Wednesday, 12 October 2011
Day Eighteen (Pt2) - It started so well - then the Highway to Hell
OK, so you're probably wondering why we have managed to post an update today after all – we reached Sekenani by 11am so we just decided to carry on to Nairobi.
When we left the campsite this morning we were still elated and talking about yesterday's events. As if the Mara wanted to tell us to stay, she gave us a very special treat as we left; just as we turned out of the campsite, we came face-to-face with an African Painted Dog (or Wild Dog)! There was shock, excitement and much fumbling with cameras as we desperately tried to get some photos before it scarpered. The Dog eventually wandered up the track and left the reserve via the Oloololo Gate! We did wonder if the Wardens checked its ticket.
About ten minutes later, we came across a heavily pregnant female Spotted Hyena. Things just seemed to keep happening.
We made good time and near the Mara Bridge we found a pride of Lions resting up after their night-time exertions, then completed our Mara experience with a group of Vultures squabbling over a carcass.
We reached Sekenani by 11am and decided just to keep going all the way to Nairobi. Things seemed to be going very well and we were looking forward to a meal in the Backpackers as we approached the Muthaiga area of Nairobi by 3pm. We had survived the horrendously bumpy road to Narok but we were not prepared for the horrors that were about to descend upon us. Just when we thought we were on the home straight, we hit the mass of roadworks that indicate the new Thika Road bypass. With no adequate signage (in fact virtually no signage at all) and heaving city traffic swerving from lane to lane and traffic jam after traffic jam we were soon completely confused and ended up spending five hours trying to find our way into the centre of Nairobi, via Thika! Tempers frayed and by the time we got to the Backpackers it was 8pm and we were very hungry and exhausted. Message to Nairobi Roads Department: your shiny new bypass is useless unless you put adequate signs up so that people know where they are going.
We are now showered, fed and chilling in the Backpackers. The Mara was as magic as always and we now have a couple of days to relax and do some souvenir shopping in Nairobi before we head home.