I love Colour street art, storm drain Kuala Lumpur
I love Colour street art, storm drain Kuala Lumpur
  • It began in Africa....
    • 21/08/2017
Connecting flight in Schipol is seamless, no hassle of passport control and security like when I transferred at Heathrow last week!
7 hour overnight flight from Amsterdam to Nairobi, I can't get comfortable to sleep at all, and any time I do nod off get woken up by the cabin crew serving another meal!
The visa is quickly processed.
Baggage is quickly retrieved.
Currency quickly changed
Out into the melee of taxi drivers, i brace myself for an assault of offers and cajolong but with relief to find Peter waiting amongst a herd of transfer drivers with a conspicuous orange sign. He greats me by name with a firm and lingering handshake.
Now I can relax as we wait for another arrivee, and I feel a little harsh, the locals are friendly and not pushy at all. A Czech guy, Ladi arrives on the Dubai flight and we set off.

The road out of the airport is lined with fibreglass statues of wildebeest, hippos, etc etc, and before we reach the main highway we see a pair of giraffe for real, as Nairobi national park borders the road!
The Mombasa highway brings reality, six lanes of traffic jostling and using any means to manoeuvre forward, nosing in front with no indication, motorbikes perilously weaving between larger vehicles, mini buses of all shapes and sizes, often with praise to god adorning the sides, or a mural or some kind.
Traffic slows, as it turns out that using the verge to overtake has backfired for one pick up truck and it has toppled over into the ditch. People walking to work along the sides of the road, kids selling snacks running alongside the moving cars to make a deal,

Passing various concrete buildings, warehouses, offices, this is the gateway road, the city centre skyscrapers in the distant morning haze.
Then suddenly to the right is shanty town -
Corrugated iron higgeldy piggeldy smothering the hillside
We turn off the road and are soon passing large houses with high walls around them.
The radio plays cheerful but relaxing local music, interspersed with updates about the progress of the election results challenge in the supreme court. Peter says there is no grounds for a case, just the last option of a desperate man who has lost four times and is too old to stand again (for election).
Peter speaks perfect English and tried to teach us some useful Swahili, but I am only being kept awake by the constant newness of everything outside the window, and as I write can only recall the inescapable "Jambo!"
Arrive at Heron camp, the hostel rallying point for the tour. I sit down on the bed and almost immediately asleep....

.... Now awake + beer. All very civilized!


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