And the excitement begins

Nairobi Travel Blog

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Well, I'm on my second full day in Africa and the excitement has already begun.  I'm visiting Nairobi in Kenya until 11 Jan 09 then I'm off to Mombasa in Kenya, and then somehow to Moshi in Tanzania for my slightly larger than Snowdon climb up Mt Kili.  Hopefully all will go smoothly.  So...my adventures.

Day 1. 7 Jan 09

I arrived at Kenyatta airport around 9pm.  All public means of getting to my hostel had ceased.  A taxi would cost around 4,000KSh (aprox 40 pounds). After many calls to my boyfriend for help and comforting words while I shouted my mardy complaints down the phone I finally decided to get a taxi despite the cost.  Yes I had chosen a far out place to stay, that in the end proved so far out that not even the taxi driver knew where it was.  3 hours later after much searching and calls to the guest house (who failed to answer despite the 24hr reception it preaches), I decided to stay in a hostel in the dodgiest part of town - River Road - for a night and somehow sort it out the next day.  I didn't sleep very well, after all my friends put the fear in me I slept hugging my camping bag and valuables listening to my neighbour snore through the night.

Day 2.  8 Jan 09

After I finally managed to drag myself out of bed I went to have a cold shower (not to wake myself up, hot wasn't an option).  There was a knock on the shower door "somebody's here to see you".  Somebody's here to see me even though I've only just arrived and am still a 'Billy no mates'.  Be on your guard Angelique, your naked and have no means of protecting yourself, unless you exfoliate them to death.  As it turned out the lady (Catherine) from the guesthouse had called the taxi driver and found out where I was staying to collect me and apologise.  Brilliant!  One task for the day complete.  Next eat and buy some groceries.  The really nice lady at the guesthouse (Emma) cooked me a traditional beef stew with homemade chips.  Yum.  I then had my first lone experience on a matatu (tiny van with chairs) to the supermarket.  So I wait on a dusty road for the next thing going my way.  What arrived?...a van?...yes...one that I'm sure had been on 'Pimp my Ride'.  They had local music from the radio blaring out, a red velvet interior and large stickers of African athletes stuck to the windows.  I couldn't help but smile.  I made it back to the guesthouse in one piece, much to the amazement of Catherine and Emma.  Ha!  I am a pro traveller.  The next I knew Catherine has made me an honorary Kenyan to be hooked up with a man from her family.  Apparently many men want to marry white women.  Although all the children stare in amazement and can't wait to speak to me.  Catherine's children go into fits of giggles just at the sight of me; they're cute.

Day 3.  9 Jan 09

This is where the excitement begins.  I started with a 2 hour matatu journey across Nairobi over to a little town called Karen.  I then ventured to the AFEW Giraffe Centre, after a few wrong turns I might add.  I managed to have a very up close and personal experience with a few giraffes and learn a few facts.  I even plucked up the courage to go in for a 'giraffe kiss'.  You put a food pellet between your lips and wait for the rough lick of the giraffe.  Well, it was something new.  I was assured that giraffes have an antiseptic in their saliva so they're extremely clean, although it's hard to believe when you're covered in giraffe saliva.
Now for the ride home.  Just a normal Matatu ride to Nairobi?  Yes until we stumbled upon a Muslim protest against Fascism.  It appears they're not too happy with it as a political regime.  The bus screeched round to avoid the masses of people and armed guards running towards us into a clear driveway to hide until it was safe.  After about 10 minutes of hiding we decided to approach the crowds to continue our journey as the other buses and matatus had done.  Obviously it had to be my matatu that the crowds decided to bring to halt.  I then saw out of the window a man lighting something, he then threw it under the bus.  Was this the end of my trip and possibly my life?  Possibly.  No it was tear gas.  I was actually relieved even if my tears and throat were in fiery pain.  As the smoke started pouring into the window I suddenly noticed all the passengers on the floor.  The girl next to me kept shouting to me "Down.  Get Down NOW!" as she grabbed my shirt and pulled me to the floor.  All I could do was breath the fiery air through my shirt as I listened to the crowds cheering while the conductor and bus driver shouted at each other.  Finally the bus started moving.  Everything was fine.  I felt like I'd just been in a war movie; and looking at all the photographers amongst the protesting crowds I kind of was.  There were yet more crowds in Nairobi centre but luckily I managed to avoid them, although there were a few close calls as I turned corners into mayhem.  A police officer laughed at me as I ran in the opposite direction.  Hopefully the next few days will be a little less crazy, maybe a week in might be ready for all this chaos but not 2 days.

beetles108 says:
WoW! What an experience!
Posted on: Oct 19, 2010
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This journal entry is a draft and has not been published yet. Please check back later!
This journal entry is a draft and has not been published yet. Please check back later!
This journal entry is a draft and has not been published yet. Please check back later!

Well, I'm on my second full day in Africa and the excitement has already begun.  I'm visiting Nairobi in Kenya until 11 Jan 09 then I'm off to Mombasa in Kenya, and then somehow to Moshi in Tanzania for my slightly larger than Snowdon climb up Mt Kili.  Hopefully all will go smoothly.  So...my adventures.

Day 1. 7 Jan 09

I arrived at Kenyatta airport around 9pm.  All public means of getting to my hostel had ceased.  A taxi would cost around 4,000KSh (aprox 40 pounds). After many calls to my boyfriend for help and comforting words while I shouted my mardy complaints down the phone I finally decided to get a taxi despite the cost.  Yes I had chosen a far out place to stay, that in the end proved so far out that not even the taxi driver knew where it was.  3 hours later after much searching and calls to the guest house (who failed to answer despite the 24hr reception it preaches), I decided to stay in a hostel in the dodgiest part of town - River Road - for a night and somehow sort it out the next day.  I didn't sleep very well, after all my friends put the fear in me I slept hugging my camping bag and valuables listening to my neighbour snore through the night.

Day 2.  8 Jan 09

After I finally managed to drag myself out of bed I went to have a cold shower (not to wake myself up, hot wasn't an option).  There was a knock on the shower door "somebody's here to see you".  Somebody's here to see me even though I've only just arrived and am still a 'Billy no mates'.  Be on your guard Angelique, your naked and have no means of protecting yourself, unless you exfoliate them to death.  As it turned out the lady (Catherine) from the guesthouse had called the taxi driver and found out where I was staying to collect me and apologise.  Brilliant!  One task for the day complete.  Next eat and buy some groceries.  The really nice lady at the guesthouse (Emma) cooked me a traditional beef stew with homemade chips.  Yum.  I then had my first lone experience on a matatu (tiny van with chairs) to the supermarket.  So I wait on a dusty road for the next thing going my way.  What arrived?...a van?...yes...one that I'm sure had been on 'Pimp my Ride'.  They had local music from the radio blaring out, a red velvet interior and large stickers of African athletes stuck to the windows.  I couldn't help but smile.  I made it back to the guesthouse in one piece, much to the amazement of Catherine and Emma.  Ha!  I am a pro traveller.  The next I knew Catherine has made me an honorary Kenyan to be hooked up with a man from her family.  Apparently many men want to marry white women.  Although all the children stare in amazement and can't wait to speak to me.  Catherine's children go into fits of giggles just at the sight of me; they're cute.

Day 3.  9 Jan 09

This is where the excitement begins.  I started with a 2 hour matatu journey across Nairobi over to a little town called Karen.  I then ventured to the AFEW Giraffe Centre, after a few wrong turns I might add.  I managed to have a very up close and personal experience with a few giraffes and learn a few facts.  I even plucked up the courage to go in for a 'giraffe kiss'.  You put a food pellet between your lips and wait for the rough lick of the giraffe.  Well, it was something new.  I was assured that giraffes have an antiseptic in their saliva so they're extremely clean, although it's hard to believe when you're covered in giraffe saliva.
Now for the ride home.  Just a normal Matatu ride to Nairobi?  Yes until we stumbled upon a Muslim protest against Fascism.  It appears they're not too happy with it as a political regime.  The bus screeched round to avoid the masses of people and armed guards running towards us into a clear driveway to hide until it was safe.  After about 10 minutes of hiding we decided to approach the crowds to continue our journey as the other buses and matatus had done.  Obviously it had to be my matatu that the crowds decided to bring to halt.  I then saw out of the window a man lighting something, he then threw it under the bus.  Was this the end of my trip and possibly my life?  Possibly.  No it was tear gas.  I was actually relieved even if my tears and throat were in fiery pain.  As the smoke started pouring into the window I suddenly noticed all the passengers on the floor.  The girl next to me kept shouting to me "Down.  Get Down NOW!" as she grabbed my shirt and pulled me to the floor.  All I could do was breath the fiery air through my shirt as I listened to the crowds cheering while the conductor and bus driver shouted at each other.  Finally the bus started moving.  Everything was fine.  I felt like I'd just been in a war movie; and looking at all the photographers amongst the protesting crowds I kind of was.  There were yet more crowds in Nairobi centre but luckily I managed to avoid them, although there were a few close calls as I turned corners into mayhem.  A police officer laughed at me as I ran in the opposite direction.  Hopefully the next few days will be a little less crazy, maybe a week in might be ready for all this chaos but not 2 days.

arlene0725 says:
Jambo! I loved Kenya. It seems you like it too. I need another safari in the future. The last one I experienced was in Jan 2000.
Posted on: Jan 09, 2009
Nairobi
photo by: easyjobrob