Sunday, March 9, 2008

WC: Best Laid Plans

The company that put our tour together--EcoQuest--planned a low-key trip home for us that included an overnight stay in Amsterdam with enough time for an evening cab ride to see the sights.


Kenya Airways cancelled our flight from Nairobi to Amsterdam due to insufficient passengers. It seems that people don't want to visit Kenya while the cease fire has failed to make people cease firing. (I haven't read the news in weeks, so perhaps things have gotten better--or perhaps worse. I sure hope it's the former.)

So, here's our new itinerary home:
  • Tomorrow, we check out at 10, unless we can get later checkout times (we're trying).
  • We get picked up for our trip to the airport at about 12:30.
  • We then fly to Nairobi, where we wait 7 hours for our next flight.
Now, mind you, I'm pretty sanguine about long airport layovers. Give me a good book and access to unlimited fast food, and I'm okay. Throw in a wall to lean on while I stretch out my legs, and perhaps an Auntie Anne's with yummy fresh pretzels, and life is good.

I guess it won't surprise you that the Nairobi airport lacks those amenities. It has a main waiting room that consists of, if I remember accurately, maybe 100 chairs in rows filling the room wall to wall. It has two stores--one souvenir store and one duty-free store--and one small cafe. It is not air-conditioned. It is close to the equator.

After 7 hours, we shlep onto an 8.5-hour overnight flight to Amsterdam. I'm not sure how long our layover is there, but the flight from Amsterdam to New York is also about 8.5 hours. My guess is that it will be at least 30 hours door to door. So much for our lovely, albeit brief, stay in Amsterdam.

However, all is well. I found a bookstore in Zanzibar and bought some books. I have a few Trio bars left over for emergency sustainance. I should be exhausted enough to sleep on at least one flight. And I'm hoping to float my way to New York on a combo of afterglow from the Serengeti and happiness at going home.

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