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Leaving Tripoli

In the 24 hours from my last blog, things got quite bad in Tripoli. All the aggro had been in the East, but on Sunday night, Tripoli took off. The FCO upgraded their advice to get out. We got flights booked on the first flight out on Monday morning. An unsettling night, to say the least. We could hear gunfire in the distance from the town centre and sometimes from quite near.
Our driver picked us up at 6.00 as arranged and we set off for the airport.
We weren’t planning to go through the centre of Tripoli as we could clearly still hear the occasional gunshot. Our first route attempt was blocked. We set off to Tajura, the opposite direction for the airport but the chance to completely circle Tripoli and hopefully avoid any trouble. We passed a couple of burnt-out cars and some evidence of makeshift barricades; no people however.

We eventually got to the airport after an hour’s driving via 3 very serious searches of the car by armed “soldiers”. It is not nice to have a gun pointed at you by a young guy nervously peering in the car in the dark.

I’ve just let my mate who is travelling with me read what I’ve written to date and he says “You’ve fucking sugar coated that my friend”.

So, after the expected busy, busy airport and the long wait to check-in along with a large number of incredibly patient and calm fellow travellers, I’m heaving a large and long sigh as the Airbus 320 sails over Corsica.

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