Monday, February 17, 2014

Kenya Day One -- The Getting There

Monday, February 17

After sweating it out on Saturday with a dusting of snow that was predicted to be 10-12 but ended up being only 3, I was up and out for my 630pm flight.  Thankfully for snowstorms we managed to make it to Amsterdam in a little over 6 hours, which was pretty quick.  Too quick to sleep with any substance.

A very quick 2 hour layover at Schipohl passed with a flash and off I went on KLM to Nairobi.  The Economy Comfort on this plane was great, about 10 rows 3x2 in its own separate little cabin.  Extremely comfortable and a very smooth flight down, 7 hours and 20 minutes.  It seems as though they did nothing but feed us.  Started with a snack of almonds, then lunch of vegetarian gemelli, then an ice cream snack, then a calzone with pasta salad.  I only managed to watch two movies, I dozed for a lot of it and it went by quicker thank I expected, thankfully.

I'm looking forward getting to Nairobi and getting settled in.  And tomorrow off to the bush!

Arrivals at Nairobi were chaotic...understatement of the year.  Since the fire in August that destroyed the arrivals terminal, they retrofitted a parking garage for customs, immigration and baggage claim.  It is exactly what you're picturing, I suspect.

I stood in line for the visa.  Despite my conscientiously filling out the visa form, as usual all they really cared about was the $50 fee as they hardly read the form.  I then went and exchanged $580 for 48,000 shillings, which makes me feel rich for about 10 seconds.  With my three inch wad of bills, I then made my way to the baggage carousel where I stared at the same 50 bags for an hour.  Staff had been yanking bags off and piling them up seemingly indescriminantly.  Finally I realized my bag was in a pile behind the carousel.  How I was supposed to find it is beyond me.

I grabbed my bag and met my Gamewatchers rep outside.  A Kenyan club football team had just returned from a victorious away game, so it was more chaos still outside in the parking lot.  We made our way about 10 minutes to the Eka Hotel, where I settled in for the night.  The bed was hard but it didn't stop me from sleeping, thank you Ambien.  I cannot believe I'm here and this is all happening again.

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