Monday, November 12, 2012

Charlie takes to the air

'Hurray! I'm going on my holidays,' said Charlie. 'Look, I've packed my rucksack.'

'What have you got in that big bag?' asked Abba.

'I've got my pyjamas and my toothpaste and my favourite book to read at night.'

'Well, it certainly looks as if you've got everything,' said Abba. 'Let's go downstairs and put the luggage in the car.'

'But I thought we were going by plane,' said Charlie.

'We are,' said Abba, 'but we have to drive to the airport first.'

'Wow, that's a posh car!' said Charlie.

Robert the driver loaded the rucksack into the car. 'Not you, Charlie,' he said. 'You have to sit on the car seat.'

'Oh all right,' said Charlie, 'But don't leave my bag behind.'

'I won't,' said Daniel. 'I'll make sure it goes to Kidepo with you.'

They all got into the car: Granny, Abba, Granny's friend Sue and Abba's friend Tommy - and Charlie himself, off course!

Soon they arrived at the airport.

First they left their bags at the passenger terminal and then they walked down to the airstrip itself.

'Here we are, Charlie' said Abba. 'Time for a wander around before we leave. Let's see if we can find our aeroplane. I wonder if it's still in the hangar.'

'What's a hanger?' said Charlie.

'It's a big shed where they keep the aeroplanes when they're not being used,' said Abba.

'Oh look,' said Charlie. 'Is that our aeroplane?'

'I don't think so,' said Abba. 'It's a helicopter that needs to be mended. It's got no blades to go round and round and keep it up in the air.'

'What about this one?' said Charlie.

'No, that's too big,' said Abba.

'Too big!' exclaimed Charlie. 'It looks pretty small to me. What about this one?'

'No, that one's too small,' said Abba. 'Oh look, there's a plane taking off.'

'Oh no!' said Charlie. 'I hope it's not ours.'

'No, this is ours,' said Abba. 'Look they're putting our luggage in.'

'I hope they've got my rucksack,' said Charlie. 'I'd better go and see.'

'No need for that, Charlie,' said Abba. But it was too late, Charlie was already half way across the tarmac.

'Oh good,' said Charlie. 'That's my rucksack on the top. I'll just settle myself down here so I can keep an eye on it.'

'You can't travel in the luggage compartment, Charlie,' said the man in charge. 'Anyway, you've got to go back to the office and get weighed first.'

'Get weighed?' said Charlie. 'Why do I need to get weighed?'

'Because it's only a little plane,' said Abba, 'and the pilot's got to make sure that the passengers are not too heavy.'

'Oh, all right then,' said Charlie.

First Abba was weighed, and he was okay, as he'd stopped eating chocolate biscuits which used to make him fat.

Then Granny got weighed. She was just okay, but needed to do more exercise. Still, the pilot said they'd let her on the plane.

And last of all, Charlie got weighed, and he was just right.

'Is it time to go now?' asked Charlie.

'Yes, we're right on time,' came a voice behind Charlie's shoulder.

'Who are you?' asked Charlie.

'I'm the pilot. My name is Daniel.'

'Pleased to meet you, Daniel,' said Charlie. 'I'm called Charlie.'

'Time to climb aboard,' said Daniel.

'No, not there Charlie, you'll fall off when we get started. You're going inside the plane,' said Daniel.

So they all got into the plane, Granny, Abba, Granny's friend Sue and Abba's friend Tommy.

First Granny and Charlie climbed through the door.

'I think I'll sit in the front next to the pilot,' said Charlie, 'so I can help him. I can turn all the dials and click all the switches.'

'That might not be a good idea,' said Daniel. 'Why don't you sit in the back? You'll have a lovely view from there.' So Granny and Charlie got in the back.

'Look there's plenty of space, Charlie,' said Granny. 'You can have your own seat.'

Then Abba and Granny's friend Sue sat in the middle seats.

And last of all, in got Daniel and Abba's friend Tommy.

Daniel put his headphone on so that he could talk to the air traffic controller. He turned on the engine and switched some switches. The dials lit up and soon they were up in the air.

At first, Charlie wasn't too sure of things. It was a bit bumpy. Charlie snuggled down on Granny's friend Sue's cardigan.

However, after a bit, it didn't feel so bad. 

'Why don't you look out of the window?' asked Granny. 'You can see Lake Victoria.'

So Charlie turned round and looked out of the window.

He could see lots of things. He could see fluffy white clouds.

He could see rivers.

And trees.

Soon Charlie began to see mountains, lots of mountains.

And then, right in the middle of the mountains was a little airport. Charlie had reached Kidepo.

They all got out of the plane, Granny, Abba, Granny's friend Sue and Abba's friend Tommy.

They looked around them. 

 There was grass everywhere they looked.

Then Charlie saw something in the distance.

'What's that?' he said.

'It's the car that's going to take us to Apoka Lodge,' said Abba.

'Wow! It's fantastic. I've never seen a car like that before. It's almost as good as the aeroplane.' said Charlie.

He turned round and waved goodbye to Daniel the pilot.

'Thank you for a wonderful trip,' said Charlie. 'Now it's time to see all the animals.' 

However, if you want to read about all the animals Charlie saw at Kidepo, you'll have to read the next story!