Category Archives: Travel Days

Four Countries, Four Hours of Sleep

Somewhere around the three-quarters mark of our 11-hour flight from London to Johannesburg (the second of three flights), when I was tired, hungry, cold, and unable to remedy any of the aforementioned problems, I thought that we would never reach Mozambique and that we would be on that flight forever. (I may occasionally tend toward the dramatic.)

Happily, I was wrong, and we made it to Maputo, Mozambique this morning. We arrived tired and in desperate need of a shower, and, while we’ve each had a nap and a shower, I think I still need a good ten hours more sleep before I feel like a human again. (If this post rambles or is incoherent, now you know why.)

Maputo | source

We left cold, snowy Chicago on Saturday afternoon for our three-part journey to Maputo. The first leg took us to London, where we lucked out and had a gorgeous day. It was sixty degrees and sunny, and so we wandered around the city, soaking up sunshine and admiring the springtime flowers. We ate samosas alongside the Thames and watched the London Eye spin, and met a former colleague of Marc’s for coffee and got a tour of her neighborhood.

London Eye & River Thames

We boarded the plane to Johannesburg exhausted and prepared for a nice long nap, but we ended up only sleeping minimally. (I got four hours, more than Marc.) Instead, we watched movie after movie (and, in my case, three episodes of Cheers, which I was delighted to find in the British Airways in-flight entertainment system) in the darkened cabin and lamented our inability to sleep.

Finally, that flight ended and, after some typical international transfer formalities, we boarded a plane to Maputo. The flight from Johannesburg to Maputo was short (basically just long enough to be served a tiny bagel sandwich and cheese danish). It seemed like we spent more time waiting in line for a visa at the Maputo airport than we did on the flight, but that’s probably just an exaggeration. (After all, no one was serving me cheese danishes to distract me while in line for the visa.)

Our friend picked us up at the airport and brought us home, leaving us with the all-important decision of what we should do first: nap or shower. Having done both, it may finally be time to pick up the guidebooks and decide what we are going to do now that we are here.