Catapult!! Flight 208.

I’m now seated on flight 208, a Cessna Caravan, climbing en route to Zanzibar via Pemba. The aircraft landed at 1510. Everyone on it piled off and we piled on. Bags crossed paths, I saw mine heading in the right direction, reassuringly. The pilot jumped in, no co pilot, rattled off the safety instructions in about 5 seconds flat and taxied flat out to the apron. He swung her round without a pause and throttled up, taking off at 1520.
I was almost in hysterical laughter at this point. Zero safety checks, no refueling, no thought to weight distribution!! I feel like I’ve been catapulted off the deck of an aircraft carrier in a jet!!
The poor young Muslim woman next to me had a baby in her arms and couldn’t figure out the safety belt so I helped her. Then we climbed so fast her baby started crying. I suggested she feed him which is now in progress, with the accompanying blissful silence.
I took a minute to survey the seaward approach Josh and I navigated at night!!

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Not so bad after all!! It’s currently low tide so the sand bars are easy to see.
1544 and we’ve landed at Pemba. More internal giggling. Hit the deck so fast, no flaps until we are on the runway, then all the anchors dropped!! Almost did a handbrake turn off the runway. It’s hilarious, really. Bloody nice plane though, new with lovely cockpit gear. A certain amount of tech envy going on!!
My bag appears to have remained on board, happily. I can hear the baby screaming it’s lungs out in the terminal.
1555 – in the air again. Amazing!! No checks etc again. Lol. You gotta love Africa!!
There’s now a boy of about 8 in the co pilots seat. I preferred it empty. At least I could’ve climbed in if anything had hit the fan!! I’d love to have a go at the controls of this beauty. Though preferably not in extremis!! Still the way our trips been going…..
Arrived without drama, astonishingly. So did my bag. Grabbed a taxi to Stone Town and booked into a back packers for the night. It’s quite cool – poe!! An absolute rabbit warren though. Time for a shower and a wine, I believe!!

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