JAN 26 – 08 MARCH 2014

Finally we are ready to move on

The last few days we have been waiting in a hotel in Juba, South Sudan for our overflight/landing permit to fly over Sudan/Khartoum to arrive. At the same time we worked out an alternative route via Addis Abeba in Ethiopia, over Djibouti to Aden in Yemen, then onwards via Jeddah in Saudi Arabia to Aswan in Egypt. As we kept waiting for the approval from Khartoum we got our alternative ready and approved and decided to fly towards Yemen instead.

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Being bored and having to stay in the hotel, I got my shoes polished for 2 US$. The guy made all effort to make my shoes look new. However, with all the desert sand around us it was short lived as my shoes looked dirty again the same afternoon.

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The military in Juba even came into our hotels and at night we had to stay in the hotel and could not go out. It was not safe with rebels infiltrating the city of Juba.

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This is how building, houses and hotels were protected. Thick walls, wired fences and armed security inside.

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Back at the hotel we passed these UN helicopters. Then we hit a military convoy of young South Sudan soldiers on open trucks. We even had to move out of the way. According to the handler they were young and could do anything they want including torture or capturing you, so when they waved at us to move to the side, we immediately did so.

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On arrival in Juba we parked our Piper Archer next to a Cessna Caravan of Flying Doctors. Now that aircraft was gone and replaced with another Caravan from Flying Doctors.

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We quickly passed by the tower and aviation office to check if all the paperwork was in order and set out to our aircraft.

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Taxiing out to the holding point for the runway we past some locals that were there to say goodbye to an important official, then we passed some helicopters from the United Nations before hitting the tanks at the holding point from the Ugandese army, which were there to help protect the airport and the South Sudanese army.

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The tanks were aiming their gun at short final, so that they were able to shoot down any aircraft on approach.

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Once airborn, we were on our way to Addis Abeba in Ethiopia. Finally we were released from the warzone and on our way again.

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Categories: Flying in Africa

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