This morning we had breakfast and goodbyes at the campsite restaurant. It was nice and relaxing, and was able to have some final chats with people. We had a group of three Germans that joined us just for the last 7 days, and they were some of the nicest people. I am going to miss them, as well as the two Kiwi girls. I am going to miss the rest of the group as well for different things. It will be so different!
After breakfast, I went to the markets with the Kiwi’s, at the national park. They had brought stuff to trade that they didn’t want to take home with them. There were about 50 individual shops, each the size of a walk in closet. All of them had hand carved items, some similar, some a bit different from each other. Each vendor wanted you to go into their shop, so that is what we did, as it was easier. Some of the vendors were pushier than others, and you learned not to touch anything unless you were really interested, because otherwise the vendor will start negotiating a price with you. We spent the better part of 2 hours here, and it was exhausting. There was one shop that put me over the edge of what I could handle with all the selling and haggling, and I finally ended up finding a seat in the shade and just chatting with one of the vendors while my friends finished their shopping. I really enjoyed the chat, and learning more about the locals.
We grabbed a taxi back to camp, had lunch and then said my final goodbyes to the Kiwi’s. They will be missed on the rest of the trip for sure! At this point it started to rain, apparently it rains a lot in East Africa this time of year, so I went back to our tents to close them up, before running over to the hotel bar to pass the time before our welcome meeting.
One of the girls had gotten her eyelashes tinted at the spa at the hotel, and they looked so amazing, that while I was here, I decided to do the same thing! Best $12 spent! I have yet to wear makeup since I have been here, but it was a nice treat to make my eyes look nice for the remainder of the trip.
Tonight at the welcome meeting, we gain two guys from Germany, a girl from Australia, a girl from the US, a girl from the UK and a girl from Mexico. This makes us a less than full group with only 18 for the next 20 days. It is important and challenging at the same time to be open to the new people, especially since we had such a great group for the first part of the trip.
At dinner I was able to get to know the girl from Australia and UK better, and they both seem really nice! My fingers are crossed that our group will be just as good as the old one!
Tomorrow we have a long drive day, 8 – 10 hours to head to camp, so it will be an early morning which means an early night in this rain!