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Published: August 27th 2008
After approximately 33 hours of traveling time spent either in planes or on layovers, we made it home! We were a little bit worried about our luggage not making it to Calgary, because we had it checked through all the way from Mombasa to Calgary (including changing airlines and terminals at Heathrow). But it made it, no problem. So yeah!
One of the first things we did when we got home was go through the closet full of all the clothes we had left behind, it was like going clothes shopping in your very own closet. Everything was so new and exciting, considering we have been wearing the same clothes for the last year.
It was a bit of a shock returning to western culture and there is a lot to be said for the simplicity of Africa. Although our road construction is miles ahead of theirs in terms of efficiency.
Almost everyone asks what our favorite parts of the journey were. Here are some of the highlights/memories that come to mind, in no particular order:
1. Crossing the Sahara along the coast in Mauritania
2. Mountain gorillas in Rwanda
3. Paragliding/Quadding in Swakopmund, Namibia
4. White-water rafting
at the source of the Nile in Uganda
5. Lions around our safari vehicles in the Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania
6. Wine tasting in the Western Cape of South Africa
7. Nigerian police check stops
8. Bamako taxi rides, Mali
9. Aswan to Wadi-Halfa ferry crossing craziness (Egypt to Sudan)
10. Hamer tribe bull-jumping ceremony in the South Omo Valley, Ethiopia
11. Getting new passports in Addis Ababa; picking them up in Dar es Salaam
12. Multiplying spiders in the Okavango Delta, Botswana
13. Canoeing on the Zambezi river, Zambia
14. Donkey ride to the Valley of the Kings, Egypt
15. Evil Baboons
16. Shoestrings at Vic Falls, Zimbabwe
17. Bizarre midnight turtle conservation trek in Benin
18. Goats in trees, Morocco
19. Great White Sharks at Gansbaii, South Africa
20. "Vache qui rit" cheese
And too many more to mention (we have a list of 150+ if you want to hear them all some time). We also can't forget all of the amazing perosnalities that we've met along the way. We've met so many good people and hope to keep in touch. Thanks for the memories.
In planning the trip initially we created a detailed budget. Throughout the
trip we kept track of our spending, but didn't let budget constraints stop us from enjoying ourselves. As it turns out, our spending came in slightly under budget surprisingly enough. There were some costs that we didn't initially account for (ie: visas, passports, South Africa, Mombasa, etc.), but the cheaper countries (ie: Ethiopia) helped off-set the unexpected costs. A few interesting financial tid-bits:
1. We left Canada initially with only US dollars and $0 travellers cheques. This was a good thing, considering the difficultly some people had trying to change them. The only regret here is not bringing Euros for West Africa.
2. We spent a total of $1263 each on visas and $240 each on new passports.
3. Visa is the king of all credit cards and is invaluable when taking money from cash machines. Don't rely on MasterCard.
We had no idea how many people would actually be following along and we were so surprised at the number of nice comments that we received from complete strangers. We just want to say thanks for following along with us on our adventure. Hope you've enjoyed it.
Jordan and Kathie
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