Bonjour! Paris to Pointe Noire

August 6, 2013

Dear Family and Friends,

Hope you are well, and Happy Birthday Dad!!!!!

It’s been a long few days and I have not really slept, aside from a few hours here and there, since Saturday night. It’s early on Tuesday night, but I’m about to shut my eyes. On Sunday I had a nice day and took a late evening flight to Paris. I arrived in Paris CDG around 11:00 A.M., left my bag with a secure service in the airport, and took the train into the city.

There was a long line to get the tickets for the metro into the city, but the process was pretty easy. It takes one half hour to get from the airport to the city centre. First, I walked around the left bank area for a while trying to find the perfect place for lunch and ended up eating a very fluffy omelet at a brasserie. I sat outside and the waiters were very stereotypical quirky French waiters. It rained for five minutes while I was eating and then it got sunny. Paris is really pretty. There are miles and miles of grand buildings and cute small streets. I have only been there once before, a long time ago with my Grandma!

After lunch, I took my sister’s suggestion and used the Bikeshare program to get around the city faster. I was not impressed with the condition of many of the bikes (flat tires, broken seats, loose breaks) and it took me a while to find a suitable one. I tried to wander aimlessly as much as possible because in west Africa I probably won’t be able to wander aimlessly taking safety for granted.

I took the train back to the airport and got psyched for the trip to Congo. On the flight, I thought the guy sitting next to me was totally weird, but it turns out he was fine. The flight was long – seven and a half hours – but uneventful aside from a few bouts of serious turbulence. The movies available on Air France are

It was chilly in Pointe Noire when we arrived this morning at 6 AM.  I was asked to present my letter of invitation into ROC at Immigration so it was good I had it handy. The exterior of the airport was just as crazy as you might imagine. I found a taxi and headed to the hotel. There was no way for me to exchange USD (they don’t sell XAF at the airport in Paris and the exchange counter was not yet open in Pointe Noire so I had to pay the driver in USD and he was not thrilled about that. I overpaid him, but it was OK because I got to the hotel safely. That’s a lesson… make sure you have some of the local currency before you arrive in a place (or be Certain you can get it immediately!) Duh.

Also staying at the hotel is a man I had met in the line to board the plane in Paris. He is Bruno from Croatia and convinced me to not go to sleep right when arriving at the hotel but take a shower and go to work cause that’s what works for him! I was happy to find out the shower is fabulous. The hotel is solid, and the shower is not luxurious but it’s very good. I ate breakfast with Bruno and he gave me some good info on Pointe Noire. The breakfast at the hotel is fabulous. I had a mini salami and cheese sandwich, some pineapple, cucumbers, and a one-egg omelette that I put inside the sandwich.

After that I started surveying and didn’t get back until 5:30. It was Such a productive day. I broke for lunch at a little restaurant and had some fish, which was very delicious.

There are a lot of bugs here and the flies are pretty slow – I can tell because I’ve killed two just in the time it has taken me to type the text so far. For dinner I am eating some leftover granola in my room because I’m too wiped out to sit down for a meal. Looking forward to a productive day tomorrow!

Love, Annie

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2 Responses to “Bonjour! Paris to Pointe Noire”


  1. Loved this post Annie! So glad you are good! I miss you already. Dad and I on our way to the boat for a birthday cruise. Love you so much!!!!

  2. Marlene clayton Says:

    Thank you, it was so good to hear from you.love


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