The Accidental Robbery

Trip Start Dec 07, 2009
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Trip End Sep 26, 2010


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Where I stayed
Crayfish Camp

Flag of Kenya  ,
Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The day did not start well. Breakfast and all that was fine but once we got on the road things took a turn for the worse. We passed two horrendous car accidents that caused some major traffic jams within the first two hours on the road. We made it in to Nakuru to stop there for groceries and whatever else anyone needed. We were stopped at the city centre and as per usual, street vendors surrounded our bus and tried to sell us assorted goods and souvenirs through the windows. I saw one guy with some nice looking hand-painted postcards and asked to take a look. He passed me his whole stack up to my window and told me to pick some and offered me his price. Right as I was starting to browse through the cards our driver came back from whatever it was he was doing and hopped up into the drivers seat of the bus. The vendor saw this and went and had a word with him and asked him to wait for a few minutes. Our driver evidently told him where the supermarket we were going to was and the vendor came back to my window and said to keep looking at the cards and he would meet us in the supermarket parking lot in a couple of minutes. So I shrugged and continued to look and we started moving. We were just going very slowly around a few small streets nearby to try to maneuver the bus into the supermarket parking lot and I saw the vendor outside the window following the bus along so I figured it was nor problem. He even encouraged me to let other people on the bus have a look and see if anyone else wanted to buy. So I casually asked around and other people did start looking through some of them. Then I realized all of a sudden no more than a minute later that we were back on the highway. This didn't seem right! I ran up front and asked the driver and our guide what was going on and that I had the guys stuff. Turns out the supermarket was out of town and our driver had a little communication error with the vendor and the vendor thought it was close by, within walking distance. We were about 5km out of town by this point and we stopped at our grocery store. We had 30 minutes to shop there and I spent 25 minutes out by the road hoping the guy would somehow come find us; our big yellow bus isn't exactly tough to miss. But he never made it and I felt TERRIBLE. Sure the 15-20 postcards he had passed me we're at a stretch worth 1$ each, but that is an awful lot of money to a street vendor here, and I really felt quite awful. It wasn't my fault but still, it wasn't an exactly ideal situation. We have since worked out a way to try and get the man his items back though. Since we have gotten to Karen we are meeting another tour bus going the opposite way, back to Nakuru. We are going to give them all the man's belongings and get their bus to stop at the same place we had stopped, so hopefully that guy is around and notices another big yellow bus and he can get his things back. What a bad situation though!

After all this nonsense we did eventually make it to Naivasha. We had a nice little campground down by the lake but it was a little ways out of town so it was a bit isolated. I mostly puttered about for the day and we all got together and had a big cookout that night with some really good kebabs and bruschetta made over a campfire.

It was very very cold at night. That is all I have to say about that.

The next day I walked into the small little shopping centre 20 minutes down the road. Spent a bit of time on the internet there. This is of note because it was the fastest internet I've encountered in nearly 3 months in Africa, and it was out in the middle of nowhere by Lake Naivasha. Shrug. The random power outages made it slightly inconvenient though, but hey, this is Africa. I made it back to camp to meet up with everyone for our afternoon excursion. We got in a rickety little boat and set off for an hour long boat cruise on the lake. Saw a few hippos, lots of pelicans and other birds, and we even bought some fish to feed to the fish eagles. After an hour or so we pulled up to Elsamere, the home of Joy Adamson. This was a nice little property on the lake front and I enjoyed wandering around the property and checking out the inside of the house. I also ate more than my fair share of cakes and biscuits and had a few cups of tea which was quite a treat. The colobus monkeys climbed around in the trees outside watching us coming and going. Pretty neat place to hang out for an hour. After the sun started to go down we headed back to camp via matatu. Dinner followed and then an outrageously entertaining debate about Joy Adamson and her mission in life. Ollie and I played pool and laughed at some of the absurd allegations being thrown around.

Another very cold night and early morning followed. I was up at 4:45am to get my stuff packed and tent down and breakfast going. The rest of the crew struggled a bit getting their stuff together but we eventually rolled out of camp at 6:30.

-js

EDIT: I've talked to Ollie since I have been home and it turns out the guy in Naivasha got all his cards back. Sweet!
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