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Pip&Judi’s Travel Diary

Thursday, 31 Aug 2006

Location: Malindi, Kenya

Map......... well we said we'd be back to Africa and here we are!!! Almost 1 year to the day since we left and we touched down back at Jomo Kenyatta Airport in Nairobi, possibly even aboard the very same jumbo that took us 'Out of Africa' last year. The scene of a very hasty and stressful departure 364 days ago is so familiar and this time we made only 1 entrance through immigration with the correct visas rather than the numberous and slighly dubious repeat entrances of the last time we saw this airport. But this time we are not going anywhere in a hurry and everywhere very slowly. This is day 1 of our Honeymoon!!.... a once in a lifetime riding safari through Massailand.

After a quiet day wandering round Nairobi looking for the inevitable items that I left forgetfully at home we are just soaking up the sun and enjoying our first Tusker beer. With new riding boots purchased and some booze aned chocolate stash we purchase our first class rail tickets and eagerly await our overnight sleeper train to the coast where we spend the next 5 days at a beautiful resort hotel called Hemingways famed for it's deep sea fishing trips.

On arrival at the station and mixing with the throngs of locals queueing for tickets we get allocated our cabin and carriage only to find after walking the length of the train twice!! (all 17 carriages of it) that it did not actually exist contrary to the ticket clerks insitsnce that it did. Finally on accepting his mistake numerous confused and hassled Europeans managed to board.

The air of grandeur that greeted the slow departure immediately took you back to a glorious colonial past when this line was in its hey day and teh British Empire only travelled in style .... sadly the tired and creaking train had obvioulsy seen better days but it is a touch of our colonial past that leaves one imaging the glory days of this railway.

The train proved to be all we expected and less! The lights did not work so we each had a torch courtesy of Kenyan Railways that died after about 2 hours, the first class dinning car was hugely romantic but very amusing as the crockery and cutlery as well as the waiters uniforms must surely have dated from 1930..... but we did have a solid silver gravy boat!!!..... but never mind all that the romance of an overnight sleeper with silver service through Africa just made it seem perfect and very exciting.