November 9, 2012 Friday
From Masai Mara, return to Nairobi by van (224 miles) then onto Mombasa via Kenya Air.
Up at 5:15 after a good night's rest and breakfast with the group before our leave time of 7:00 am. This is really a great group of travelers. Everyone is congenial and punctual. In our particular van of 6 passengers, everyone has an easy going attitude so decision-making among the 6 is not challenging. Sure makes it pleasant for all of us. Plus good news, our friend Bev from Hillsboro, has worked through her Mao Mao Revenge and is back with the living again. So on we go across the Masai Mara headed for Nairobi
. Along the way we enjoyed more wonderful sightings of our new African friends…vast herds of zebras, a small herd of giraffes, another two or three elephant families including some sweet little ones trotting along. Adohyo estimated the babies were only a week old. A female lion perched on a rock. It is just so incredible that all these animals are roaming free in their natural habitat with relatively minimal human interaction. Warthog babies just 2 or 3 days old. Some very large herds of wildebeests galloping along headed toward Tanzania as part of the annual migration, 75% of which have already passed over the border. Speaking of which, our driver pulled off the road and took us to the boundary marker between Kenya and Tanzania. We took the traditional photo op stance…one foot in Kenya, one foot in Tanzania. Have we mentioned the unbelievably rough road to and from the Masai Mara? A relentless 3 hours of the roughest road you can imagine. It is impossible to describe how washboard bumpy it was for a solid 3 hours!!! Not to mention swerving around mud holes and washouts.
We traveled back through the floor of the Great Rift Valley, which stretches from Israel down to Mozambique (I think I’ve got that right) for something like 6000 miles. It is an extremely fertile area in Kenya, probably a "bread basket" sort of region. We arrived in Nairobi in time for a quick lunch at our travel agent headquarters (Somak Travel) and then on to the airport to catch a 5:30 flight on Kenya Airlines to Mombasa
. It is a short one hour flight. Arrived in another deluge of rain but fortunately it was very brief. We were picked up in a large air conditioned coach, thankfully, because the heat and humidity in this coastal city is very very high tonight and some of you know, I do not do well in high heat and humidity. It just drains all the energy out of me. It is dark when we travel by coach to our new hotel, a rather fancy looking older beachside resort. White Sands Resort in the northern end of Mombasa. It kind of reminds me of the old British hotels from movies in the 30’s and 40’s. Quite elegant in a laid back tropical way. After checking into our hotel, we had a quick dinner and then to bed. Oh yes, Jack had shorts on when we showed up for dinner. He was not allowed into the restaurant in shorts but they offered him a wrap. So he wore a long yellow skirt sort of thing and did so with a smile. (J) Yea, it was either wear it, go back to the room and change, or wear it with a smile and get something to eat. Wasn’t much of a choice was it?? Ha. It was a long and tiring trip today for sure. Left at 7 am, picked up by a van at the Mombasa airport at 7:30 pm, got to hotel 8:15, got dinner at around 9 pm. In bed and ready for sleep by 10:30. Yawnnnnn. Good night all!!!