Saturday, 26 November 2016

Day 101: Nairobi, Kenya to Arusha, Tanzania, border crossing at Namanga. 275km, 7 hours 19-20°C

Sometimes we wonder if  we are following the journeys of Ernest Hemingway - from the hotel in Varna Bulgaria to The Norfolk  here in Nairobi.
The hotel was built in 1906 when Nairobi was a village. We enjoyed all the historical photographs of early travellers and safari adventures. We enjoyed the comfort, too.

It is Thanksgiving in the USA.
We enjoyed our own thanksgiving dinner with the best beef steak we have had in months and more wonderful fresh vegetables. 
The hotel has its own herb garden. I had a lovely fresh green herb omelette.
All set to ride south.

Security was tight around the hotel. Huge military vehicles along the street.
The traffic was dense as we headed out of town. Slow moving, too.
Then we were out in the countryside; stopping once for a cup of tea for us and petrol for Orlanda.

The roads at border at Namanga are being reconfigured.
We hesitated for barely a moment and someone was alongside wanting to show us the way.
We have become quite benevolent about fixers.
First immigration( a yellow fever certificate was asked for... where have I hidden mine?)
No problem.
Customs was quick, too.
Then to Tanzania border control, after a slight detour through a 'herd' of trucks. 
Public health first. Yellow fever certificate? 
We got through this hurdle becaus haven't been in any countries where yellow fever is endemic and because of our age 
Next to purchase a 'visa on arrival', $50 US each, please.
Then Dick deals with the customs for Orlanda.

While he is doing that I have a chat with Alfreda, a maths teacher,  from Kenya who was heading south.
We have noticed that along the highway there are numerous signs and billboards for boys' schools, girls' schools, secondary schools, full kindergarten to secondary schools, church schools, international schools...
Alfreda tells me that education is very important to Kenyans. 

We talked about these words that I saw on the back of a truck...
'Dreams... are the seedlings.... for reality'
Education is one of the dreams for  Kenyans.
Education transforms the future of children everywhere.
Dreams can be transformed into reality.

Near the border the landscape changed from lush forest to scrubby grassland. 
Mountain peaks dot the landscape. 
They can't all be Mt Kilimanjaro.

The GPS takes us through a shortcut near Arusha.
A rumpty road through coffee plantations.
A reminder of roads past...

Then home for two nights in a coffee plantation at the Arusha Coffee Lodge.

We will be heading away on safari from here tomorrow.
Blogging will resume when we have internet access.


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