Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Kenya Day Two -- Getting Out of Nairobi

Tuesday, February 18

Slept like a log and was up and at 'em when the alarm went off.  This hotel has waterfall showers, which, as some may know, is one of my most favoritest things ever.  To go from this to a bush shower in mere hours will be a shock to the system, among other things.

After my last non-bush shower and a quick pack up, I hit the breakfast room.  It was a tremendous buffet of mostly Western (agreeable to US and UK folks) foods.  I had the chef whip me up an omelet, put that with fresh pineapple and a couple of pastries and indulged in the delicious Kenyan coffee.  Oh how I miss that!

My hotel, the Eka, backed up on to the perimeter of the Nairobi National Park, which also abuts Nairobi city center.  So if you were to go inside it for a game ride, chances are you'd see any one of the Big Five (except elephant) with the skyscrapers of the city in the background.  Just odd to me that wildlife manages to coexist with the city environment.

Oliver from Gamewatchers picked me up at 7:30 for my 10:20 flight to Nanyuki, despite the airstrip being not more than 2k from the hotel.  But traffic here is notoriously bad and this morning was no different.  There are no Nairobi natives, so to speak, so everyone who works here is driving in and out together, which creates chaos on the roads.  Oliver asked if I minded "rough roads" and took me on an all mud ring road that was being built to ease congestion on the main Mombassa Road.  So it took about 40 minutes to make it to the airstrip where now I sit and wait.

I'm allowed 31 pounds of luggage on these mini planes and somehow managed to be 6 over.  I did some shopping in the gift shop at the hotel this morning, figuring I wouldn't see another shop for a while.  That couldn't have put me over, but after chastising me, they let me through.

I've just managed my first mosquito bite of the trip.  I lightly applied repellant this morning figuring I wouldn't be out in the wild until lunchtime.  Apparently that's not the case.

A comment on security here, as I know folks are wondering and/or concerned.  Security is ever-present.  My hotel was behind a locked gate and guards swept the vehicle and me on my way in.  Same thing here at the airstrip.  I'm told that they do the same going back into Nairobi airport.  I guess it is for good measure, but it is disconcerting to see armed police just about everywhere.  I'll be happy to be where my biggest threat is a lion.  Ha!

So, going off the grid until next Wed/Thurs.  I'll be writing all the way though and will post updates as soon as I am connected again.

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