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2006.03.27 - Monday - Tripoli to Benghazi -  After lunch, we went to the Tripoli airport. It was controlled chaos, since we had to sort out our luggage, some of which was brought on a separate bus. Then we were all checked in as a group, since the tour operator held all the airline tickets. The flight to Benghazi was on a Buraq Air Boeing 737-300. We departed on time, cruised at 460kt at 29,000ft. The flight was 90% full of Bestway Tours' three groups. At Benghazi Airport, we boarded our bus for the Garyounis Resort.  We had a police escort the whole way - complete with sirens and flashing lights!

When we arrived, my bag was missing. Eventually it was found on one of the other buses. We had supper at 8:30pm, which was quite late. Afterwards, Ralph told us the eclipse camp arrangements had changed. Apparently our camp was hit with a sand storm. Additionally, the government had security concerns, and insisted our camp be moved to south of Jalu on the centerline. This is actually a bonus, because we would have had to be bused to the centerline in the morning from where we were to camp originally.

2006.03.28 - 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.

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2006.03.30 - Thursday - Benghazi to Tripoli - This morning we packed, had breakfast, and checked out of the Garyunis Resort by mid-morning. First stop was a walking tour of Benghazi's high end shopping area and its Souk. We found a great fabric shop with some amazing patterns and colours on imported fabrics. Several women in our group bought lots of fabric to take back home. We had lunch at a Turkish restaurant, which served us a very nice meal: salad, grilled ground meat (skinless sausages) and chicken chunks, and warm flatbread. Benghazi is relatively new, since it was badly bombed during WW II.

Photo by Geoff Brown
Giant Mu'ammar Gaddafi sign, Garyounis Resort behind. Benghazi

Freeway in Benghazi

Square with Mosque & minaret tower, Benghazi

Shops in the Souk, Benghazi

Imported fabrics, Benghazi

We were then driven to the airport and departed for Tripoli on Buraq Air's 737-200. We are staying at a different hotel this time: Bab Al-Bahr Hotel. I think it is a grade better than Al-Safina Hotel, where we were staying before. The only problem is that it isn't close to the Souk, so several folks in my group hire taxis to take then to and from. Personally, I'm not interested in more shopping, and decide to catch up on my blog at the Internet Café located in the lobby.  Several clients in the Internet Café see me posting my eclipse photo, and want the URL to send in their email messages to their friends and family.

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