Flight delayed

Somali mapOur DC-3 captain had delayed our takeoff for Mogadishu as long as he could, and once airborne was now balking at continuing the flight to the capital city. Since we couldn’t possibly arrive in Mog before curfew and airport lockdown, we were forced to land at Galkayo for the night. Thanks to the co-pilot, we later discovered that the Captain had a girlfriend in Galkayo.

Our R&R expedition to the capital city was delayed.

No problem.

Alcohol is forbidden in many Muslim countries, but we had a smuggled bottle or two of rum with which to drown our sorrows. We looked for a restaurant that looked reasonably clean. Eventually we found one that met our criteria, and after a lengthy discussion fueled by copious quantities of rum, we all decided to order spaghetti because it had to be boiled.

During the course of the evening festivities some of us decided that we should hire a vehicle and driver to take us south to Mogadishu, an overland distance of about 600 kilometers as the crow flies. Fortunately, saner heads prevailed – probably because we were out of rum – and we decided to find local accommodation.

A hotel for goats

The hotel we finally found that night was something else. The sheet (yes, there was only one) was a filthy gray. There were no doors on the rooms, nor was there glass in the windows. Thus, each of us had our own open-aired room.

Sometime during my drunken slumber I was awakened by something, unsure about what it might be. When I finally came to, I discovered that a goat had wandered into my room and was licking my toes! My feet needed a bath, but I was more inclined to a shower. The goat must have turned up his nose at my sandals on the floor.

The Somali Air DC-3 got us into Mog the next day, only slightly hung over but none the worse for our overnight adventure.

Miles and miles of sandy coastline

Miles and miles of sandy beach. This continues up and down for almost the entire length of Somalia's Indian Ocean coastline. Every ten days or so we'd fly the 20 or 30 minutes east for a little R&R along the coast.

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