Pictured above: posing on one of the many suspension bridges in Capilano Suspension bridge park, in North Vancouver, BC. I highly recommend a visit if the idea of suspension bridges doesn’t freak you out. The main bridge into the park definitely sways a lot.
Hello there! Another weekend with no plans (for me) is here and I’m pretty excited. I have a doggy guest who arrived yesterday and doesn’t go home until the evening of the 27th. That’s a long time and we have already had a few quirks but he is sweet and I’m always happy to make a guest comfy, so I hope he has a nice stay with me. :)
I mentioned earlier in the week that I’d write about my final impressions of Africa and so here goes. After traveling to Mexico, Colombia, Panama, Chile, etc, I thought I would not have a huge culture shock in Africa. In some ways, I did not, in other ways, I did. I think what I learned last year is that 2 weeks is my max for traveling. I get tired and maybe not necessarily homesick but I am definitely over living out of a suitcase and ready to wash some clothes by then. On both long trips last year, there were no opportunities to do laundry and I also get cranky when I feel like I’m wearing dirty clothes. Who doesn’t?
All that said, I think the last few days in Nairobi might have been affected by my tiredness and the fact that it was a huge and overwhelming city. I can’t remember if I mentioned that there is a ton of traffic, lots of roundabouts, and traffic cops at each roundabout to stop cars. It results in sitting in a lot of traffic and not moving at all. Nairobi is at an elevation of 5889 feet, I googled that while we were there because I kept wondering why we were close to the equator but it wasn’t hot. But when you’re sitting in a car with 4 other humans and the windows are open and the carbon monoxide is flowing because emissions standards are non-existent, it is hot. I think we also had headaches the whole time were were there. Karlie had a rash that appeared when we arrived and disappeared when she got home. After reading up on some things, I wondered if the air pollution from the practice of burning trash had anything to do with it? Let me explain that these are NOT COMPLAINTS. Every country and city is different and I appreciate and love the differences. I think it was just a lot to take at the end of a tiring trip when we were all exhausted yet still trying to cram as much into our days as possible since our time in Nairobi was limited. Also, we’d been in nature for 10 days and the transition from mountain to island to BUSY DEVELOPING CITY was extremely jarring. I’d like to go back and visit Nairobi first.
Other notes and interesting thoughts
The public buses never fully stopped, from what we saw, people ran alongside them while they slowed and hopped on. This was entertaining to watch on our first morning when we were at our hotel and were very impressed by the speed and agility that the locals possessed as the effortlessly hopped on the bus.
The highway and busy roads are for EVERYONE. Cars, mopeds, motorcycles, bicycles, buses, men hauling carts, pedestrians. We became experts at running across highways instead of using crosswalks since everyone else did it and crosswalks were few and far between.
People sell anything and everything on the busy roads. Anything you can think of you, could be driving down the road in Nairobi and probably encounter someone selling it while you sit in traffic. They are smart salespeople.
Zanzibar is definitely the poorest place I’ve been now and it stresses me because I want to help and am still figuring out how or if that is possible.
At one point on our last day while we were wandering Nairobi in the sun, we were looking for a bathroom and it had become urgent . We stumbled upon the Fairmont and entered its air-conditioned oasis and ended up staying for a cocktail at their fancy bar. I’d never stay there in Nairobi because I’d go for a local hotel, but it was a welcome break from the heat even if I did feel a bit icky about going into such a western establishment at the time.
Everyone walks everywhere. As a North American, I don’t think twice about getting on the train or taking an Uber or increasingly, riding my bike as my main forms of transportation. In Tanzania there was not a huge public transit presence in Moshi and people seemed to walk miles on the main roads to get to work/school/where ever. There were motorycle “taxis” as well, which are basically just local men making extra money by all being in a central location and giving people rides for money. It is mutually beneficial. And we did see 2-3 people on one motorcycle if it was big enough. People do so much with so little.
If I have other anecdotes or stories, I’ll share them at some point but
And now for some links!
How airlines are reducing their carbon footprint. Good, they should be trying to help.
Visiting Canada’s southernmost island. Adding another place to my list!
Visiting Chile’s new national parks, Patagonia is high on my list and I’d really love to go this sooner rather than later.
Keeping it short and sweet and hoping that you have a great weekend! Next week, I’ll dive into Vancouver and Whistler! <3