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G's Africa Travel Journal Graham's Journey to Africa. Starting with climbing Kilimanjaro, a photo safari in Kenya, followed by a 71 day overland trip from Nairobi to Cape Town via the Gorillas in Rwanda & Hot Air Balloon safari over the Serengeti.

Nairobi & a Naked Chinese Man

AUSTRALIA | Sunday, 25 August 2013 | Views [859] | Comments [1]

Sunday 25th August Dubai/ Nairobi

I had a 5 hour wait in Dubai Airport. For those of you who have never transitted through Dubai, it is a seething mass of humanity.  Despite their new 3rd terminal there is a huge number of people and a bit of a shock to the system after living in sleepy Cairns for a couple of years. Managed to get a free meal courtesy of Emirates as I had a long wait.  The free meal was good but apart for 1 thing.  There was some bread with a dip as a side dish.  It looked like a green Duhka with some olive oil.  I dipped the bread in and soaked it in the Duhka and munched away. Holy shit! My mouth was on fire.! Some sort of chilli puree! Not Duhka at all.  You know its bad when your eyes and nose are streaming and you have a whole body sweat on! I think the inside of my nose was sweating!  Jeeeeezus! After tthat the flight from Dubai was pretty uneventful.

However, the arrival at Nairobi was chaotic to say the least.  If you dont follow the news, Nairobi Airport suffered a major fire a couple of weeks ago. The entire building is practically unusable. The plane parks next to the aerobridge, but you can't use it.  So you use a set of stairs that are about 18" too low for the plane, so all the elderly and children have to be lifted down.  Immigration is in a large marquee and quite efficient if you already have a visa.  Luckily I already did.  But for others who didn't it was a bit of a nightmare.  Then onto baggage collection - OMG!! A small tiny part of the building that is left standing and has a bit of a baggage carousel running is all that is available.  2 or 3 flights worth of luggage are on it with luggage handlers taking pieces of luggage off the carousel and putting it on the floor.  There is a horrendous resultant human, luggage and trolley combined traffic jam. You couldn't really see the carousel, so you had no idea if your luggage was on it. There were lots of angry frustrated people. I must be relaxed. I just stood there and smiled to myself and thought "Oh Africa! I have missed your chaos!"  It took ages and also overwhelmed customs in their tiny marquee, so I got passed them without any trouble.

Despite the chaos it is fantastic to be back in Africa! The sights, smells, dust, colours and so on! First time back since 2004.

I took a taxi on a pre-agreed fare to the hotel. While sitting in the cab I noticed chains screwed into the wing mirrors and attaching them to the car.  With the driving I thought it might be to stop them hitting the ground when they get knocked off in the Nairobi traffic. But no, according to the driver it is to stop the street kids stealing them at the traffic lights!  The driving in Nairobi is horrendous! They are worse on round-abouts than you Jas!  Interesting going through Nairobi, it reminded me of the industrial areas of Harare, just dirtier and busier. 

When I got to the hotel, I checked in and went to my room.  Unlocked my room door and walked in to find.................an almost naked, very startled, Chinese gentleman.  It was like a seen out of the Hangover when the guy jumps out the boot of the car, except this guy didn't attack me with a crowbar. "What the f**k is going on?!" I just started laughing and the bellboy was mortified.  All for the good though, they upgraded me to a suite after that trauma.

Went for dinner in the hotel.  Not haute cuisine, but good wholesome food which reminded me of eating at hotels in Zimbabwe in the '90s.  I had Madagascan Peppered Steak with chips and 2 tuskers to wash it down.  Back to the room and watch the cricket while doing some last minute admin and an early night.

Now, I have been asked for some "Travel Tips" over the course of this journey, so here you go:

Travel Tips

1. Avoid Nairobi Airport until it is re-built.

2. Avoid Nairobi Airport until it is re-built.

3. Get your Kenyan Visa BEFORE you travel - I did.

4. Have Kenyan Shilling for the Taxi - I did.

5. Have some single US$1 notes for tips.

 

Tags: africa, airport, dubai, harare, nairobi, visa

 

Comments

1

Why didn't you take a photo of the naked Chinesse man??? LOL

  Rachel Aug 26, 2013 1:51 AM

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