The journey and arrival

Well getting to Kenya was a bit more of an adventure than I had predicted.  My flight left JAX at 1 pm on Wednesday, June 12th, and was to fly through CDG and land in Nairobi at 8:30 pm the next day.  I had heard about a three day strike at Charles de Gaulle airport, but my flight from Atlanta to CDG wasn’t cancelled, and no one at Delta check-in informed me of any cancellations.  The plane was really comfortable with a nice USB charging port in the seat in front of me, too bad I slept about 7 hr 15 mins out of the 7 hr 30 min flight and didn’t get to take much advantage of the amenities.

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Oh they also had one of those nice footrests that folds down and makes all the difference in economy class!

Unfortunately my flight from CDG to Nairobi happened to be a victim of the strike and was cancelled, and I ended up spending some extra time in CDG, which has improved a lot since the last time I was there, at least in the terminal I was in.  First of all, I never had to get on a bus, the planes came right up to the gates, which I can’t remember ever happening when I’ve flown in or out of there before.

Then there was a lovely breakfast – latte, croissant, and yogurt from Normandy, very welcome since I had slept right through breakfast on the plane.
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There was also a cool Philips light therapy booth, which would have been fun to try except for the fact that somebody was taking a nap in it.

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My only option to still arrive in time to spend the day in Nairobi on Friday was to make a connection in Istanbul (not Constantinople…lol), getting in to Nairobi at 2:30 am on Friday, June 14th.  No surprise, my baggage did not make it.  by Kevin our local host, and had a smooth trip to the hotel.  When the Kenyan Airways guy at the baggage desk looked at my baggage claim tickets, he said promisingly, “these bags will not come to Nairobi”.  Fortunately I did get them by Saturday night, unfortunately my TSA approved lock had been cut off and my Ray Ban sunglasses were stolen.

Friday I had a fantastic day with my old friend Mary Caron, who kindly put together a great day for us.  We started at a little spa right near our hotel, then had lunch with a little wine at the lovely Talisman Restaurant, sitting in the outdoor garden.  After that we took a drive through the Nairobi National Park, where I got a glimpse of my first wildlife (it doesn’t take long in Kenya!).

Some interesting signage in the restrooms at the park:

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Right after we drove in we needed to stop for a giraffe in the road.  (yes, I have been wearing these clothes for about three days :-0)

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Other highlights were plenty more giraffe, some wildebeest and two black rhino (unfortunately I didn’t get a good photo of those).

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Unfortunately our “sundowners” (traditional cocktail time at sunset on safari) from a scenic lookout point were not possible since it started pouring rain, but it was near closing time at the park anyway so we’re saving our bottle of wine and crackers for this weekend.


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