Friday, 27 July 2012

Karibuni Africa!

I'm not going to lie to ya, setting down late at night in Nairobi's Jomo Kenyatta airport and being driven through the pitch black, potholed streets to our deserted hostel in the middle of nowhere was an unsettling introduction to Africa. Especially when the lonely planet and the FCO website has instilled you with perhaps irrational fears that you are going to be carjacked and shot dead at every street corner. Still, we made it in one piece and in the morning we planned our escape out to Lake Naivasha, which was to be a welcome break on our long journey to Kisumu in Western Kenya. 

Monday, 2 July 2012

A place to live?

I have spent a fair amount of time in San Fran in the past few years. After finals I took advantage of my Aunt and Uncle's wonderful hospitality and descended upon them for a whole month with my trusty side-kick Lydia. My uncle Stuart was kind (stupid?) enough to lend us his beautiful red convertible to cruise around California on a road trip and for those couple of weeks we felt akin to the legendary Thelma and Louise - young, carefree, and having the time of our lives!

Perhaps it is these youthful memories that make me incredibly favourably disposed to this captivating city but everytime I visit I am struck by its vibrancy. San Francisco oozes creativity and flair. It is a happening place where innovative ideas are born and played out, where everyone knows the founder of some ridiculously successful and everyone is an entrepreneur; its residents just seem the sorts of people who make things happen. It might not have the flawless weather that typifies the rest of California but somehow the misty fog adds to it's mystique and charm and may even be responsible for blowing away the cobwebs of apathy that seem to entangle many Californians ensconced on their sunkissed beaches.

The Greyhound...dah dah daaaaaaaaaah!

Sounds exciting eh!! You'll be glad to know, riveting as the title sounds, that I will try to keep this brief. However, I felt this trip deserved a mention, if only due to the infamy of the North American bus company. Nothing super eventful happened but somehow it was one of the more surreal journeys we've undertaken.

Having finished our course in Whistler and spent a few days taking in the sights of Vancouver we finally made the decision to head down to San Francisco to visit my aunty Jenny for a few days. We were right on the doorstep; it made sense to have some home time. Flights, too expensive; Greyhound, a bargain and only 24 hours...we could manage that, we'd travelled in India, Asia, the world. Besides we'd taken the Greyhound up and down between Whistler and Vancouver a few times and all seemed fine. It was only when we'd booked our tickets and started talking to Erin and Carolyn, our friends in Vancouver, that we started to have doubts. Turns out a madman notoriously decapitated someone on a Greyhound bus in Canada a couple of years ago, locked himself inside and proceeded to eat the dead man's head whilst traumatised escapee passengers looked on from outside. Nice...still, we told ourselves this could happen anywhere, right!?