A somewhat belated follow up to the last posting 7 days ago.
To recap, TDA arranged a couple of small coaches to drive us back up to Arusha on Sunday morning. It was a very quiet, very sad 3 hour drive; not a lot of chatter as I recall. I wasn’t alone in getting straight onto the phone/email to try to arrange flights home, either during the drive north or as soon as we got into Arusha, back to the Masai Camp; in my case a couple of emails and back and forth messaging before I got in contact with Joe at Flight Centre who worked the phones very late into Sunday night East Africa Time. Joe pulled a rabbit out of the hat, as it were, and got me a ticket back to Vancouver out of Nairobi, departing Tuesday night.
Monday morning, the news about Africa and the World had further degraded with reports of various border closures, issues with flights throughout the system it seemed as people everywhere trying to return home. A quick consult with Mayumi and Erika and we decided that there was no good reason to delay getting out of Arusha and Tanzania. We would therefore try to get a flight out of Kilimanjaro airport that afternoon up to Nairobi and overnight there. At least then, we’d avoid a possible closure of the Kenya-Tanzania border Monday night.
The mood in the main camp was weird to say the least; a scene of activity with Omar and Mara packing up bikes, crew and riders commiserating with one another, others on their respective phones with family or airlines or travel agents, all trying to sort out travel plans.
Omar celebrating that all the bikes are packed and gone! Photo courtesy Alice Goulding.
Mayumi and Erika arranged transport to the airport, and with Mike M. accompanying, we left camp in the late morning. In the event, the flight up to Nairobi went without issue; no problem using our ‘single entry’ visa once again to enter Kenya, and no questions or screening in terms of coronavirus. Mike and I shared a room at the nearby Hilton, and just tried to relax over a late dinner. The next day, Tuesday, was a bit long but in the end, I caught the Lufthansa flight late in the evening up to Frankfurt with eventual connections to Vancouver, arriving back home on Wednesday afternoon.
So I’m home here in Deep Cove, in ‘self-isolation’ for the next 14 days. Who knows how this will all play out, but at least all the family are well and coping. And of course, we’re now 3 days into Spring; great opportunity to get an early start on the garden. 😉