Posts Tagged ‘Nairobi’

It was very wet and muddy with most fields running excess water into roadside gutters.  Large puddles were everywhere.


Puddles, puddles, puddles  P1260005  DY of jtdytravels


…and more puddles  P1260008  DY of jtdytravels

It is partly overcast as it has been nearly every day since my arrival in Africa.

There is a head cold developing on the bus, I hope I don’t catch it or be the carrier to the next group.  I’m OK so far.

Today we retraced our first day back into Nairobi.  It was foggy most of the way once we got to the high pass where we looked down into the Rift Valley on our way out of Nairobi.  The road is nearly all, if not all, downhill for nearly 3000 feet.  It is a long way down under brakes. We made it OK and so came to the end of a memorable African sojourn.

Thanks for coming along with me on an armchair ride!

Now it’s time to move on to my next adventure.  D

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The day started well until a loud explosive air hiss came from below our feet in our new truck.  Most thought that a tyre had blown out.  We came to a slower stop than I would have expected for such an event. The driver wriggled under the vehicle amidships and attempted to fix a high pressure air supply line.


How can I fix this with a screwdriver?  P1090171  DY of jtdytravels

Being a new truck that had not been properly fitted out for our trip there was only a screwdriver available to fix the problem.  A call was put out to anyone who had any tape.  This, of course, made little impact on the problem due to the high pressure involved.  We deduced that the air line had something to do with the breaks.  Eventually the driver somewhat admitted defeat when he went across the road to a service station and came back with a bicycle inner tube.  This, along with some more tape, actually did the job.  We were off after a one and three quarter hour stop.

Whilst all this was happening most of the younger guys and one of the girls kicked a soccer ball around on a large grassy field beside where we had stopped.


The kids came out to play  P1090174  DY of jtdytravels

Great fun was had by all until it was time to leave.  The biggest boy in the group grabbed the ball and made off with it on his bicycle.  We had naively hoped that the ball could have been shared a little more equally by those involved in the game – how silly of us!

The Ugandan border was not all that far away.  We passed many, many trucks all lined up waiting their turn to be processed.  I counted over 100 on our way back.  The drivers can expect to wait from three to seven days to get through the paperwork and inspections.


Tourist buses get priority – thankfully  P1090165  DY of jtdytravels

Once we arrived at the border, foreigners in buses are given priority, we lined up at the appropriate windows to be processed without trouble.  That was until it was my turn!  I handed my passport through the window to the Immigration officer on the other side.  He looked at it hard and long and then motioned me to come into his office through a nearby door.  He said my visa had expired, as indeed, on my inspection, it had!

I had been given a Transit Visa on arrival at Nairobi airport by the lady Immigration officer.  This was valid for a 72 hour stop.  She asked me how long I was staying, to which I said I was leaving on the 17th and, did she want to see my itinerary?  She said she didn’t and gave me the visa.  I guess I was partly to blame as I should have known that I was to be in Kenya for four days not three, but after X hundreds of hours on the go, through various time zones etc. the error did not compute with me either.

So, now back to leaving Kenya.  The Immigration officer quizzed me on why I had a Transit Visa if I was to be in Kenya for four days.  I explained that his colleague in Nairobi had made the decision to issue me a Transit Visa.  He said I hadn’t paid enough.  I said that I was not trying to avoid paying whatever I should have and could I pay the extra now.  He ignored me while he attended to other people who passed their ‘all-in-order’ passports through his window.  I wondered what was going to happen.  He eventually returned to my passport and asked if I was coming back to Kenya?  Yes, was my answer.  How long will you be staying?  Overnight, I ventured as an answer.  He picked up his visa stamp and slammed it down on my Transit Visa and said, this is an official warning, and handed me back my passport.  Somewhat relieved, I meekly left his presence saying ‘asanti sana’, thank you very much.  We ALL continued on our way to our camping place at the Red Chilli in Kampala, crossing the Nile River at Jinja on the way.  We were to return to Jinja for a two night stop on our way back to Nairobi.


The Nile River  P1090183  DY of jtdytravels

Along the way we passed black and blue cloth traps.  These were about 750mm x 750mm x 750mm and were seen swinging in trees.  Ingwe explained that they were traps for tse-tse fly, in other words, the insect that causes sleeping sickness.


More anon    David

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[Finally, I’m in Nairobi,   Latitude:  -1.292,  Longitude:  36.822,  Elevation:  1663.2m (5456.8ft), is the capital of Kenya.  The population of Kenya is:  37,954,000 (est. 7/08) and it has an area of 582,650sq km.]

This is my catch up day.  I decided to arrive a day earlier than the group for that very reason.  This tour is described by Intrepid Travel as ‘Basix’.  That translates to a tour that has none of the inclusions that many travellers don’t want and accommodation at a 1-2 star rating – no fancy inclusion there either!  There is plenty of free time built in, optional activities and the freedom to choose meals to suit your budget – not that that is an option on this tour as there are no alternative places to get food other than from our own camp kitchen at most of our destinations.  All this has not turned out to be a surprise as I realised what I was in for – it was the itinerary that mattered most.  (It will be a tad different on the Denmark, Iceland, Greenland, Orkney, Shetland and Faroe Island part of my time away.  I’m glad the tours are in the order they are as it is so much better to go up a peg than stepping down a couple.)

This, in part, is no doubt the reason why there was no butter at breakfast this morning!  Maybe I should have asked for margarine?  Nonetheless there was plenty to eat if only two cereals (corn flakes or Vita Brits), a couple of hot dishes (I never have a cooked breakfast), two kinds of fruit juice (mango or orange), slices of watermelon, honey dew and rock melon, brown and white bread and a couple of ‘Danish pastries’, to choose from.  Who needs more!

I’ve had time and the inclination to look around the grounds with a little better realisation of what I’m seeing this morning.  There are a number of tall eucalypts, casuarinas and Silky oaks along with palms, Bauhinia and Bougainvillea, Monstera, Hibiscus and some other tropical plants I recognise but don’t remember their names.  There is a decent sized swimming pool but as the temperature is only expected to get to 17 degrees today, I’ll give that volume of cold water a wide berth.

Kivi Milimani Hotel, Nairobi, Gardens and pool
P1080886 DY of jtdytravels

Apart from the Maribou storks I saw yesterday, there are quite a number of other birds around this leafy part of Nairobi.  Most frequent are the grey/buff chested crows/ravens.  They caw just like their relatives all over the world.  There are whistling kites, some ducks and numerous small birds that quickly flit through the foliage, that fast it is impossible to know what they even resemble.

There is a TV in my room but I haven’t bothered turning it on.  Of course, there is no mini bar, toiletries, except a small cake of soap, no extra blankets or tea making facilities.

I’ve done my washing and half sorted and repacked my bags.  It is not far off lunchtime.

There’s not a lot to doP1080887    ©  DY of jtdytravels

As in many African countries, there is a lot of just sitting around. So why don’t I join them? D

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