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Trip Report- Kenya & Tanzania June 2008

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Hi All,

We just got back last Sunday. We had an absolutely amazing time. The first thing that comes to mind when I think about our trip is: when are we going back?

My trip report is a little different from everyone elses- it started off REALLY badly...

We had a little drama coming into the trip as our flight from SF to London was boarded, de-boarded because the toilets didn't work, finally boarded- arrived in London early morning. When we got there- we had already been assigned a new flight- there were no flights to Nairobi for 10 hours- so we spent a day walking down the Thames and checking out the tourist sites. We made the mistake of staying up all night in SF before we left so we were exhausted. We called the Micato emergency line to let them know that we were not going to make our flight- we called and there was a recorded message saying they were closed and working for habitat for humanity and if it was an emergency- press 1 (or pound or whatever), so we did... and it rang and rang and rang. No answer. We tried back a couple times. No luck. That made us a little nervous considering we had given our familys that same number for emergency's. We figured they would find out we had been re-routed and all would be ok. Skip 15 hours and we are in Nairobi... we arrive with nobody waiting for us... and none of our luggage. We end up tracking down Micato from the airport and we are picked up two hours later. Tired, exhausted- no sleep for two days...we sat in Nairobi traffic for two hours... we finally arrive at the Norfolk. The Norfolk was being renovated, so I didn't really see any beauty in the place. We were whisked in to a room where we were then told "we were late" over and over and that WE had held up the groups day. Everyone seemed very annoyed with us because they kept telling us we were supposed to arrive the night before. We apologized and never got a formal introduction to our safari. They told us if we couldn't go immediately we wouldn't be able to attend the days events- girraffe feeding, tea garden... I was so upset...we had been wearing our clothing from 2 days before... we joined the group to the places and we were only half there... my bf was sleeping in the van the whole time. The girraffe feeding zoo was great, the tea garden was great- but it was hard to put a smile on. We reached the Norfolk that evening and told our group that we were not going to make the dinner at the Pintos. We were told that was rude of us by the Micato staff. I felt awful.. I was so angry because no one understood. I gave up. We contacted the airlines (for $100 in phone calls) and I stressed to the staff that I needed our bags and they had arrived at the airport. We were assured someone would pick them up. "You will have them in the morning" They gave us an emergeny pack- with a t-shirt (size xl- i'm an xs), a toothbrush, and a wrap. At that point, I didn't care. I wanted to go to bed and cried myself to sleep thinking this was going to be a miserable trip.

I wish I could elaborate on the first day, but the truth is, it was so horrible, I couldn't even take it in.

We woke up the next morning and I put a happy face on. We walked out and asked our Micato friends what had come of our luggage. Blank stares... no one had gone to get our luggage... no one even seemed to know it was missing. This was a little upsetting. We were then told we'd get our bags in Amboseli.

We met our guide, Alfred and we got on a plane early in the morning and flew to Amboseli. On the plane I was so stressed out...I didn't know how I was going to deal without underwear/clean clothes/bug spray... and then it happened.... we flew into our dream, my dream, the reason why we came to Kenya/Tanzania... I knew at that point... nothing could go wrong... I didn't care about the luggage, the travel... this was going to be amazing... I couldn't catch my breath...

That was my first day in Africa. ONE DAY. I only started with the bad- because, well, that is what happened. I had such an amazing journey and I think it's important to see the whole story. What comes next? Well... I will post more soon. This was the best trip of my life.

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