Africa Plus travel blog

Very Different Spiny Apple-Looking Shrub #2071

Spiny Shrub at a Distance #2072

Mar 6

On the way back from M.M. we took a 'short cut' which went thru miles of plains, very flat, lots of wildebeest & zebra & gazelle until we came to a long, long fence - it looked very new - white people as Ben said, and for as far as you can see rolling hills just like E. Washington & dry land wheat fields. Big farm machinery discing, planting the brown ground before the rainy season begins in earnest mid-March. Ben says these farms have been here about 20 yrs. Left M.M. at 10 & reached the highway(underconstr) at 12:30...across the Rift valley the land is flat grazing land w/ livestock & zebras & whistling acacia.

Nairobi gets a bad rap by the guidebooks and even people we have met. We all agree that Nairobi deserves better, it is really a nice city as far as big cities go. Yes, there are a lot of touts and you are approached all the time for guide services. Yes, the streets near the business district, and especially in the streets in the area of our hotel, the Greton, the sidewalks and streets are crowded with sellers which block the way everywhere and make walking is truly crazy, and we've not see this anywhere we've been prior to here. But given all this, we have gone out every nite and after the first 3 nites (when we heeded the 'warnings' by taking a taxi back to the hotel even tho only a few blocks away), we walked the streets in the dark with no problems. Of course, there were 3 of us-strength in numbers, and never too late(latest was 10 pm), and we never sensed any problems, people just were going about their business etc.

And this at a time of desperation for many who have no job, many who are w/out food due to the recent violence and severe decrease in tourism/income!!! We were very impressed by how the people in general were coping and dealing with a very stressful environment for them.

Fortunately, and also unfortunately, we discovered a very fast, broadband internet the last day(Sunday) we were in town: Popote wireless hot spot across from the Kehema House in the downtown business district. For any looking for internet access, don't bother with any of the miriades of others, they are a waste of time and $$ compared to this place! It was unfortunate in that we found it open on Sunday at noon and began our business as usual BUT it closed at 3!!!! Big bummer!

We spent most of the next 3 days doing 'business'...planning our journey onward, washing clothes(our room looked like a Chinese laundry as Bonnie said), and trying to finish internet stuff. Of course, we had to go to the movies in the eve which were a nice diversion since we haven't had the opportunity for months. Bon made arrangements w/ Rebecca at Amicabre to join a group in Nakuru to see the park there(more possibilities for sighting a rhino &/or panther), Mari is going to Kakamega Forest Reserve near Kisumu where Ben our guide had suggested she might see a lot of birds & where the last remnants of pure jungle remain in Kenya(postage stamp size), and I am going(actually what I am doing right now) to try to update as much as possible the website having gotten really behind.

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