it’ll show up in time…if not, maybe I can convince them to deliver it to me on arrival. Or I’ll spend a night in an Eritrean holding cell.
Then, there’s those Houthis. You know, the ones who overran Sana’a this week and have basically overthrown the Yemeni government. Of course, after conferring with people on the ground I’m still going. The airport’s open after all, so why not?
Finally, United. I love United. More precisely, I love the stuff you can sometimes get away with on united.com. Flying back to DC from Eritrea the easy route would be one stop via Istanbul. Who would want to do that when you can also stop in Saudi Arabia, Lithuania, AND Kiev for no extra miles?! Plus, the Lithuania and Ukraine stops are nearly 24 hours so a chance to re-visit. Plus, my having “been to Ukraine” is mildly tainted. See, I was in Kiev once before…in 1989…when it was technically the Ukrainian SSR. So, this is a chance to legitimize what was country #5 for me…or it could be #179…depending how you want to count it.
The routing should be more or less fixed now:
Rough Expected Outline:
I. DC to Lake Malawi in United First and South African Business
II. Malawi (country #172)
III. Lilongwe to Johannesburg, overnight in Sandton
IV. Johannesburg to Antananarivo, overnight in ‘Tana (country #173)
V. Andasibe Park and Lemurs!
VI. To Comoros via Mayotte on Air Madagascar, exploring Comoros (country #174)
VII. Comoros to Mombasa on East Africa Safari Air, Kenya, overnight Mombasa
VIII. Mombasa to Zanzibar on Fly540, overnight Zanzibar (country #175)
IX. Zanzibar to Dar es Salaam on ZanAir, overnight Dar
X. Dar to Uganda on Kenyan Airways in Business, overnight Entebbe (country #176)
XI. Entebbe to Istanbul on Turkish in Business, day in Istanbul
XII. Istanbul to Sana’a, Yemen on Turkish in Business (country #177)
XIII. Sana’a, Yemen – Horton Hears a Houthi!
XIV. Sana’a to Asmara, Eritrea on Yemenia in Business
XV. Asmara, Eritrea (country #178)
XVI. Asmara to Vilnius, Lithuania via Taif, Saudi Arabia on Turkish in Business
XVII. Vilnius, Lithuania
XVIII. Vilnius to Kiev, Ukraine, on SAS and LOT
XIX. Kiev, Ukraine
XX. Kiev to DC with Lufthansa EuroBusiness and United First
Sit back and fasten your seatbelts, this promises more drama than Fiji Airways and my escape from Lebanon combined!