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Karen- utter heaven!

sunny 22 °C

Hello everyone! Sorry it's been a while since my last post, but to be honest I haven't really done much to justify writing one!
Since I left Watamu (which was lovely if a bit of a disaster) I met up with Emily at Malindi and we had a lovely bumpy journey back to Mombasa, enjoying the view an munching on samosas that were supposedly filled with potato, not that we could find any!! We were planning on going back to camp that evening to save money, but discovered that there was no one there, so had to spend a night in Mombasa. It was much nicer being there the second time, cos we knew where we were, so headed straight out for tea and cakes in a nearby cafe, reading our books (we got some very strange looks!). We then went for ice cream at this AMAZING ice cream place we discovered on our first trip there. Our friend Georgie was staying in a lodge just down the road from us, so we met her for supper and chatted for hours about our travelling over curry and chips. To end the night we took her to this ice cream place- yes Emily and I did go twice in one day, but if you have tried it you would understand! I will take Rocky there when we arrive in Mombasa!- and then hit the hay after a tiring day's travelling and eating...
The journey going from Mombasa back to camp was hot and sticky, it was a boiling day and we had to lug our huge backpacks around on the ferry (I didn't look over the edge!) and then sat on a matatu for ages waiting for it to fill up. We thought it would take us straight to the turning to our village but no, even though it said it would on the side! So we got dumped in Ukunda and shoved into a seriously cramped matatu headed in our direction, we had our bags on our laps and people everywhere... Eventually we got back to camp and were the first people back, even beating half the staff!!! Everyone got back the next day so we got to chill.
It was so nice seeing everyone again and hearing all the stories, I got really excited cos they all did stuff I'm gonna be doing over the next 2 months with Rocky and now can't wait! We had a big night out on the Saturday, were all nicely hungover on the sunday so spent the day comatose on the beach again. But we were all in great spirits in the evening when Jofri, the camp chef, did a really nice BBQ as our leaving dinner. There were burgers and chicken and fish and potatoes, it was so nice, all properly bbq-ed as well. Was so lovely, but also kinda sad cos it kinda hit me that the 3 months was almost over and everyone was going home...
So on Tuesday everone left, I flew with them to Nairobi and then said bye to them at the airport where I was picked up by my godfather. Was sad but also kinda wierd, gave Emily a HUGE hug, gonna miss her loads. If you're reading this Em, I MISS YOU WIFEY!!! My godfather lives in a suburb of Nairobi called Karen, which is quite rich and full of expats from the UK etc. It is a lovely bungalow in huge grounds, it's protected or something so they have a massive forest surounding them. It's not a massive house but I already love it. Nick and his wife Nina have 2 kids, 11 year old twins called Tabitha and Luke, who I adore!! They also have 2 dogs, 2 cats, 3 horses and a parrot! It's the kinda place where there is always chaos, just like in Beechingstoke so I feel right at home. Today for example they had a chimney fire while Rocky and I were out, so everyone was on the roof with buckets of water! It's heaven being here after 3 months of cold showers and repetitive food. There are hot showers, and staff to look after us the whole time. Took some serious getting used to but I'm getting there.
Have spent the rest of the week not doing much really. I picked Rocky up at the airport on Friday night, he took forever to get through VISAs but suddenly appeared. I had been waiting for ages bu this point and had a rush of nerves that he decided not to come, so was so nice to see him! Haha... I have been laughing at him cos I am freezing here in Nairobi, it is much colder that at the coast, so I have been living in jeans, but he is still getting used to Kenya, so is always really hot. He also sleeps a lot, had to set an alarm today so that he would get up cos we decided to actually leave the house, but he is asleep now I think, typical! I have been going with Nick in the morning while he does his errands around the edge of Nairobi so I have been in a huge market that sells some really nice stuff very cheap. I have already decided that I am gonna get rid of everything in my bag before I come home and stock up on all star shoes, really nice dresses (joules, joe browns, topshop- you name it , they have it), bags and so much other stuff, we can bring home 2 bags each so customs might be a problem!!!! Also went to massive fruit and veg market, where you can buy almost everything imaginable, like butternut squash and sweet potato (Mum it made me REALLY want your soup!), was crazy and bustling but Nick knew everyone and they all greeted him like an old friend. Know my way around the edge of Nairobi pretty well now, been to the big shopping centres, even if just for 5 mins, so it's all really cool and I'm loving it!
What else have we been up to?? Hmm... oh I was part of a dinner party on Wednesday night, which was a shock to the system but it was great fun, much like one of the dinner parties Mum and Dad have at home. I have played a fair amount of cricket in the garden and loved getting back into my stride! Then today Rocky and I decided we HAD to get out of the house (he has left it twice since he has arrived I think!) so we borrowed the car- it's awesome, Rocky is insured for it so they have said we can use it when we want- and drove to the Karen Blixen museum. We paid a small fortune to get in (800Ksh- about £8) for a tiny house and some gardens, really wasn't worth the money or effort getting there. Then we used my incredible ap reading skills to go the giraffe sanctuary, which was far more successful! The giraffes are sooooo cute, we fed them and took the standard tourist photos. Rocky got really excited about a warthog which made me laugh cos I have seen so many of them in the bush that I forgot he has seen nothing.
Now we are just making plans for our travelling on from here. It's all a bit crazy cos we have been talking to Nick and Nina. They have a lot of friends in a place called Naivasha where we really want to go, so they have organised for us that we dirve their car to oe of their friends houses at the end of next week and stay there as long as we like, cos the lady is in Nairobi for a couple of weeks. It's all got totally surreal and I kinda feel we are cheating this whole backpacker lifestyle, but at the same time it would save us a load of money that we could spend in Uganda. So we have a week to fill and are about to book a 6 day overland tour of the Masai Mara and some of the other lakes int he rift valley which will be really good fun, but doesn't leave till Saturday, so we might have to kill some more time in Karen.
Whoa, just realized how long this blog is, sorry everyone if you even made it this far! Won't do any messages home except to say HI RACH! Miss you very much, 5 months is a long time already, 7 months is fecking CRAZY! LOVE YOU....
Ok, hopefully next time I fill you all in, I will have some more interesting stuff to talk about cos I will either be somewhere or will have just got back from the 6 day trip thing.
Love and miss you all
Emma xxxxx

Posted by emmabanham 07:58 Archived in Kenya

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