The New York blog will have to wait until I have proper computer access, but in order to keep up to date with my Africa trip I’m just going to jump right in. Sadly I have very few photos at this point as they’re stuck on my camera until I can find a computer.
Day 0 – 23 June
I arrived into Nairobi, Kenya at about 6am Kenya time after almost 12 hours of flying time. I didn’t get much sleep on the flight thanks to the lady beside me engaging in lovely debate with the Kenyan on her other side. They didn’t shut up all night despite my tactful elbowing. I then arrived in Nairobi to find that my roll mat had been lost somewhere at any of Birmingham, Amsterdam or Nairobi airports. After asking a few questions, it was pretty obvious it wasn’t going to turn up so I gave up and went to meet my Oasis transfer rep.
We drove out of the airport and the first sight on our left was a load of giraffes! We drove down some fairly bumpy roads until we got to Karen camp where my group would be meeting the day after. I then spent the next 10 or so hours hammering out my unfinished French year abroad coursework between meeting other members of my group as they arrived.
It was a surprise to find Kenya was freezing. As the others and I muttered, this was not Africa.
Our first truck meeting began at 8:30am on “Gunga”, the name of the massive yellow overland truck that is my home for the next 3 months. We lose and gain members of the group throughout the whole trip but we’ve started off with 16 of us plus Joe and Kyle, tour leader and driver respectively. Various features of Gunga include “the beach”, a raised platform with a mattress at the front which lies beneath an (optional) open roof for long drive days when you still crave the sun or want to look at the view from a higher viewpoint. Oasis trucks are pretty unique in that they have inward facing seats along the two longest sides instead of a bus-like arrangement. This means we can chat to everyone instead of bring segregated and get a face on view out the other side.
The first day we drove for a few hours to our first campsite, stopping along the way to take in the view of the Rift Valley, which was stunning – it stretches all the way from Jordan to Mozambique. On arrival at our first camp in Kenyana, we were given a tour around the farm and we got to chat to the ladies of the Kenyana knitting company, who make beautiful knitted products in order to raise money to educate and provide work and medicine to Kenyan ladies.
Following this was our introduction to our tents. I’m in Impala with Becky. The first night saw our first cook group grapple with the slow cooking fire to make spaghetti Bolognese while the rest of us decamped to the bar (gin and tonic for me to keep away the mosquitos).
We were introduced to two truck games – one where we aren’t allowed to say the word “mine” in response to a question or else do ten press ups and the other being the Numpty Awards, which we get to nominate each evening at dinner and the winner has to wear a baby dummy in clear view all day or they have to buy everyone a beer. Day 1 winner was Bryan, who had been calling James “Jason” all day.
More blogs to follow as and when we get wifi. Pictures hopefully won’t be too far behind, but as I’ve found so far even when there is wifi it’s too slow to upload pictures. T.I.A.