Monday, August 6, 2018

A Day of Mishaps

If I said everything went smoothly Sunday, I would be wrong.  Here's our saga . . .

In the morning, the electricity (and water) turned off in the middle of my shower, and did not go back on until I was fully dressed.

While charging camera batteries, we encountered unstable power conditions that began melting one of our chargers, and could have started a fire if left unchecked.

We were scheduled to shoot in a local craft market, but our rides never showed up.  When our hotel arranged for taxis, they took us to the wrong market.  This can probably be attributed to a language barrier, but we're not sure because our French is limited and their English is non-existent.

On the way back to the hotel, the taxi ran out of gas.  When we climbed into the back of another taxi, our extra weight caused the frame to rub against the rear tires, so we couldn't go more than half a block before stopping.  Luckily, our first taxi driver came back with some gas in a old Tide detergent bottle, so we eventually made it to the hotel.

We had a flight to Port Gentil that afternoon, and when we arrived, there was no vehicle there to pick us up.  We hired several taxis, but none of the drivers knew where our hotel was located.  They took us to another property and were convinced it was where we were staying.  Alas, it was not.  We finally found our hotel and went to check in . . only to discover it was closed due to refurbishment.  In fact, it had been under construction for over two years and yet someone answered the phone, confirmed our reservation and accepted advanced payment.  Note that this hotel is part of a globally-known chain of high-end properties, and even the corporate office was unaware it was not open.  How in the world, in the modern age, can this happen???

It all ended better than expected, as we were able to stay in another nearby establishment, and will be reimbursed for the payment we made to the one under construction.  I guess the only other mishap is that we ordered dinner at a restaurant and the meals came exactly two hours later.

Welcome to West Africa!