Wednesday, June 24, 2009

whiling the time away at the Chake Chake airport in Pemba

By nature, airports are made for waiting. You queue to check in, sit out for the boarding call and endure whatever delays that eventually come your way. That is why, despite the sheer weight of my camera and lenses – I gather my shoulder bag must be at least 5kg heavy – I lug them all with me wherever I go.

Pemba fruit stall outside Chake Chake airport
Pemba fruit stall outside Chake Chake airport

roasted cashew
for sale: roasted cashew

hotel signboards outside the airport
signboards of hotel choices just outside the airport

My stay in Chake Chake airport in Pemba was in reality brief. It was less than an hour in fact but watching time go by with my lens was an interesting observation of culture. Outside the airport, vendors of local mangoes that are known to be sweet and cheap were making brisk sales. Dala dala buses ferried the occasional passenger.

a public dala dala bus from China
a public dala dala bus from China

mosque- Africa Muslims Agency
The minaret is a giveaway for the mosque that is otherwise heralded as “Africa Muslims Agency”

Inside the airport, nothing much transpires either. The waiting room is the typical open-air hall seen in many small airports in Africa. There is a cafeteria selling the prerequisite soda (all Coke products in various forms), smokes and nibbles. Access outside, into the runway, is easy. The small gate is unguarded and no one stops you if you wanted to take a breather. I wasn’t the first one who took the opportunity to roam outside. Was not the last one either.

waiting lounge Chake Chake airport
the solitary waiting lounge of Chake Chake airport

view of the runway
the runway view, as seen from the waiting lounge

our plane ride
the Zan Air plane that was to be our ride to Zanzibar

outdoor stairs
detail of the stairs that lead to the airport roof deck

To go: Chake Chake is the de facto capital of Pemba Island and it is where the local airport is.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

No comments: