April 6, 2011
4/6/11 - 4/7/11 82 °F
We got up and watched Discovery channel for a few hours and now want to take Ruby’s family and friends in India on a field trip go see tigers in Rajasthan. We should really stop watching travel shows! We then took care of a few odds and ends including getting a bus ticket to Kenya. We ran an errand on India Street (Arusha's jewelry row). It’s really hard to find Wi-Fi here in Arusha and when you do the power usually shuts off (the power goes out every day)! After running around for a few hours we arrived at the bus station/gravel parking lot of an old hotel. The bus is small and looks more like a battered old school bus that’s been repainted. All our bags got tied to the roof with a tarp over them and at 2pm we were off. We were sad to leave Tanzania with its full-color, multisensory experiences but it is time for our next adventure.
The road we took north was half-part dirt 4x4 trail and half race track. We felt like our old bus was going to rattle apart on the bumpy roads and even tried stuffing toilet paper in the windows to help hold the thing together. When the bus was on the smooth roads it was no easier to relax! Our driver had to be the fastest car on the road passing everything and not bothering to slow for small things like speed bumps or kids crossing! If you come to Tanzania and see an old school bus with bags on the roof honking and kicking up dust you better get out of the way! We arrived at the border and it was pretty uneventful. Just a few small portable buildings and I don’t even think they had a sign saying welcome to Kenya. By the way our single entry visa cost $25 p/p. We stopped to talk to someone about exchanging money and almost got left at the border!? As we walked out we saw our bus drive away and had to run to catch it! The buses in Tanzania don’t bother with things like head counts or asking if everyone is back on. When they say “we’re going to stop for 10 min” you better be back on in 9 because the bus is going to start moving!
On the bus ride we met two British kids who have been in Tanzania going to an international school for the last three years. They really were enjoying it and said it was a worthwhile experience--in the future we may have to consider sending our kids to school in India to live with Ruby’s family for a year or two. We arrived into Nairobi around 8:30pm, and started looking for a hotel in the area. Unfortunately Dr. Bansil couldn’t meet up tonight so we walked over to a hotel one our friend recommended. It was nice but a little out of our price range so we walked around and decided on Hotel Embassy just around the corner, ate and called it a night.