Africa Day #46

So excited that this is the last drive day. I am getting a little stir crazy. The drive today was fine, I had some great conversations, both with some old and new group members. The excitement of the day came when we made a toilet stop in a town. A couple of us decided to try a bar to use toilets instead of the gas station. We ended up being led out back of the bar to what we quickly realized was a brothel. So yeah, I used the toilet in a brothel. It was one of those times I was thankful it was a squat toilet, so I was less likely to touch anything. There were a bunch of small rooms with just beds in them, and a condom dispenser on the wall. Not something I expected to ever do, and not something I would choose to do again, but it adds to the adventure!

When we finally made it to camp tonight, my mood went from pretty high to very low. We were told it would be a basic camp site, which so far has been fine, but I think this camp site is the worst we have ever been. The grounds were soggy and spongy, and the thought of putting up my tent on it was quite grim. The facilities were not much better, two drop toilets which have seen better days, and even though we were close to the road, most of us opted to pee in the woods instead of the toilets. I am embarrassed to say I was a bit of a pre-Madonna, and finagled a way to put our tent up in the school house that we also used as kitchen and lounge area. Not long after we arrived, it started to rain, and I was happy about our tent decision.

Because I was in such a state, I decided to remove myself from the group, to regroup and get in a better place about the situation, so I went and sat on the Lando and read my book. I am glad I did this, as it helped me recover. One of the group members also came and chatted with me for a bit, and I think it helped get me back in the right mind set. I think this was the first time the whole trip that I just couldn’t deal with what was put in front of me, so I am giving myself a bit of a break.

I rejoined the group shortly before dinner, which was cauliflower soup, steak with onions, vegetables and rice. The steak was delicious, well flavored and well cooked. It definitely helped getting me back to a good place.

Tomorrow we will be doing Chimp tracking in the morning, and I am very excited. We are briefed on the activity, which will start at 6am the next morning. We decide on an early night, although my tent buddy and I ended up with a sing along in our tent. It was so much fun! I am not sure the rest of the group enjoyed our singing as much, but it was worth it! We also had some really fun conversations that had me laughing until I was crying. This might be the first time on the trip that I had a really great laugh, and it felt so good! Despite my mood when we arrived at camp, it ended up being such a great night.

Africa Day #45

Swimming pool at Red Chili Camp

Early start today with the goal of leaving by 6:30am. Unfortunately, we had a mishap with the key to the safe that holds all the passports, so we were a bit delayed. With all the commotion from the morning, there was a bit of tension on the Lando this morning heading to the border.

The border crossing went okay. I ended up in an argument with the border guy, because he was trying to refuse my money for the visa, because he wanted large bills, which I did not have. Thankfully, it ended up all working out, but then they ran out of visa stickers, so I was given just a paper receipt for the visa. Hopefully this does not cause issue when we come back to Kenya!

The rest of the day was a pretty standard drive day, and we finally arrived to camp around 5pm.

This camp site had a really nice pool, so after setting up camp for the night, a bunch of us went for a swim. The pool was really deep and it was nice to get in a bit of a swim. I had a really good chat with one of the new group members too, which is always nice to get to know some of the new people a bit better. We also gained two new group members at this camp. Apparently they did not know it was a camping trip, so they are not starting off the trip in a good place, but hopefully they start to feel better about things.

Dinner tonight was spaghetti bolognes tonight which is always really good. My tent buddy bought some Amarula, so we used that to make some hot chocolate tonight, which was a great dessert.

Tonight, my tent buddy, the other girl who has been with us for the whole trip and our CEO had a girls night. The two girls upgraded to a room, so we went to their room and had girl talk and did face masks and pedicures. It was a really fun and relaxed night, and the three girls all looked like Santa as their face mask basically turned to foam on their faces. I feel lucky to have this group of girls.

Tomorrow is our last drive day and then we will have a couple days of tracking activities. This last leg has been a lot of inactivity, so I am ready to start doing some activities. With all this time off, I have definitely had time to start missing the people back home, and we have been off WiFi as well.

 

Africa Day #44

For the next couple days we will be working on making our way to the Chimps and Gorillas. Today we have a normal drive day and stopping over in Eldoret. Nothing really to report on the drive, it was pretty standard.

We are staying at the Naiberi camp site which is really nice. They have a huge restaurant bar with a fire in the middle, and a large pool/bar area with little huts and tables all around.

I spent my free time today catching up writing from the past week. It was nice to have some down time to just reflect on the past couple days. Most of our group went down to the pool, but it was not super warm out and the pool didn’t look super clean, so I was happy to just park myself at one of the huts.

I am super lucky again with my tent mate, she is really great, and we have quickly fallen into a rhythm and started to bond more and more each day.

Dinner started with leek soup and then we had rice and chicken curry with vegetables. There was also cheesecake for dessert. I feel like we have been super spoiled lately, especially with the soup starters, which have just been fantastic.

A couple of us headed down to enjoy the fire at the bar before heading to bed for an early start tomorrow as we have a long drive day and border crossing tomorrow.