Trip Start Nov 01, 2012
11Trip End Nov 13, 2012
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Arrive at Jomo Kenyatta International airport in Nairobi 8:25 pm Well we finally got into our hotel room. 1:30 am Salem time, 11:30 pm here in Nairobi. That makes 23 hours of travel time from the time we left the airport in Portland. Whew!!! Arrived in Nairobi on a 747 big jet. We were 5 rows from the back of the plane. Pretty good leg room on the KLM jet. After deplaning we got into a line for our Kenya Visa (not the charge card)….darn!). That cost $50. After that we went down to get our bags and that took forever. You would have thought with the time we waited for the Visa's they would have been there. We arrived at 8:45 pm and by the time we got into the van to the hotel it was about 10:30 pm.
We encountered our first SCAM Artist before we even left the airport. Our tour guide, Anatolia, greeted us at baggage claim and herded all 16 of us to a van waiting in a DOWNPOUR – Nairobi style. While the driver and Ana packed our bags in the back of the van, a blue sportscoated young man directed me and Jack (we were first) to the door of the van. As we got on, he stuck out his hand and said "Tips please, for the porters….for the porters." Jack and I had to get ourselves settled in our seats before we could get to our wallets. In the meantime, I noticed that he got very pushy and rude (“make it snappy”) to others boarding, and it made me suspicious. So we withheld our tip money until Marian, our group leader got in the van. And unfortunately for some of our group who paid the guy immediately, it turned out that he was in fact not associated with our guide service at all but managed to escape with a fair amount of our group’s dollars! Our first lesson learned.
Time to hit the hay. Up at 6 am, breakfast at 6:30 and loaded into our vans by 7:30 am. Marian thinks that we have about a 5 hour drive to get to our first location