T.I.A - This is Africa

Trip Start Sep 29, 2010
Trip End Nov 30, 2011

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Flag of Kenya  ,
Monday, August 15, 2011

Sunday morning we were woken early by another group leaving the campsite. Once they had gone, the quiet returned, apart from an intriguing rhythmical chopping sound puncturing the stillness. Soon enough it was time to get up and pack the tent away for the last time – a sad feeling that there were to be no more nights under canvas, listening to the noises of the African bush. The whole day was punctuated by these last moments – last packing of the back locker, last breakfast, cook group, roadside lunch, and flapping of plates to name a few.

We had a fair distance to travel to Nairobi so we were on the road by 8am, stopping on the way for a roadside lunch. It was then that the reason for the early morning chopping noise was revealed – in a break away from sandwiches and salad for lunch, our wonderful cook Denford treated us to pasta bolognese which only had to be heated on the stove. He had been up since the crack of dawn chopping and preparing it all, before organising our breakfast.

After lunch we stopped in a town to fill up with diesel, and in the process almost managed to leave Matt behind. Whilst we had all checked for our buddies, Gino hadn't realised Matt was not in the back with us, and was already on his way out of town before he heard us shouting at him to stop. Poor Matt had to run to the truck, with the locals shouting after him "Run mzungu, run"!

It was a rather quiet and subdued trip back to Nairobi – we played a few games of cards and chatted a bit, but there was a definite air of sadness that this was the end of the adventure. We arrived at the hotel just before 4pm, but it took Andrew and me a while to get a room as they could not find a record of our booking. Eventually they found a copy of our reservation, which for some reason they had not entered into the computer system.

After living on the truck for 60 days, it was time to clear out all of our stuff and say goodbye to Imani. She had done us proud on our journey with no mechanical issues or breakdowns, just a couple of punctures early on, and a few leaks, although she did lose a wing mirror as we drove into Nairobi when we got hit by a passing truck!

The group opted to have dinner in the hotel so that it would be easier to say goodbye to everyone - Gino, Matt, Gemma, Hayley and Jeanne were meeting their new groups and having dinner with them, but would be in the bar afterwards for farewell drinks. Hannah, our co-driver from Cape Town to Nairobi, was also back in town meeting a new group, and it was nice to see her again. After dinner our group got together for one final drink in the bar before we said farewell. It was very sad to say goodbye to everyone, particularly Gino who we had been with for the whole 60 days – the longest he has been with the same passengers.

Monday morning, Andrew went to see off Imani and her new passengers, and then it was just us and Team Canada left – it was a very strange feeling. We all met up for breakfast, and then once again it was time for us to say a final goodbye. The girls were off to explore Nairobi for the day, and we had a couple of hours left to pack before we had to leave for the airport. It was just as well we were organised as the hotel staff wouldn’t let us leave when we went to check out - they could not verify that we had paid for the room when we had booked in March. We were beginning to get a little annoyed at their disorganization, especially as we had a flight to catch, but thankfully the accounts department eventually found our payment. T.I.A. – This is Africa.

Our next stop is Oludeniz, a beach resort in southern Turkey for some much needed R&R.

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