January 12, 2015


Nairobi, Kenya

Mount Kilimanjaro seen from the flight to Nairobi.
Mount Kilimanjaro seen from the flight to Nairobi.

I woke up at 06:30 today, sleeping through the alarms I had set, though, fortunately, not by much. I then got ready, packed my bags, checked out of the hotel I had come to know so well in Moshi, and then walked to the bus stop in the center of town. Once there, I found the bus bound to Arusha and took it about halfway to Kilimanjaro Airport; since the bus was so crowded and I had my two large bags with me, I dropped the bags out the window and then jumped out the window myself (much easier this way); I then started to walk the remaining six kilometers south to the airport, passing by many locals with motorbikes willing to take me there for a small price; I had no desire to ride a motorbike to the airport, but when one of the drivers offered to let me use his helmet, I figured I probably should to save time; so I sat on the back seat of the motorbike with the helmet over my head and he drove me to the departure terminal. Once I had arrived safely at the airport, I paid the motorbike driver and walked inside; while I waited to check in, I had a cafe mocha and a red bull to set my mind right. I then checked in, used most of my remaining Tanzanian currency on snacks, and then waited to board the airplane that would soon be taking me to Nairobi. When the announcement came for myself and others to depart, we walked outside and were guided to the Embraer 170 aircraft operated by Kenya Airways; I found my seat and relaxed while the remaining passengers boarded the plane. Soon the plane took off down the runway and turned north in flight toward Nairobi; almost immediately we were greeted with grand views of Mount Kilimanjaro, towering well above the cloud coverage surrounding the grand mountain. On board the flight we were also given juice and a quaint bowl of cashews and macadamia nuts; actually this flight was very nice and enjoyable, and I was glad I chose Kenya Airways instead of Precision Air (I was still bitter about my flight from Dar es Salaam to Moshi). Finally, after less than an hour of being airborne, the plane landed in Nairobi, at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

Once at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, I exited the plane and took the bus for arrivals (there was another bus for transfers, which all but three passengers took). I then had to buy my Visa at Immigration, and, just like when I arrived in Tanzania, I had to exit the terminal to use an ATM to grab cash before walking back inside to purchase my Visa (crazy!); after getting my Visa and stamped in, I then used a taxi to take me to the lodge I reserved a dorm bed at (it is advisable to use licensed taxis operated by the airport or called by reputable hotels and establishments while in Nairobi since there are many stories of unlawful taxis taking patrons to a secluded area and robbing them; so, in other words, I am being held hostage by Nairobi’s terrible reputation and I will have to put up with paying whatever high prices the taxi drivers here demand). After driving for almost an hour and after the taxi driver had to check around with several locals to find the place and after he finally had to call the place and have someone help show him the way, I made it to the lodge (it doesn’t help that there were no signs present). I then checked in to the lodge (which is located right next to the Vice President’s Residence in the upscale neighborhood known as Karen), dropped my bags off, and had lunch (garlic spaghetti with a bowl of minced beef sauce and a beer). I then relaxed for the remainder of the day since it was past 15:00 when I finished lunch and all the attractions would be closing in an hour or two. Later on I met a New Zealand woman staying at the same lodge and we talked about our travels for a while – she is actually looking for a house for her and her husband to live in when they move here in about two months. When it was supper time, I had two samosas stuffed with ground beef, fried fish with a delicious peanut sauce, and beer. I talked with the New Zealand woman some more, arranged for a taxi to pick me up at 10:30 the next morning to see the Elephant Orphanage, and then I retired for the night, eventually falling asleep under my mosquito netting.

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