March 27, 2006 – Tripoli to Benghazi
After lunch, we go to the Tripoli airport. It is controlled chaos, since we have to sort out our luggage, some of which was brought on a separate bus. Then we are all checked in as a group, since the tour operator holds all the airline tickets. The flight to Benghazi is on a Buraq Air Boeing 737-300. We depart on time, cruise at 460kt at 29,000ft. The flight is 90% full of Bestway Tours‘ three groups. At Benghazi Airport, we board our bus and head for the Garyounis Resort. We have a police escort the whole way – complete with sirens and flashing lights!
When we arrive my bag is missing, but it is found on one of the other buses. We have supper at 8:30pm, and afterwards Ralph tells us the eclipse camp arrangements have changed. Apparently our camp was hit with a sand storm, and the government had security concerns, so they insist our camp be moved to south of Jalu on the centerline. This is actually a bonus, since we would have had to be bused to the centerline in the morning from where we were to originally camp.
March 28, 2006 – Tuesday – Benghazi to Eclipse Camp
We leave at 8AM this morning on our bus headed to the Eclipse Camp, south of Jalu. After stopping to pick up some water and box lunches, we finally get underway at 9:30am for the long journey south to the middle of the Sahara Desert.