Monday, March 03, 2008

Nairobi, Kenya

the new and improved nairobi...obviously way more people are well to do now.

Nairobi II, bring it on. But first, the drive in from Eldoret. Eldoret to Nakaru was just brutal. It was easily the worst "paved" road I've ever been on: bone jarring and bone rattling. Hilarious, I just saw one road crew repairing potholes the entire length.

Theoretically, traveling at 100 Km/h, it should have taken 3 hrs. to get to Nairobi. Instead it took 7 painful hours. What can you do?

Rolled into Nairobi at about 4 PM. Plenty of daylight left. I paid particular attention to my surroundings as the bus puttered along the traffic choked roads. Past Westlands, the rich suburb. And into an unrecognizable downtown packed with soaring skyscrapers (back in '91 Nairobi was pretty much a government town with ugly low-level bland characterless buildings). Past the infamous River and then Lagos Roads, each located in the sketchiest part of downtown where violent crime is a common occurrence. Unfortunately, for most travelers, the bus stops in front of the Akamba bus station smack dab in the middle of Lagos Rd.

The streets are just jam packed with people, presumably going home after work. Not too many loiterers. No burning garbage. Those were positive signs.

While waiting for the luggage, a lady, on the same bus, told me to be careful with my stuff. She was nice enough to ask me if I knew where the hell I was going... I showed her the map in the guide book, pointing to the Upper Hill Campsite. She and a few other ladies, concluded that a taxi ride was "the most comfortable way" to get there. She negotiated a taxi fare for me (initially, the ladies were in an uproar over the first quote...I just laughed). I thanked her profusely for her kindness and off I went to the Campsite. I'm beginning to really like Kenya.

The Campsite was indeed on a hill, overlooking downtown. Perfect spot for getting things done. I arrived to find John and Klaus, the Swedish and Danish guys on my Nile rafting trip!!! Holy crap! I thought I'd never see them again [ed. note: they were driving their 4x4 truck all the way home to scandinavia.] They're STILL waiting for their Sudanese visas. [ed. note: long long story. if you're interested in the logistics of "expedited" service, leave me a message.]

Also at Upper Hill is Brittany, an American girl who I met in the Backpackers in Kampala. Damn it's a small world, eh. I think she's been here for about a week. Apparently she has latched onto John & Klaus and been made part of their crew for the trip to Ethiopia. I didn't know this beforehand when I offered to split gas with them for the same trip. They have room for 4 but there's a possibility that they have to take on an armed guard for at least part way after Isiolo. So, I, again, am outside looking in. I wouldn't mind a ride to least. It's a long shot.

Out of Canuckistan, Mar 3/07
Buy Bubba a Beer Now!

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