I sure am ready for retirement. How many times do I write that in here? Not nearly as mant times as I think about it. (:))
It is time to give you a quick summary of what has taken place so far, on this foreign excursion, flying a CE-680 Citation Sovereign, a twin engine Jet, Business Aircraft, owned by a client from India.
On Wednesday we waited all day for passengers to show up in London. Late in the afternoon, we finally received a call asking us to position the aircraft to Zambia, and informing us that the passengers were on their way via British Airways. Hmmmm...
We quickly called for a clearance and took off, getting airborne around 5:00 PM.
We stopped for fuel in Kano, Nigeria, and then continued on to Lusaka, Zambia. It was very late when we landed in Lusaka. We diverted around some weather build-ups with lightning, etc, but had quite a smooth flight at 41,000 ft.
We stayed at the Intercontinental Hotel in Lusaka, Zambia. It was a short night because we had to depart early the following morning for Mfuwe, Zambia, to visit a National Park and game preserve. It was a wonderful experience.
From the airport, we travelled in a Land Rover, with no top, no windshield, totally open air, with seats built in "theater seating" fashion.
We passed numerous typical villages on the way and before entering the park we saw monkeys, puku, impala, and several croc's.
We came to a river and crossed it on a raft just large enough to hold the Land Rover, with many, many, hippos on each side of us.
We were informed that we were actually in the Park once we crossed the river. Wow! I thought we had to already be in it, with all of the wildlife.
Soon, we stopped on the dirt road, waiting for elephants to cross the road in front of us. Upon approaching the Lodge "Star of Africa", we saw zebras grazing nearby. Upon arrival at the lodge, we were greeted with hot wash cloths to wipe the dust away, and a cold glass of fruit juice to refresh us. After checking in which was a remarkably easy experience, I found my room, which was actually a small cottage. The veranda overlooked the countryside, and I could easily watch the zebras from my window.
Later in the day we were taken to search for and observe the wildlife. We saw every kind of animal you could think of except for the Rhino, which is very rare in Zambia, and the lion. After dark, we happened to come up on a scene that will long be remembered.
A spotted leopard had just killed a small impala, when a hyena appeared and confiscated the dinner. The leopard seemed to contemplate fighting the hyena, but decided to simply lie down and wait for the hyena to finish eating. We were only a few yards away and could easily hear the sound of the bones crunching in the powerful jaws of the hyena. The guide told us that the leopard was afraid of the hyena. That was the reverse of my previous thinking.
We returned to the lodge quite late but dinner was soon served near a large fireplace, and it was time for bed.
I'll write more about the journey later and will add a map now so you can see the travels. As I write this, I am in Mumbai (formally Bombay) India. Hope to start the journey back home tomorrow.