Here there be dragons...

"I'm telling you stories. Trust me." - Winterson

We made it!  Mostly ;)

So for people following the story, our driver was, in-fact, exactly where we’d been told he’d be with our sign.  Sadly, Chris’ luggage was not.  Fail.

But before we even got to that...   Coming here we looked into what vaccines we’d need.  Our doctor, the CDC, and Google all recommended that if there’s any way to avoid the Yellow Fever vaccine we should.  It has not entirely proven but significant anecdotal side effects, and my doctor is pretty into any kind of preventative care, so for her to say she doesn’t recommend it is a pretty big flag.

Okay go home and do research.  Canada to Tanzania doesn’t need it.  Sweet.  BUT travelling through Kenya does IF you’re there more than 12h.  Even if you never leave the airport.  We were going to be there for 10.  I was going on the serious hope the flight would leave on time and/or Tanzania wouldn’t be too picky if we’d never left the airport.  Esp as we discovered they spray the airport for bugs at night.  lol.

Anyways - we got lucky and the flight left on time (albeit without C’s luggage).   We got off the flight in the tarmac and before we could even go to the visa/customs area we were stopped and asked how long we’d been there and challenged about our 10h.   Guess they take that pretty seriously.  We made it through no problem, the visa process was simple, although customs required fingerprints and two photos.  Sheesh.  But yeah - of all the things to go wrong, I’m pretty glad in this case that it was missing luggage and not a delayed flight.

So yeah - filled out the form for the luggage and then the representative from our safari company went and finished it out for us.  The trip to Arusha took about an hour, primarily due to the strictly enforced 50km/h speed limit.  I saw more speed traps in that drive than in 6 mths at home.  And yet they all had people pulled over.  An endless stream of tiny shops and tons of people - some working, some chatting, and a ton on bikes.  Our guide explained that the houses are built “by season” — as in over several years.  The buildings we were seeing with no roofs and apparently abandoned were, instead, just partially built.  I have no idea where people live during the years it takes to build their homes.  Lots of poverty with some obvious examples of extreme wealth sprinkled in.

We stopped at a tiny store so Chris could purchase a change of clothes.  Both our driver and the company rep seemed pretty convinced we’d have it in a day or two.  We shall see...

The area itself is more mountainous and cooler temps than I’d expected.  And yes, I’m well aware of Kilimanjaro, but somehow in my head I had a vision of a loan mountain thriving in an otherwise flat and dry landscape.  Yeah no.  Not so much.  Lots of hills surrounding said mountain, and current elevation is 1400m.  Netflix fail ;).  Lol it is only green in areas that put a lot of effort to making it that way however.  The desolate dry yellows and dust-swept browns I’d expected were prevalent.

- view from the plane as it rolled to our disembarkment point -

The hotel itself is tiny and takes customer service to an impressive level.  There was a miscommunication about our early checkin (although they acknowledged they knew about it, just couldn’t acccommodate) but even still they had a room for us within about 2h of our arrival, definitely ahead of regular checkin.   The rooms are interesting - a series of individual circular huts of sorts, each hit has two rooms, and the keys are skeleton style.  There’s a small balcony of sorts as well which I believe is the “smoking” area of the property.

There’s not much (read anything) to do here.  You can walk the entire resort in 10 mins w time to spare.  Basically the options are hotel lobby, pool, or room.  So after a significant nap and a cold shower (if there’s hot water as advertised, I haven’t found the trick to it yet!) we spent the rest of the day at the pool.  The road noise is significant but otherwise it’s lovely.  Suspect it will be an early night and then safari starts tomorrow!  Woohoo!  Super excited :)

Except of course we don’t actually know when or where we’re supposed to meet our guide...  hmmm ;).  Tomorrow Lauren can solve that one.


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