Thursday, October 30, 2008

Breanna

Ok, I think it’s been long enough with out hearing anything from me.
Right. After our Nile River rafting adventure in Rwanda we crossed the border into Kenya and stayed in Nakuru for one night camping and the next day we drove to Nanyuki where Ben would be meeting his guide and crew to climb Mt Kenya with. I unfortunately wasn’t included in this hike. Instead I was safely tucked in to the Sportsman hotel for a few days by myself. Don’t worry I didn’t get bored or anything. There were lots of things I could do right on the property. Suntan and swim in the pool, eat and drink (non-alcoholic) at the bar and restaurant, dance all night at the surprisingly busy night club, walk a block or two to the gift shops and market where I could get some fresh fruit and veg, watch movies or catch up on some journal, internet, reading and laundry. It was nice to have some alone time. Ben surprised me and was back a day early because he was so fast hiking. He had an amazing time and loved the view at the top. Good one on him for completing number 6 of his challenges. We met a very nice couple there from Australia who own a camp in Nairobi called The Wildebeest Camp and since we hadn’t any idea where we were going to stay in Nairobi we followed up the offer and went there. On the way we stopped at the cheese factory and bought some amazingly fresh cheeses (Cheddar, Mozzarella, White Stilton, etc). Wow, now that’s the way to go! We stayed a few days there. Did some food stock up at the market, change money, internet stuff, truck repairs, cleaning and repacking, planning and chatting to other travellers for more info.
I really liked the baby elephant and rhino orphanage we had time to visit. The David Sheldrake Trust, is a charity which opened to care for the little orphan animals in the late 1970’s. The sanctuary is only open for one hour a day between 11am and 12pm. I wish it was open longer then that because the babies were SO CUTE! The park is within the Nairobi NP and the little chaps can wander wherever they want but they generally stick close to their keepers. There are 20 in the camp. Most of them have been orphaned by human interaction, some have fallen down wells and got stuck and others have lost their parents but are all taken in and cared for by the dedicated keepers who stay with them 24/7. The youngest of the babies is only 3 months old! Cute, cute, cute! They were given bottles to guzzle down their milk and then played for a while in the mud bath before heading back out into the park. We got a very detailed speech about the park and the babies which was very good. I was sad to leave the little ones when the time was up. Great experience! It reminded me of the elephant sanctuary in Nepal that we went to. I know Sandra spent some time in Kenya . I remember her writing to me and telling me how much she loved it. Yes, it is great! Sandra e-mail me babe!!
From there we crossed the border into Tanzania and stayed in Arusha at the Maasai Camp for a long while. This is where we picked up James (Ben's friend from England who flew out to join us for 2 weeks) and where I was stationed while they climbed Mt Kilimanjaro. Too expensive for my butt, I’m sure it would have been amazing but definitely hard work for sure. Once again I just chilled out for a while and did my thang. I met a huge NGO group from Kenya also staying at the camp and had an awesome time hanging out with them. They treated me so well and I was included in all the meals, fun events and games they were doing as part of their trip. I helped cook, organize and come up with more activities for the group of 40 to participate in. At one point I had their video camera and climbed up a tree for the best birds’ eye view I could get of the camp while they were playing games below me when all of a sudden I felt a tickling at my foot and it was Ben! “What on earth are you doing in a tree?” Again he had come back early and surprised me. He and James hauled ass and finished a few days early. WOW. I was shocked and glad to see them. I guess Ben didn’t like sharing a tent with smelly James in the cold and missed me too much so he hurried back. Teehee. Awesome job guys. I’m impressed at the determination and speed in which they completed it. I’m glad they had a blast but they sure were stiff the next few days. I remember how it was after climbing Mt Cameroon. I can’t believe Kees actually went ahead and climbed it. Whoa, Kees, that’s awesome! What possessed you to do that after hating The Cameroon Hike so much?? I know I would have frozen at negative 20 on the top. I freeze at positive 20 as it is. I am a wimp and I do get teased a lot when I am cold by people saying “What kind of Canadian are you??” to which I reply “A COLD ONE”. Funny. I also made really good friends with a really nice Dutch gal at the camp who I’d love to see again if I ever make it to Holland. We had fun dancing and one night we actually got James and Ben to dance a bit. Lol.
On the drive to Maasai camp we pulled over and bought an ostrich egg from a boy alone on the side of the road waving the egg around like a loonie bin. We thought it would be funny to open it with James when he arrived as a welcome to Africa type funny thing. At first it wouldn’t crack open after banging it a few times. I demonstrated how strong it was by standing on it. Ben got out the drill and had a go at it but the power died right away. Then he tried that trick where you make a hole in the shell at each end and try blowing it out. That didn’t work either. I was laughing the whole time. Finally we had a big enough hole to shake it out. EWWW a part of deformed something plopped itself out. Gross. We asked James if he still wanted to cook it up. “Why not” he said and we picked out the nasty part and cooked the rest up anyway. It wasn’t as good as the one we had in South Africa but interesting enough to laugh about.
Then we were off to pick up Ben's parents in Dar Es Salaam. We were based at Kigamboni and stayed at a lovely beach resort ( Sunrise Beach Camp) until they arrived. It took about 8 hours to get there from Arusha. A long drive but we had a good time chatting up a storm, listening to music and cracking jokes. I cut up some fruit and made sandwiches in the back seat for lunch like I always do. Yum. On the way we saw something very funny going on in the middle of a roundabout. A wedding. What? That’s not very scenic with all the loud vehicles driving around constantly and not to mention all the exhaust. Then the funniest thing ever was when the photographer signalled for the groom to pick up the bride and hold her in the cradle position for a picture. The groom was a skinny thing and the bride was a FAT ASS huge monster. You should have seen the look of horror when the groom realized what he had to do and the awkward attempt he made to do so. The three of us were busting a gut laughing. You would have been cracking up too I’m sure. I’m not sure if that will beat the story of how Kees got the Maasai tribal people to dance and chant for them then got in trouble by their chief but still it was hilarious.
Ben’s parents arrived safely. I was a little bit nervous to meet them but they are awesome and really nice. The 5 of us had a few relaxing days on the beach. The sun was hot, the water warm, the sand white as snow, the breeze refreshing, the food tasty and all the fruit smoothies you could ask for! I loved it! I suntanned and got a little burnt again but I am coming up with a wicked tan! We swam lots, met other travellers, played Frisbee, the boys worked on the truck while the rest of us relaxed and did whatever we wanted. The only bad part was how a creepy Indian man dressed in a suit and tie was lingering around watching all the girls and being perverted. I told James and Ben that he was being a creep and watching me constantly. Ben took offence to his girlfriend being watched by another man so him and his buddy James took some measures to stop the gawping, firstly they stared him down which didn’t seem to work, then they took photos of him so he could see…still nothing so as the last resort they turned away from him, bent over and dropped their shorts to give him some real naked white flesh to look at! I was shocked and laughed my ass off. The creep still didn’t do anything. Eww.. He probably liked it. lol Finally we went away.
All of us decided to go to Zanzibar . We missed the first ferry and were harassed by touts. We took the next ferry a few hours later across but one of the engines broke and it took extra long to get there. Blaaawww. We stayed in Stone Town for one night and went to awesome restaurant called Mercury’s where we had the most amazing sea food platters ever with a view over looking the water. Beautiful and delicious! The next morning we hopped on a bus to Eaje and stayed at another amazing beach resort for a few days. We did lots of snorkelling and saw loads of colourful fish and starfish. That was awesome! I easily floated over the shallow areas with sharp stag coral everywhere, whereas James and Ben looked like idiots trying to stay afloat. I heard that women’s legs float and guys legs sink. That probably had something to do with it. It was a lovely place to stay and we had a really good time. Seems like everything is always over far too quickly when you are having fun. I would love to have stayed longer but James had a flight to catch in Dar Es Salam in a few days so we had to get moving.
Back to Stone Town and for our last night in Zanzibar we went to a small roof top restaurant where we sat on the cushions on the floor and were served a very nice meal on the small wooden tables in front of us. As the sun was going down there was a live performance. A traditional dance! The African women sure know how to shake their booty! WOW. I really enjoyed our night out and walk through the narrow streets with lots of cute shops to look in. Early the next morning we hopped the ferry and took off. It was really wavy and rocky which didn’t help because Ben’s mom and I both felt sick. She ended up puking. Oh dear. I hate barfing so I held it in but I came close. Yuck. The rest of the crew sat back and watched the screen showing Mr Bean’s something or other adventure. Yadda, yadda. The journey back seemed to take forever but we made it. Back to Kigamboni where we sadly had so say goodbye to James. He signed the truck, took a group photo, packed his back pack, gave out big hugs and was gone. Poor guy has to go back to work. Ha-ha. He was great fun though. “1 down 2 to go.” Ben and I said jokingly as the taxi drove away.
The next mission was to get as far as we could driving north. We drove all day to Kigombe where we stayed for one night. Again it was a little place on the beach. The water was warm. That might be the last time I swim in the Indian Ocean for a long while so I made the best of it. The bar had a dart board so we all spent hours competing against each other. That was funny. I did get a bull’s eye once!!! Wahoo! We didn’t stay up late because our eyes couldn’t stay open long enough. I was out cold the moment I hit the pillow. Up early for another long day of driving until we got to Tsavo and stayed at the Rock Sight Camp and the parents treated us to a very nice room for the night which was amazing and lovely! Again, another long day of driving on semi bad roads and lots of road kill to look at. We stopped to do a little bit of shopping for lunch and in the shop I pointed out a huge cockroach. A second later it ran up one of the local ladies ankles; she screamed and then kicked it off. I couldn’t help laughing. That night we stayed just out side the Maasai Mara National Park in a camp called Aruba. The staff members were very helpful and the food was good in our hungry bellies. Slept near the river where the frogs and animals never stop making noise.
We made an early departure just before sunrise to catch the morning predators before they retired for the day, hopefully to see the migrating Wildebeest which we heard so much about. The park was full of wildlife and had more than any of the other parks we had been to. Right away we spotted a group of lion’s vegging out with full tummies. We were about 5 meters away from them. It was incredible and the younger cubs were sooo cute! We were lucky enough to see thousands of migrating Wildebeest headed by a group of Roan Antelope. That was amazing to see and I think I took a million pictures! There were a few hot air balloons in the sky. I have always wanted to do that. It’s on the “to do list” so one day it must happen! We saw the points on the river where the herds had been crossing with big crocs in the rivers waiting for the next set of X-Factor hopefuls to take their chance against these awesome prehistoric predators. We found a great place over looking the river and hippos to make sandwiches and have some lunch. I loved it! Unfortunately we couldn’t spend the whole day roaming about because we still had to reach Nairobi the same day. On the way we had some truck problems so the boys jumped out and went right to work. Luckily a Maasai mechanic drove by and stopped to investigate the problem and help us out. In no time we were off again. Don’t ask me what the problem was, I was too busy talking to all the village kids who came to chat and scout out the truck. Later that day we ended up helping a lady and her daughter in their Land Rover with some engine problems and then we also used the winch to pull a car out of a ditch. Help and be helped. One big happy circle. One nice deed goes a long way!
We are now in Nairobi saying at the Wildebeest camp once again. Lots of running around and organizing to be done lately. Ben is excited to run his marathon tomorrow! All of us who are here will be CHEERING him on!!! Yey, wish him luck, “Go Ben GO!” I miss cheerleading so much. Hahaha. Once he is finished we will be going to Carnivores, the restaurant where you can eat loads of different kinds of meat like Crocodile, Ostrich, etc, etc I am so excited! I think the family and Kees are going to be going river rafting soon. “Good luck guys that’s awesome because it's so much fun but I really wish you were here to cheer along and go to dinner with us.” I am happy because Patrick and Sarah, the couple who drove from Ghana to South Africa with us are hoping to arrive here and meet up with us. Yey! It will be so great to see them again and catch up.
I’m really missing everyone! But having a blast at the same time!!
Love to all. Hugs and kisses!!
Bre

1 Comments:

At 3:29 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Bree,
Now that sounded like alot of fun, and amazing adventure. I'm sure you'll gloat appropriately when you get back to the family. They haven't had as much fun as you, it all sounded so relaxing.

Love and Big Bear Hugs
The Bear

 

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