Karen is NOT Nairobi

Trip Start Dec 07, 2009
Trip End Sep 26, 2010

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Flag of Kenya  ,
Thursday, August 19, 2010

Like I mentioned in my previous blog, it was a very early start. We drove through the bottom of the great rift valley and dropped Team Australia and Team Netherlands off so they could go to the Masai Mara in a safari vehicle for a different adventure. Then we headed off again and started climbing the steep road to get out of the Great Rift Valley. We made one more quick stop at one of the many curio shops and photographic viewpoints. Ollie bought a sweet cowhide hat and I picked up a few things as well. Then back into the bus to go to "Nairobi." It turns out we were actually staying in a suburb of Nairobi called Karen. It is a nice place but it is quite far away from Nairobi, nearly 45 minutes by taxi, so in my opinion it was a bit of false advertising to say we were going to Nairobi, but such is life. Not that it mattered anyways, we are camping and it is probably better to be a bit out of town.

Campsite was alright there were a number of overland trucks there and lots of people about so the day went by quite quickly. Karen town is quite small and it is quite upscale so it was nice to have a coffee there. Made some really nice pasta carbonara for dinner (yes, we are getting quite good at this campfire cooking thing!) The rest of the night was spent mostly by the pool table in the bar.

The next day I decided to go see a few of the sights around Karen. I went with Team Ireland on a day trip to see some elephants and giraffes. The elephant place was first. It was a neat little place that found and cared for orphaned baby elephants and helped them until they were ready to be put back into the wild. It was pretty funny watching 10 baby elephants splash and roll around in a giant puddle of mud. I was even lucky enough to have one of the little guys walk up to me and poke my leg and feet a few times with his snout while I gave him a few pets on the ears. I had some very muddy legs to show for it too. Then they took the baby elephants away and brought out 6  more elephants that were about 3-4 years old and closer to being put back into the wild. These guys were fun to watch as well. Saw a few warthogs roaming around as well, doing what they do best: being ugly and loud. Next was the giraffe centre. This was just a nice place where they had some very friendly giraffes that enjoyed interacting with humans. We got a chance to feed and pet the giraffes. I also decided it would be a good idea to kiss a giraffe. Weird? Definitely.

When Team Australia and Team Netherlands got back from the Masai Mara later that night we decided to all go out for a final dinner as the tour was coming to an end for 5 of us the next day. We went to a really nice place called "The Rusty Nail." As grungy as the name of the place sounded it was actually a very nice restaurant and we all had a really nice meal and good conversation. Team Netherlands left after dinner and the rest of us all eventually decided to go hang out at a nightclub. We weren't given much of a choice after we were essentially kicked out of the bar at Karen Camp due to unfortunate incident involving a bottle of gin. Nightclub looked a bit dodgy and they tried to make us pay a cover of 5 bucks each, but Ollie worked his magic and got us all in for free. This was quite entertaining for me because he happened to be talking with the doormen while wearing his ridiculous looking cowhide dictator hat. I know I wouldn't of been able to take the guy seriously, but credit to him, we all got in free. It was a pretty decent night, lots of drinks and good times to celebrate the last night of the trip.

Today, after everyone managed to wake up we had a big pancake and bacon and egg fry-up which was really good. I'm heading back to the real Nairobi this afternoon. It will be sad to leave the bus trip but nice to see my Kenyan family again and have a real bed to sleep in. I'm also excited for the adventures I still have to come.

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