Saturday, July 19, 2008

The megatropolis of Kisumu

Well. It's been less than a week since I last posted but when you gotta go, you gotta go.

We are in Kisumu. Kisumu is not exactly tourist central. It is however home to 353 000 friendly kenyans and thus is the third largest city in this fine country.

Our last day in Tanzania was remarkably Tanzanian in tone. We huddled outside the Moshi Hilton at 6:00am waiting for the luxury minibus we splurged for to turn up. 6:10am and it arrived right on time and it was nice too. Comfortably relieved we sat there in the bus, in the dark as it started to rain heavily. Our nice large shuttle drove us across town back to their depot where we were dumped into some leaky old minivan and hauled to Arusha. Obviously some logistics weeny had taught them how to consolidate a load. Needless to say I was nonplussed about sitting there in the dark, getting dripped on clutching my bags for 90 mins. In Arusha they transferred us back into a coach which was nice. 3 hours later we are through the border having picked up a Kenyan transit visa. Unfortunately though, our delightful bus decided it was not going to Kenya and promptly broke down. The driver and conductor being nice guys then decided to transfer all our luggage to a new bus. Problem was that they missed my book and glasses sitting on my seat. Thus picture ungainly Jeff sprinting (well running as fast as possible) back over the Kenyan and Tanzanian borders with 40 locals laughing and looking on. It was kind of like the reverse of the olympics .. you know...slow Mzungu running with fast Locals sitting and watching..

Anyways, with glasses in tow I settled into my comfy new seat only to endure 4 more hours of roading hell. We arrived in Nairobi petrified of Nairobi (thanks guide book) and dishevelled. Help was at hand though in the form of a random aussie guy we met who hailed from Newcarstle. He took us to some random lodging house and showed us the pizza restaurant where we managed a small pizza each for lunch and another medium one for dinner. In between we graced the Nairobi cinema with our presence and endured the Incredible Hulk for 2 full hours. Nairobi was bustling and interesting. Not exactly what we'd expected.

Next day we rose early again to catch the train. Except that the train was cancelled due to corruption ruining the entire service. Thus we caught Easy Coach instead. This would have been easy had the coach had suspension but alas it didn't. After 7 hours of this and some of the worst roads we've seen we crawled into Kisumu peeved and bone shaken. Luckily though we met another lady who took us to a nice hotel called the "Sooper" lodge. This is where we've been holed up for a couple of days now and it's really very good. Kisumuins are nice people and we've had a great time here shopping at the market, eating cheaply and having coffee's at the mall.

Tomorrow we're heading to the little used border crossing of Busia by catching a minibus that has Busia written on it. Could work! From there we head onwards to Jinja where I hope to have a spiritual connection to the locals.

One last thing. If it is in lonely planet it now costs double and isn't very good. If it isn't in lonely planet but is recommended by someone you meet then it costs less and is generally alright.


Jeff. (Kate is busy)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey guys - WOW!!! All sounds amazing!!! Love reading your stories and hearing about your unreal adventures. SO excited to hear that you'll be home soon - we'll have to have a good catch up before you head back to NZ and go through your thousands of pics! Travel safe and see you soon xxx Loz xxx