BELARE 2006/2007 - Flight briefing before a cold night

We spent the morning at the ALCI pre-flight briefing and talking with the pilots about our plans for the coming days. The call finally came at 18.00H – the flight would depart as planned at 23.00H tonight. We were collected at the Lady Hamilton hotel and arrived at the airport for the passport and immigration controls. Heavily laden with our cameras, Leica, inmarsat and other electronics, we sweated profusely in our warm clothing as Bernard Gaum ushered us through the airport to the aircraft waiting on the tarmac. No time for a little last minute duty frees.

The flight was organised by the Norwegian Air Force in a Lockheed Orion, dating back to the late 1980's. A cold night announced itself with doubled force after the balmy climes of Cape Town. "It will be cold at night" announced the flight engineer. And so it was. Extremely cold. As the Belgians woke blearily during the night to wrap themselves unconvincingly in scarves and other gear close at hand, they realised that the Norsemen have a gift of understatement.