Manchester Airport late afternoon and evening was much quieter than our usual early morning departures. Other than an over-zealous member of security staff creating a backlog of women waiting to be screened, we met up with Heather and Barry and completed the journey to Dubai without to many problems. The time it takes to travel on the bus from the plane to the terminal past acres of concrete only serves to emphasise the amount of energy it takes to keep this city going in a desert. Parts are reminiscent of Los Angeles: concrete, palm trees and oleander. The second leg to Dar es Salaam was better as I had a window seat and three crosswords to tackle with varying success (the New York Times International, the FT Weekend and the Times Middle East & Asia). We flew over the southern part of the Arabian peninsula, the Gulf of Aden and Somalia. Once we reached Kenya it was much greener but as we then flew over the sea, we were too far east to catch a glimpse of Kilimanjaro above the clouds. Having landed in Dar, there was a long wait for our bags and a longer drive to the ocean and our hotel. Tomorrow, a lazy day on the beach devouring guide books and plotting the rest of the trip, is planned, lunch with a friend of Barry’s and at some point a visit to the coral reef islands we saw from above.