Weekend in Nairobi
Trip Start Jul 19, 2008
26Trip End Oct 10, 2008
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After dinner we went to a local bar Gipsy's. Again typically bar scene. Lots of big screen TVs, plenty of music and very crowded. Mostly ex-pats.
Saturday we did not have any specific plans but I was taken to the local mall. This mall looked very similar to what we see in the US. It was anchored on one end by a Natkumat and the other end by a very common coffee house - JAVA House. Inside there were a variety of retail shops, camera store, shoe stores, food court, movie theater, book store that is similar to borders, electronics store similar to circuit city, leather goods store, jewelry shop, picture framing store
Sunday plans were made for a hiking trip to Mount Longonot. I was told that the site was about 1hr outside of Nairobi, the hike was about a 1hr hike to the top, 3 hours to walk the loop at the top and then a walk down. So far, Thomas had done pretty good in planning activities for us. After all dinner and the bar went off without a hitch so I had no reason to doubt this trip would be any different. PHOTO_ID_R=thomas.jpg I was a little hesitant because 1) my back. I wasn't sure how it would hold up on a 1hour hike 2) I have a cold and I wasn't sure how that might impact the trip 3) just wasn't sure about the transportation Thomas would arrange--sometimes he goes for the cheaper route which isn't always the most reliable But again, I am in Nairobi, I didn't have anything else to do, there were going to be 5 of us
We set out on our journey just before 9am. The drive up was absolutely beautiful. Even though it was overcast, the view of the plains was breathtaking. We even saw an adult, make, gray baboon! He was huge, just sitting beside the road watching the cars go by. We were all pretty impressed by this scene but no one had their camera handy and missed a great photo opportunity!
I should have taken a look at this website before we left - http://www.kilimanjaro.cc/eam/longonot.htm
then I would have known that its not a 1hr hike up to the top, and its a strenuous hike. I knew I was in trouble when after just about 15-20minutes into the hike, I was gasping for air like I had run 5 miles. But I did not give up, I thought surely its going to get better so I pressed on. On the way up, we say gazelles, zebras and giraffes.We started the hike at around 10am, by 1130 we were still not at the top and I was extremely short of breath (no inhaler with me), felt dizzy, nausea and vomiting. Do you think my body was trying to tell me something? At first, I was going to still try to make it, but then Thomas told me we still had not reached the "most difficult" part yet. I said, OK I have had enough I am going back
The others keep going and we waited for them at the bottom. But the look on their faces when they returned, Nick and I both agreed that I had done the right thing. We departed the park at about 4pm. Coming back traffic was pretty heavy. One thing I have noticed is that traffic picks up around 5-530pm. This is because most people are getting off of work and are heading home. I also believe this is because not all areas have access to electricity and the highways surely don't have lights. So you can imagine when the sun goes down it gets pretty dark out there. Making out way back to Nairobi was taking a little longer than we thought. Then Nick tells me that he needs to pull over the van for water. I thinking OK he's thirsty. Well then the hood comes up and he in checking the radiator, which is steaming hot. This is when I think to myself, this is why we don't leave transportation duties to Thomas. We pull over on the side of the road, near some of the curio shops
We made it about to Nairobi without further incident and even with that delay I must say the trip wasn't bad at all.