Plans Unravelled - New Plans Made.

Trip Start Feb 01, 2005
Trip End Dec 31, 2020

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Flag of United Arab Emirates  ,
Thursday, January 20, 2011

 "If nothing ever changed there'd be no butterflies" (author unknown) is a good philosophy when plans unravel and new plans need to be made!

We needed to make new plans.

We had return flights booked from Dubai to Khartoum, Sudan, for a 4 day visit due to leave 2 days after we arrived in Dubai (from South America). We had booked these after Ebony's January Emirates work roster had come out and we knew she would be away for these days but back after wards when we could have some good catch up time together. Sudan is steeped in history and has some ancient pyramids not far from Khartoum (think Wilbur Smith books, and many movies of Britains failed epic effort to retain control) that can be viewed, we had read, without all the crowds of tourists around, as per in Egypt. Importantly, we could fly there with Emirates. 

We arrived back from South America the night of Thursday the 20th and had some brief catch up time with Ebony before some sleep, then seeing her off for her departure for work (to New York) at 5.30am. Later in the day, we were researching accommodation options for Khartoum and couldn't find any. We had read that there was some ongoing political strife due to the South wanting to cecede from the North and so went on to the Australian Government Travel Advisory Website and found the Australian Government listed it as a  "Do Not Travel" category and further more no "visas on arrival" were being issued. Whoops! 

Sudan was not going to happen this trip. 

We spent Saturday the 22nd, the day we were supposed to have been flying, debating whether to go somewhere else or bring forward out flights back to Australia which were not scheduled for 12 more days. Looking at Ebony's work schedule we knew we could spend Australia Day with her and a few days around it, but she was pretty much working for the rest of the time. She would however be back the night before we were due to fly out for Australia. This left us plenty of time to go somewhere else from Dubai - or back home earlier. We emailed back and forth with Ebony who was in New York, and sick with a virus, and consequently could not work the next flight back as per her roster.
Ebony suggested Nepal. 

We had planned for Nepal to be on our next trip but somehow the idea took hold. We got on the Internet and found some extremely cheap flights with a new airline "Fly Dubai" that Ebony had suggested we try  -  got excited -  and booked to depart early Thursday 27th Jan, the day after Australia Day, returning the night before we were due to fly back to Australia.  

We double checked the visa status was "on arrival"! 

So with a new plan in place we enjoyed a couple of days of rest and relaxation at Ebony's apartment and got to know her flatmates, Michelle and Juliet. Ebony came back Monday night and we enjoyed time together on Tuesday, having a late breakfast out, going to the movies and the Dubai Mall. Wednesday was Australia day but we had trouble finding any function that was offering anything special for lunch. There were some Australia Day themed functions for the evening but as both Ebony and ourselves had early flights, lunch was to be our celebration. 

In the end it was to the nearby "Irish Club" we went to celebrate Australia Day. (A bit of an oxymoron or just - "Irish"!) We had a great lunch, then Ebony pulled scrabble out of her bag and we enjoyed 2 games, with Ebony the winner of both. Our concession to it being Australia
Day was Ebony and I drank Fosters beer but Avan stuck to the wine (supposedly Australian shiraz).

So, buoyed up, and ready to visit a new and different country, we went back to the apartment for an early night, ready for the morning's flight to Kathmandu - excited that Khartoum was now Kathmandu and sure that we would find it to be our metaphoric "butterfly" of change.
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Ebony on

Dads not going to be happy with this entry! He won the second game of scrabble by a point remember :)

heatheravan on

Yeah, but he has conceeded that Oz is not a word, even if it was Australia day!!! On checking the dictionary today he discovered it is in fact in there twice as an abbreviation for ounce and as a noun, Australian slang for Australia. But then on checking the Scrabble two letter word list - no listing. Result Ebony wins!!.

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