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Merry Christmas!

TANZANIA | Friday, 25 December 2009 | Views [537]

I’m writing this on Christmas morning from the KIA Lodge just outside Kilimanjaro airport (and Mt. Kilimanjaro herself).  This isn’t getting posted until later because, well, despite the exorbitant amount of money I’m paying for this hotel (it’s the only one near the airport – others are an hour and a $50 taxi ride each way) their internet access is not working.  Which really sucks.

I’m here because I’m supposed to fly to Kigali today on RwandAir – an overnight at KIA was required since there is no direct way to get from Dar Es Salaam to Kigali, despite the fact that they are capital cities of neighboring countries.  So I flew from Zanzi to Dar to Kili and am trying to catch the one flight to Kigali today… except I don’t have a ticket yet.  And the airport ticket desk won’t open until 2 hours before the flight.  So I’m going to show up at 3:30 and hope that there is a ticket available (likely) and that it is the same price that I tried to reserve it for two weeks ago (unlikely).  The problem is that RwandAir takes “bookings” online but you can’t pay online so they ask you to wire money.  But when they sent the email about wiring money they never included bank information so I could do so, and when I replied asking for the bank info they never wrote back.  Not to any of my three emails in the last two weeks.  And they don’t answer their phone.  So… who knows if I will get there or not.

Complicating matters, I don’t have a place to stay in Kigali when I arrive, and I’m getting there after dark.  Very few places had websites or email addresses to book online and when I decided to try for a more upscale one that did… well I have no internet access to try. 

So to recap: Christmas, no airplane ticket, no hotel, no internet.  And the lodge just tried to charge me an extra $25 “Christmas fee” when I checked out even though it was not included in my bill when I reserved here.  When I showed them that bill they said it was a mistake.  Twice now I’ve been charged for more than originally billed when I’ve gone to pay because they made a mistake.  Why must I pay for their mistakes?  Shouldn’t they absorb the cost of their mistakes?  It makes me very wary of all prices here.  Why should I enter into a contract with you if you reserve the right to charge me more later on? 

Oh, and my credit card was declined even though I told Citibank I’d be traveling in these countries during these dates.  Good thing I brought a backup…

Merry Christmas!

Tags: adventure, christmas, crappy travel days, kigali, kilimanjaro

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