Oh Libreville… goes the refrain of a song l so love. You know what we have in common and you know why l am not giving up on you right? Dear pals, l had always wanted to go to Gabon but things didn’t work out, time, money, procedure and all. How delighted could l be that a technical fault of the plane will leave us grounded in Libreville for one whole day?
It didn’t start out as fun
The flight from Kigali was initially to Libreville via Douala, although Libreville ended up being before Douala. Although it would appear Libreville is after Douala in their line of flight, I think the airline goes through Douala to drop the bulk of passengers, and then pick up more passengers for Libreville, before returning to Libreville.
But, when we heard the commander himself announce our impromtu descend to Libreville instead, we knew all was not well. l was not scared l may die, l just thought it would be ok if l did, after all we would all die someday right? l was glad to have had the time with my sons discussing death among other soul stuffs.
The initial reception was shabby
You can’t just add to frightened passengers’ fright by locking them up in some goddam waiting room for over 3 hours right? Well, that was just the beginning it seemed. In our usual ‘African’ hush style, RwandAir didn’t really tell us what was going on. From our landing at 9pm until our departure for some hotel at 3 am, we had to agitate before we got any updates.
A Day in Libreville
When we got to the hotel, l bet you it was 4 am. Next saga, not enough rooms. The ‘Spinters’ and ‘bachelors’ among us were ushered into rooms with 5 beds each – they are called ‘group or pilgrim’ rooms. We were so tired to argue out. He said we leave at 8 am so all we wanted was some quiet till then.
He never came at 8 am, he must have been thinking pm in his mind l guess. We were up though and resorted to loitering and waiting for information. His phone finally went through by 10 am and he said we leave at 4 pm. Although our passports had been retained at the airport, most of decided to venture into town. Sure l did. Called a friend and they came two of them with a cool car. l was shown round Libreville in three hours. Saw the high and the low side, the presidency and the residency.
I saw the beach, and the ghetto. My phone was off and l hope these pictures from the net relate somehow.
Epilogue of that Trip
The best was awaiting us when we finally landed in Douala at 9.30 pm on Saturday July 5. Our luggage had stayed back in Libreville. l left the airport at midnight because we had to queue up to declare the missing luggage. l was exhausted. My flight back to Brussels was for 3 am Monday July 7 and l had to be back at that airport at 9pm on that Sunday July 6 to check for the ‘infamous luggage’ from Libreville. I leave the rest to your imagination and this picture of mine taken as l waited for my flight to Brussels, could tell some l suppose:
The main reason l am not suing that airlines is because, l got to visit Libreville for ‘free’! I never paid visa nor hotel fees and above all, l got to meet some very dear friends.
Dear gentle readers and followers, hope you did enjoy reading the musings from my various trips. I am currently on ‘real’ vacation in Nice and l hope to put together a good post for you on my return. Till then, all the best to you all!