Here is the second half of my 3 week trip to Kenya. i had hoped to do only one loong trip report, the space ran out, so here is a continuation from part one.
anyone who is clicking on this 2nd part for the 1st time can catch up from part 1 located
we pick up from the last time while we were driving to Mombasa and the Coast Region. On the way, we stopped by in Voi, and the Taveta province. Below are the pics
again with the road billboards
street vendors all selling the exact same thing
making a pit stop. This place had washrooms cleaner than highway stops that I had been to in North America.
pit stop at voi to have a bite to eat
a salamander crawling in the restaurant floor
very dubious advertising at voi
little kids who enjoyed posing for the camera
view of the landscape at voi-taita
driving up a hill . The air was very fresh up this elevation.
Mount Kilimanjaro at sunset across the border in Tanzania
Mount Kilimanjaro again
us enjoying the view of the sunset of Mt Kilimanjaro again
view from the same spot the next morning. Kilimanjaro is hiding behind the clouds
this lovely lady kept following us so I decided to take a picture of her and she dashed right off.
preparing dinner the African way
I got up at 5:30am to take this picture
Kilimanjaro again 2 days later
again very dry vegetation and not suitable for agriculture
always driving on unpaved roads can be very stressful and time consuming. I have a reputation for reckless driving back in Canada, but I refused to drive on the kenyan roads.
at least they started paving this part but it looks unfinished
stunning view . If a city was down there, it would be impressive
not very good results from a rural secondary school. In Kenya, it is an accepted fact that rural students perform academically better than urban students as the latter are most distracted by the delights of city life. Perhaps there is another reason for these results such as lack of funds, ill equipped teachers, classroom facilities, overcrowding,etc.
try overtaking this truck on a very busy road with incoming traffic
nice try better luck next time dude.
expensive gas prices ( $1 CAD = 70 Kenyan shillings)
a lot of arab influence in architecture
police directing traffic
approaching the famous tusks on moi avenue
the financial heart of Mombasa
same billboard ad that was in Nairobi, this time in Swahili.
while stuck in traffic, we were approached by a street beggar asking for help, saying that she has young kids to feed.
by driving with your hood down, you are a target for car jacking, as we were constantly informed. Despite year round excellent weather, convertibles are a rare site on the streets of Kenya
all of a sudden, the hood goes up. There were more street beggars were down the road so they thought they did not want to be bugged during traffic.
mosquito net. An absolute necessity in Mombasa with the excessive heat, despite being prescribed anti malaria pills and getting immunizations prior to our trip.
Barack Obama Road. This is aviation related. This road leading to MBA ( Moi international airport, Mombasa) from the city centre, was previously known simply as Airport Road. After last year's election, the city council changed the name, perhaps to cash in on Obamania and boost tourism. It surprises me as President Obama has no ancestral ties in this part of the country ( coast region) and his relations, the Kenyan Obamas, reside in the western part of Kenya.
Rift Hotel Beach on a cloudy day. But the water was very warm
the Indian ocean
another interesting sign
any Canadian familiar with Canadian supermarkets will understand the reason I took this photo
waiting to take the likoni ferry
on the ferry itself
a Russian tanker
notice a certain flight advertisement on the right hand side
towards the Indian ocean
stunning view of the Indian ocean from likoni.
students were in Mombasa attending a music festival
buying snacks at a kiosk
we were walking towards Fort Jesus
group walk to Fort Jesus. About a 30 minute walk from likoni ferry
golf course next to a public road. Not a lot of privacy
did he hit a good one?
a very quiet and serene park near Mama Ngina House
view of the ocean from Fort Jesus
Another flee market at Fort Jesus selling goods at outrageous prices. The key again is good negotiation skills
An area of Mombasa that is regarded as the wrong side of the tracks
Nakumatt is a famous supermarket in Kenya
driving back from Mombasa to Nairobi
very dry land here with little vegetation. it rarely rains in this part of the country.
TRIP BACK HOME
After 3 very good weeks in Kenya , it was time to head back to Toronto. We were departing on the early morning of Aug the 13th and we would be getting into Toronto the same day at night, but almost morning the next day Kenya time ( which is 7 hours ahead to Toronto)
our flight was scheduled for 8:50am in the morning meaning us getting up at 4am to get ready to go to the airport. We decided , like coming to Kenya, we would go to the airport early. But luckily I had printed our boarding passes the previous day and selected our seats . So all we needed to do was get to the airport and drop our luggage ( only 14 this time)
Flight # 3
August 13 2009
Route: Nairobi (nbo) - Amsterdam (ams)
flight number: KQ 4140
aircraft type: MD 11 ( wet leased from klm)
scheduled departure time: 8:50am
scheduled arrival time: 4:20pm
scheduled flight time : 7h20min
seat assignment: 8d
we arrived at the airport at 6am in the morning. As with the incoming trip, photos of the airport are extremely limited due to the sensitivity of photograph-taking. I simply did not wished to get caught and I apologize for the luck of photos of Nairobi airport. The lucky ones I did manage to take are somewhat hazy as I took them in a quick hurry without being found out.
Security at Nairobi airport is rather interesting. First of all, one lines up before getting inside the terminal, and you and your luggage go through security screening before going to the check in counter. Only travelling passengers are allowed beyond this point, and those who accompanied them and are not travelling have to stay outside.
We were able to check our bags and of course be within our luggage allowance and limit. Before going to the gate, one fills out exit forms which are then checked by an immigration agent to make sure passengers have the right documents and right people are traveling ( as I am typing this, the case of suaad hagii mohammed comes to mind as she experienced hardship while trying to leave Kenya to come back to Canada as Kenyan officials were convinced she was impersonating someone else as her profile in person did not match her passport photo. Canadians familiar with her story will know what I am talking about.)
we were to depart from gate 12 but passengers once again got to go through security screening again. It was here that I had packed a plastic bottle of coca cola with bags of chips and chocolate in my carry on. These items were confiscated by the security agent as items that were not permitted as carry on. I was disappointed as I had wanted to carry the Bottle of Coke back home as I felt that Coca Cola in Kenya has a different taste and tastes way better than coke in Canada ( no offense to North American coke lovers). At the same time I was foolish not to have packed it in my 2 piece checked in luggage as I had packed 4 bottles of Fanta and had no problem bringing them back home.
When I told my brother that the agents had taken away my coke, chocolate and chips as unacceptable pieces of luggage, he joked that the agent probably confiscated them for personal use and would not hand them in to his supervisor, maybe he's right I don't know.
arrival to Nairobi airport still pitch black
by the time we had passed security , it was daylight
the aircraft that was to take us on the first leg of our trip to AMS was a KLM MD 11 that Kenya Airways leasing for the summer. Initially, we should have taken one of KQ's 777 for this flight when we booked this flight back early in the year, so I was slightly disappointed as I wanted to experience a KQ 777 flight. Ironically, My last time on a KLM MD 11 flight was travelling from AMS to YUL in 1999 on my previous trip from Kenya 10 years ago. I am not sure if it was the same aircraft we were to travel today with.
again photography is a sensitive issue at NBO, as I was very lucky to take these pics without been caught. A young lady took her camera and tried to take a picture of the klm aircraft but a ground staff member outside on the tarmac saw her through the glass window and signaled with his arms making an X, perhaps to signal to her to stop taking pictures. He motioned this several times until the lady finally understood and put her camera away.
the waiting area prior to boarding
the cargo building at the airport with a martinair and cargolux aircrafts
a SAA aircraft ready for an early morning departure to JNB.
A fly540 aircraft in the back operating a domestic flight
the KQ aircraft in the background was also going to JNB
passengers lining up to board before gate agents told them that boarding had not yet commenced and requested them to stay seated.
a Kenya Airways flight operated by a klm aircraft with klm pilots but with KQ cabin crew. Very interesting indeed.
equipped with KQ inflight and duty free magazines
ready for departure
I did not take pics of the take off and airport b/c of my aisle seat as all window seats had been snatched up during Internet check in . We departed the gate early but we were on the runway for some time ( NBO has only one runway for landings and takeoffs). There had been some flights landing that morning which were given priority by the control tower to land and then we would be on our way.
KQ flight attendants handing out hot towels.
getting used to the MD 11 IFE
the purser in business class. As soon as I took this pic, he immediately closed the curtain.
making the rounds with the drinks service
morning continental breakfast. Quiet good actually and tasteful.
watching Young Victoria with Emily Blunt. As a history buff, I love period films
some guy ranting about a certain sister-in-law who is doing all her best to prevent him from seeing his own niece.
tried my best to capture the outside. Sorry about the quality
KQ staff collecting trash
KQ staff performing the duty free service
the KQ staff in the back galley. Are they familiar with the MD 11 galley or are all aircraft galleys the same?
the ever vast Sahara desert
2nd drink service before lunch
drink b/f lunch. Fanta Orange is very addictive
a light snack . The salad was very good
watching Elizabeth, the Golden Age
drink service. Kenya is known for its Tusker Beer, but i don't drink alcohol so no verdict on it.
main lunch, chicken with rice. Very tasty. a far cry from the meal i had endured on KLM coming to Kenya.
reaching the European coast
passengers moving about
approach into Europe
map showing the end of our trip
on our final approach into AMS. Sorry no pics or video of landing as I had an aisle seat so it was not possible.
As I am not familiar with the landing patterns of AMS I could not tell on what runway we landed at. We landed early at exactly 4pm. But it was a quick taxiing trip to the gate and where I had to show my passport for inspection. The officer saw the pic inside and my profile in person and handed the passport to someone else (his supervisor I presume) whom asked :
you look different from your passport picture
. Well my passport pic, I am clean shaved and have short hair. And now I have grown a beard and have long hair. If you remember I had forgotten to pack my travel pack toiletries back in Canada, and did not buy a shaving pack for this trip, therefore I grew a beard in Kenya.
the Anna Pavlova at the gate
curiously, when Kenya airways leased an MD 11 from KLM, one would presume they have just one aircraft operating the route. Strangely enough, the Anna Pavlova which brought us from NBO would later depart for SXM and the NBO flight later that evening would be operated by another KLM MD 11 aircraft . I kept thinking where would they keep all those inflight KQ magazines still in the aircraft? Are they going also to SXM?
we went then to the terminal screen to check where our YYZ flight would depart from only to be informed that the flight had been delayed until 9pm and would not depart in its scheduled time of 6:20pm. Dreading the another KLM inflight meal, i proceeded to the Mcdonalds restaurant to to buy a meal ( i ordered the 6 pack mcmugget meal combo)
the airbus a330-200 being brought to the gate for the YYZ flight. The reason for the flight delay was that this aircraft had experienced some technical issues of its previous flight and had to be taken to maintenance so that the KLM maintenace crew could have a look at the problem.
Flight # 4
August 13 2009
Route: Amsterdam (ams)-Toronto ( yyz)
flight number: KL 695
aircraft type: airbus 330-200
scheduled departure time: 6:20pm ( actual 9:00pm)
scheduled arrival time: 8:15pm (actual 12:01am +1)
scheduled flight time : 7h30min
seat assignment: 30j (exit seat)
lining up for security screening
There was delay at security in processing passengers as the agents were suspicious about a particular passenger and her travel documents
exit row seat 30j. I paid a fee upon Internet check in for this seat.
the biggest space I have had in all my travels
hmm. There seemed to be a problem with the seat assignment
a klm flight attendant trying to convince 2 single travelers to exchange their seats so that a mother with 2 young children can have the seat for the baby cot.
proceeding on our way. We taxied for quite a while. I presume we departed on the polderbaan. Perhaps someone can verify from the pics below
take of from the runway. As one can see form the previous pics. We taxied for the longest time. It was daylight at the gate and by now night had fallen.
my personal screen
I do not know what city this , but I presume somewhere in the UK.
the 1st meal service. Again I chose the chicken and again that salad thing on the top right was not very digestive. I did not eat the meal as i was already full from my McDonalds meal earlier. I then proceeded to try and nap but seating on the exit row, i could not adopt the manner i had done on the YYZ-AMS leg by sleeping underneath the blankets. That can attract alot attention from other passngers.
some snack prior to landing in Toronto. Again not very tasty from someone who had eatne mcnuggets
flying above the North American view from screen map
very hard to take a pic at night aboard an aircraft
night shot of Toronto. Apologies for the less than perfect shots of Toronto at night as I have mot yet learned to perfect taking picture at night.
my first guess would be that this is Yonge Street
we landed just after midnight locale time. Immigration was very swift as this flight and an AA flight from MIA were the only ones arriving at this time,so there were no long lines to process. My brother had not travelled on a plane in more than 10 years and had not yet grapsed the idea of immigration clearance. When an immigration officer asked us the value of gods that we had purchased in Kenya, he told them $5. i had to quickly correct it with the right answer.
home at last
And that concludes my trip report of my African journey. Quite enjoyable. The only downsides were the lack of IFE on the outbound journey, the desserts served on the KLM flight, not being able to take pics of the NBO airport, and missing the chance to fly the KQ 777 aircraft. All in all, a most memorable trip. All comments are welcome.