Not much to report today. We were up early (again! – this is becoming a habit) and heading to the airport by 7am. We were there with loads of time to spare for our 10.45 flight, so we browsed in the shops & generally hung about. The fun part of travelling – not. But the time passed & we were on our way to Nairobi. The flight was tolerable. The plane was a smaller one and didn’t have the snazzy entertainment system (such as movies on demand), but I planned to spend the time sorting & editing photos. Which went fine for the first 10 minutes, until the person in front of me reclined their seat, and there was no way I could open my laptop. Seriously, if they are going to squash so many rows in a plane, I don’t think the seats ought to recline! I managed, with my laptop tilted at a strange angle and my elbows close to my ears – and then promptly slept most of the way anyway.
We got a great view of Dubai as we took off. We were hoping to see the Palm, and probably would have if we’d been on the other side of the plane, but we did fly right over “The World”, which was kind of cool.
“The World”. I said we flew over it, not that we got a great view of it!
We really enjoyed our 3 days in Dubai, but the whole purpose of this entire trip is the Kenya photo safari, which begins tomorrow, and we can’t wait!! All we have seen of Nairobi so far is the road from the airport to the hotel, but it was just as I had imagined it. Noisy, crowded, colourful, dry & dusty, generally run down. The traffic is chaotic, the streets full of cars, buses & trucks, most of them well past their prime. There are bicycles loaded high with packages, “traditionally built” women in colourful garb and elegant young women with fabulous jewellery & elaborate hairstyles, beggars and businessman,goats and chickens, acacia trees and bougainvillea.
There are security guards everywhere, which is both unnerving & reassuring. Our shuttle from the airport was scanned for bombs before it was allowed to drive up to the hotel (but after we spent an hour driving in it), and we were had to go through a scanner ourselves before entering the hotel lobby. Everywhere you go in the hotel there are guards keeping an eye out. Nice to know they are there, but shame they are needed. We have been warned enough times about the security risks in Nairobi, so elected to stay in the hotel tonight. We had a cocktail by the pool (real ones this time) and dinner in the hotel restaurant, which is decorated like a railway station cafeteria from the 1930’s. Very cleverly done. It is a “themed” restaurant, and tonight’s theme was African food, so we got to sample lots of mostly unidentified foods (it was a buffet) – delicious but mysterious. There is also a lounge for guests which feels like it is straight out of an Agatha Christie novel.
So looking forward to meeting up with Chris Bray & Jess tomorrow evening, and especially to seeing Jan (and Rex too). And we will get to meet the other people in our safari group.
Hardly any photos today, since the most interesting sights were through the window of a speeding car – but I have finally uploaded the photos from 2 days ago. Check them here.