Our last morning in the Crater we decided to sleep in and had a leisurely breakfast. On our drive to the airstrip from Ngorongoro Crater the world turned back into something we had not seen for 2 full weeks. The road was blacktop, there were houses, telephone poles, and human beings living their lives. We stepped through a Tanzanian door back into civilization. We stopped at a place called The Tee Shirt Shack for a geocache. Aziza was marveled there was a hidden treasure somewhere that I knew about a million miles from home. She drives by and stops at this shop all the time and had no idea there was something else fun to do here other than spend Tanzanian Shillings. She was nervous about wandering around back of the shop, but the shopkeeper obviously knew the treasure was back there. She made us go inside and purchase some tee shirts before searching out the prize. Her eyes got big and she smiled when I said, “here it is!”
We continued our drive to the airstrip for a 1:40pm scheduled flight. We got there about an hour early. 2 hours later, no plane for us. We were stuck in Tanzania needing to get to Rwanda. Luckily for us AndBeyond has a policy not to just drop off and leave passengers before watching their flight take off. Aziza got on the phone with the lodge. They said there was a mistake by the airline, Shitty Coastal Air, and they were going to send a private charter flight to pick us up and get us to Rwanda on time. The private flight plan ultimately fell through and we were stranded in Tanzania. Oh well, there are worse places to be stranded, like….ummm….Rwanda, I guess.
We sat at the airport for 5 hours, no plane for us. Apparently Coastal Air simply forgot about us. The decision was made to bring us back to the Crater Lodge, unlucky us, what a dump. Sike. It is not what we planned or wanted to do, but at least we were somewhere safe with people that knew us. The rest is a sad story in history. We changed our flights home and had to completely miss out on the gorilla trekking portion of our trip to Rwanda. It is not the end of the world but definitely sad to have looked forward to this for so long, and no payoff at the end. I was really looking forward to being made the honorary gorilla/human ambassador.
Oh well, these things happen, even to the luckiest boy in the world. 4 days earlier than planned we started the 40-hour adventure home. We made it safely (obviously), and in hindsight we are both glad to have been heading for home. I enjoyed almost every minute of this trip, but I was getting close to tired of traveling. I think Wifey felt the same way, maybe a bit homesick. She has been anxious about the Rwanda portion of our trip since the week we booked it. All she reads is horrible novels about terrorism. Couple that with email alerts she had been receiving from the embassy saying there has been gunfire here and there, and tourists should stay away. One more reason I keep myself in the dark about anything that does not concern me. This concludes the final chapter of the African Escapade Redux. Now we sit and wait for hopefully our next adventure. Maybe Alaska? Or Yosemite?