04.16.2017 18 °C
We spent some time in the sun at our hostel and chatted with Sam, the British guy Josh met yesterday. After about an hour, Sam suggested we take his car to a gelato place a few minutes up the road, and we agreed to join him. The gelato was great, but Bamburi beach was packed with locals and tourists enjoying the Easter weekend. It was really great people watching.
Once back at the hotel we got organized and texted Kevin for a pickup to head downtown to catch our night bus. I was on edge because it was dark, but as soon as we arrived and dropped off our bags everyone was so friendly and accommodating to us I felt just fine. We asked the security guard where we could get a Tusker, and he walked us to this packed, smoky bar where locals were watching the soccer game. The server could clearly tell I was on edge as we were the only white people in there, and so she danced over to our table and said, "Feel at home! Feel at home!" It was really sweet and I relaxed after that. We had the cheapest Tusker yet and then walked up the street to another little tiny cafe where we had another one of those sweet breads and some Bahjadis, which were like spinach pakoras. The two guys working there were so kind and I was glad to have some food in me before our long bus ride.
Catching the bus is a different story. We bought the VIP seats since they weren't much more than regular and apparently we got more space. I pictured this bus to be like a greyhound since they're massive and these companies are huge. The bus itself wasn't bad I guess, besides being incredibly hot. We were sweating almost the whole way, it was pretty gross. But never mind the bus, the roads here are so terrible and the whole bus squeaks and rattles its way down the streets. I thought for sure this was only for in the city and that once we got on the main highway from Mombasa to Kenya, close to 500km, that it would be smooth. I was so, so wrong. The highway was like the worst logging roads in Canada, but we didn't slow down to take the bumps easy like you would at home, plus the whole bus was rattling and squeaking the whole 8.5 hour drive. I wish I took a video but I was too shocked the whole way to think of it. Every stop we took I said to Josh, this is unreal. We should have taken the train!!
Our two drivers switched off half way and when they weren't driving they were sleeping on this cardboard. The driver also chewed this plant we're seeing everywhere called khad, Josh says it's equivalent to chewing tobacco in Canada.
We actually did manage to sleep a little, only because we were over tired from travelling. We were almost at the bus station when we got in this crazy traffic jam. I kept wincing watching these massive busses try to get through traffic with all the cars weaving through them, plus pedestrians everywhere. It was INSANE, I don't know how else to describe it. And it was not even 6am yet. We arrived at our stop, still dark out, and we were promptly greeted by taxi drivers coming up the stairwell asking for our business. Actually the one guy just told us he was taking us. We had talked with Quincy back in Mombasa on how much we should pay for a taxi from that area, and of course he offered us double, but it was an easy haggle to get him down to the proper price.
He took us to our B&B where we were able to check in early (thank GOODNESS) and now Josh is asleep while I write this and I'm not far behind. We'll get a good nap in before we head out into crazy Nairobi for the day.