On Your Marks, Get Set......
Trip Start May 30, 2005
129Trip End Sep 30, 2006
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The biggest disadvantage of this arrangement was that I'd need to spend a whole day in Dar, which while it isn't a bad thing, it certainally isn't a great thing either. It passed without problem and the next thing I knew I was getting up before 6am in order to get over to the bus station.
When I bought my ticket I'd asked how long it takes, 12 hours they said. I then met someone that'd done the journey in the opposite direction with the same company, 15 hours he said. Therefore I'd be arriving in Nairobi in the dark, probably tired, with slightly over 1000 US Dollars stuffed into my money belt (for Ethiopia), worried? you're damn right I was.
Sure enough the journey took ages, we had a few stops along the way and then 1.5 hours at the border before everyone was finished. I really don't see how they could have done the bus journey much faster, and it took us 16 hours. Why do bus companies lie like that?
So, I arrived at 10:30pm. I'd got talking to a couple from England on the bus and when we arrived I asked them to share a taxi to a hostel. He charged us way too much (three quid), but to be honest he had the upperhand. He then literally drove round the corner, honestly it took about 20 seconds. However that hostel was full, and then there was no reply at the next one (which was a further 5 seconds down the road). After my experiences in Lima there was no way I was letting this taxi driver go!
The couple then suggested trying the place that they'd stayed before. It was about 25 dollars but to be honest it was just for one night and I'd feel much happier in a hostel. Of course we needed to renegotiate the cost of the taxi, suddenly doubling, probably because he had to drive for about 3 minutes. I think that the taxi drivers do a roaring trade from scared tourists as most of them (me especially) are afriad of good ole 'Nairobbery'.
I was straight to bed and in the morning I had enough time to find some breakfast before having to check-out! however it was another 6 hours until I had to arrive at the airport. What's the best thing to do in this situation? The internet of course, it beats walking around Nairobi with your bags and a big sign saying 'Muggings R Us'.
After a while I got myself out to the airport, following my mother's advice I asked a policeman where the toilets were. He was very happy to show me, and quite amazingly he didn't ask for a little tip. However he was curious about where I was travelling to..
"Where are you going?"
"Is it far?"
"No, only about 2 hours"
"Are you from there?"
"Emmm, no, I'm just going to visit".
The European equivalent would be a German asking a tourist, "So, where's this France place then?"
With that it was time to check in and get processed, cue more hours of sitting around doing nothing, I'm getting good at that.