Back To Blog Homepage
After crossing into Kenya I hung about a few hours and then caught a lift with one of the cattle trucks heading to Nairobi. There was a choice of either sitting in the cabin with the driver, or holding on to the rails on top, hoping that you wouldn't fall in with the cows on the nonstop (23 hours) journey to the capital. I would have loved to have been one of those guys on the top but the idea of falling asleep and falling onto numerous cows with horns didn't appeal to me.
The journey south was exhausting but we did see some animals on the way and even had to stop our car suddenly at around 3am as a hyena decided he wanted to cross the road. As is standard in Africa there were numerous breakdowns but we finally arrived safely early the following morning, the single driver having not slept yet, and apparently not intending to for another 10 hours.
Nairobi, nicknamed Nai-robbery, due to the high crime rate was immediately, in my mind at least, a great city. For the first time in a long time I was able to eat chips AND GRAVY in the same meal. I felt like a new man.
I had a few extra days to kill and so on a friend's recommendation I headed to the Mombasa coast. The Indian Ocean was beautiful. Unbelievable. I waded in the turquoise waters and was planning to do some diving but having a bad stomach brought up visions of making a mess under water so I opted out and sat on the beach listening to chilled out Caribbean music instead.
On my return to Nairobi I made a day trip up to the Equator: 3 hours on a bus up there, 5 minutes to take the picture of one foot in the Northern Hemisphere and one foot in the Southern Hemisphere, 10 minutes for some kid to show me how water moves in different directions 10m either side of the Equator and then a 5 hour bus journey back. I also went to the cinema to watch my first movie in months but made sure I was in my hotel by 9pm - it was too dangerous to be outside after that.
Back in Nairobi I was finally able to give my old passport in for renewal at the fantastic British High Commission. They knew I was in a rush and got everything done within 24 hours instead of the usual week. And so with more time than I expected I bought a bus ticket to Rwanda, and in the meantime took advantage of all the gravy and English movies I could see before it would be too late.
What little I saw of Kenya was great and it's a shame that the place is marred by the image of violence, a lot of which seems to have calmed down in the last 5 years. Hopefully this will change in the future as the country continues to make rapid progress.