Back to Nairobi

Added: Feb. 12, 2011 | Date of action: Sept. 19, 2010
Author: Martin Linhart
Photos: Martin Linhart | Ladislav Lenc | Pavel Oplt
Tags: 2010 | Afrika | Keňa | Moshi | Nairobi | Tanzanie
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During the unplanned day off in Moshi we are just hanging around, buying souvenirs and gifts, steaks, drinking beer... Before dusk and for the first time during our stay in Tanzania the clouds give way to clear sky, so that we can see the magnificent Kilimanjaro and say goodbye. On this occasion we allowed ourselves to smuggle a small bottle of whisky to the non-alcoholic restaurant Deli Chez.

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It’s coming to 5 a.m. and we walk about the silent city with our backpacks smelling the Tanzanian coffee. The city hasn’t yet waken up after the Friday night partying. We pass by the night clubs. Tired girls go to get some sleep and boys start cleaning up. It drizzles. We wait about half an hour for the owner of the Impala Shuttle bus company. We have our tickets to Nairobi already booked. Each of us pay 45 000 TSH ($ 30). Just as much as we had left in our wallets!

After a quick stopover in Arusha, where passengers are split into two coaches – one going to the centre of Nairobi and the other one straight to the airport. At the border town of Namanga we are done with all the paperwork with the skill of African old hands. The coach ride is uneventful.

It’s only slightly after 2 p.m. and we are in the Kenyan capital. First impression can be summed up in one word - jam! The coach barely moves. After an hour and a half of skipping we stop in the Monrovia street, just in front of Parkside Hotel. I go for a quick price check. Good news, only 3000 KSH per room for three. At the reception, it was impossible not to notice a few finely modelled Kenyan girls accompanied by some impatient-looking white youths. This will be the kind of “cheap hotel” designed for different horizontal activities. No problem with that. The decisive factor is the price and good downtown location.

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We dive into the city with the desire to see as much of Nairobi as possible in just few hours. Covered market bursting with variety of odours, then church followed by a walk around the mausoleum of the first prime minister and founding father of modern Kenya - Jomo Kenyatta. After that comes the "corruption free zone" or government district. Somewhat involuntarily we let us carry away by the crowd in some pre-election demonstration….Enough of street culture, we rather look for a quiet place for coffee and people-watching ... La trattoria.

Později se v klasickém africkém bufáči seznamujeme s Julií, Georgem a Salome. Vřelí a přátelští lidé. Jídlo je neuvěřitelně levné. Naservírované ugali s hovězím je bohužel v kvalitě odpovídající ceně. Po dlouhém dni, kdy jsme toho příliš nesnědli, máme pořád ještě prostor dát si něco dobrého. Míříme do podniku Steak&Ale. Zní to slibně. A naštěstí i skvěle chutná! Tento steak se podařil.

Later on in the classic African eating spot we meet Julia, George and Salome. Fine friendly people. The food is incredibly cheap. Unfortunately, quality of the beef ugali matches the price. But we still have room for something good. We're heading to Steak & Ale restaurant. Sounds promising. And fortunately also tastes great! This steak was simply gorgeous.

We would like to finish the night in a slightly wilder venue than just a steak house. We try out the Taco Bar. Music roars loud and there’s some football on the big screens. I am sure Pavel doesn’t feel at ease here, but he fights bravely. Several mighty bouncers appear around us. Perhaps just in case someone had the idea that the only white guys simply do not fit in here...

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At half past five in the morning we quietly leave the hotel room. The echoes of blissful moans fill up the hotel atrium, while we are taking seat in a wobbly old taxi. To avoid any problems, our driver pays a small bribe to the police guarding the entrance to the airport terminal. Who doesn’t pay, misses his plane. A simple choice!

The delay gets longer. It’s just too long we’ve been on the plane. What's going on?

„Good morning, captain speaking. This is to inform passengers that this aircraft flies to Amsterdam, repeat, Amsterdam.“

Someone apparently took a wrong machine. It happens...but now let’s take off.

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And what can I say in conclusion? We look forward to Alaska …

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