February 2, 2012
My trip with G Adventures ends today. As we made our way back to Nairobi, almost everyone slept but I couldn’t quite quiet my mind. I kept thinking about the trip and how at some points I was disappointed and some points far exceeded my expectations. The distances were long and I wish we had seen more animals, but that’s what Tanzania is for. The gorilla experience was amazing and white water rafting was totally mad. I love most of the people I’ve met and plan to keep in touch with a few of them, hopefully traveling together again soon (maybe even coming back to Africa).
I wasn’t really sure what I was getting myself into, but I’m so glad I did it. And now I have to do it all over again. I have to put myself out there and make new friends and for someone as shy as myself it is entirely exhausting. I really have to fight the desire to chill in my tent and go to sleep early.
I was hoping that traveling solo would encourage me to be more outgoing and while I think it’s helped a little there is still a long way to go. While I have no trouble hopping out of a plane or rafting down the Nile, put me in a group of strangers and my heart starts to race and my palms sweat. It’s gross.
We stopped at the Great Rift Valley and took an awesome picture of a lovely group of people. When we got back to Nairobi at our original starting point we all went our separate ways – to the airport, to different hotels.
It was so strange to share this experience and then just say goodbye. I surprised myself by tearing up when I had to say goodbye, I didn’t think I had been that affected by the experience. I’m sure part of it was nerves for having to hop into a cab alone, through the streets of Nairobi and leave everyone behind. But that’s the way it goes and I still have 2 more weeks before my final farewell.
I grabbed a taxi and headed to Wildebeest Camp, my base for the next couple days until the Intrepid tour starts. I found Wildebeest on a hostel booking website while looking for affordable accomodation in Nairobi. I knew I didn’t want an expensive hotel or a bunk in a dorm room. Wildebeest looked like the perfect compromise. For $40 a night I got a private permanent tent (wooden floor, large enough to stand up in), a safe, electricity and breakfast. The bathrooms are shared, but after sharing for 2 weeks it doesn’t really bother me.
We turned off a main road, into what looked like an alley, and pulled up to a large, black metal gate. The guard opened it for us and revealed an oasis in the city. A large stone house has the reception, dorms and kitchen and the grounds has the tents and so much greenery. It is absolutely perfect, so quiet and all the guests are friendly. First thing I did was laundry (hand washing) and spent the rest of the day wandering around before heading to bed early.
Breakfast: hardboiled eggs, sausages, pineapple, bread, peanut butter, jam, bananas, coffee/tea, juice
Lunch: (packed lunch) pb&j sandwich, banana, juice
Dinner: sweet potatoes, salad, fish, mixed veggies