Back to Eldoret, Uganda – 30 July 2012

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September 9th 2012
Published: September 9th 2012
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Back to Eldoret, Kenya – 30 July 2012

On the way from Jinja to Eldoret we had the border crossing from Uganda to Kenya. The stamping of our passports to exit Uganda went smoothly. The stamping of them on the Kenya side took a lot longer. There is a ‘no-mans-land’ area in between the 2 countries check points which includes a bridge which is part of a hydro electric scheme. It is against the law to take any photos of the area. There have been a number of times that people in Uganda have wagged their finger at us when we have taken photos of them.

We stopped along the way also to have lunch beside the bus/truck. Any leftover food we give to the locals. A lunch stop takes us an hour. We also stopped at the edge of Eldoret for a food top up, bank and any supermarket items people needed. Eldoret is a big, spread-out town. We went through part of it before turning east to the Sun City Resort where the altitude training is done. We had stayed at this facility on the way out to the gorillas.

We arrived at about 4.00pm so after getting up at 5.00am, travelling all day (including 3 stops) we were pleased to arrive. The African roads, with their roadwork and speed-humps make it pretty challenging for our driver, Daniel who has been doing an amazing job.

It looked as though we were going to have a storm but there were only showers. We decided to have a competition on who could put their tent up the fastest. The 2 fittest guys won!!! Tom and I were deciding if we would upgrade our accommodation so we started putting our tent up later than everyone – after deciding not to upgrade.

After having a magnificent hot shower we settled down in the bar and because this was the last day of this leg of our journey, we had a special dinner in the restaurant. It was lovely. The group has been fantastic. We have all got on really well. 7 of us are going onto Zanzibar which is the next leg of our journey, so this is mainly through Tanzania – including the Serengeti. Some new people will no doubt joint us in Nairobi which is where we travelled on Tuesday 31 July.

We arrived in Nairobi at 1.15pm and stayed at The Boulevard Hotel. By arriving early we were able to do our washing (the hotel dried Tom’s washing), reorganise our bags and do some blogging and email. We found the wifi very slow so I am thinking blogging with photos is very time consuming in Africa.

We had arranged with all the group to meet in the reception at 6.00pm to go to dinner. 14 of us walked 15 minutes into the CBD and went to a restaurant that Wilson recommended as all the locals went there. It was pretty basic so ½ of us stayed for a beef, rice and tomato dish or local fish dish and the other half went about ½ km away to another restaurant that had karaoke and the Olympics on the big screen. After we finished our meal, we went around to the other restaurant. We were asked to put in a request for specific songs for Karaoke so I organised for Nicole (from Switzerland) to sing one song and Mark from Ireland to sing another. They were good sports and both did a great job. They organised a song for me but we all left before it came on (thank goodness). Back to the Hotel by 9.30pm.

To Serengeti: 1 August – we were up by 6.0am, breakfast by 6.30am and on the bus by 7.00am being introduced to our new group. There were 7 of our original group and 11 new people. Two couples (one from Sweeten and the other from Germany) were on their honeymoon!! Both had been married for 1 ½ weeks. Two women were from Scotland (husbands chose to stay home), another 2 from Germany, Canada, and a young Australian girl from Melbourne. It is so good finding out past travelling experiences of others. Why would people NOT travel as there are so many amazing experiences you can have. Our CEO and cook was Marietta who was the partner of our driver Raymond. They were both white South Africans – great people.

We drove through Nairobi and then through a lot of villages and green house businesses which grow flowers including roses which are exported all over the world.

WE crossed the Kenya/Tanzania border and paid $US50.00 for the3 Visa – no hold ups. All African countries we have visited so far have included finger prints and pupil recognition at the border crossings.

WE stopped on the side of the road for lunch and it was extremely dry and dusty. We also stopped at a town for an ATM to get Tanzanian Shillings (1550 shillings to $1.00 US). Tom, Georgina (from London) and I found a cafe for a tea/coffee after we did some shopping. We sat down and found out they had just filled the machine with cold water so they will take over 15 minutes to serve us – we didn’t have the time so as it was the afternoon, we opened a small can of local beer each (Brand was Kilimanjaro which is made locally).

We then stopped at a Cultural Heritage Centre which was also the head office for Tanzanite, the local stone only found 58 kms from where we were which is the only mine in the world and the supply will run out over the next 5 -10 years (so the owner told us!). He had built the Cultural Heritage Centre as well as the Art Museum. It was a beautiful display of art and carvings.

He showed us a Tanzinite stone that was apparently worth $2 mill US which was to be sent to a Chinese man for investment!!! There was no guard protection so some of our group questioned the authenticity of the story.

After an hour there, we drove to our camp in Arusha – the Snake Park Camp, arriving at 5.3pm.

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