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Bristol - Rome - Nairobi

This is a historic journal, from our trip to Kenya and Seychelles in 1986, taken from notes I wrote at the time. Apologies for the poor quality photographs


View Kenya and Seychelles 1986 on Grete Howard's travel map.

Sunday 9th November 1986

After 18 hours of travelling from Nailsea, we finally arrive at the Panafric Hotel, Nairobi. The journey has been rather tiring as we were delayed at Heathrow, touched down in Rome, and the plane developed a leak in the toilet (it's the only plane I have been on with an en suite swimming pool).

The hotel seems OK. There are lots of bluey-purple trees everywhere, which I later find out are jacaranda, and bougainvillea in all shades imaginable. The weather is sunny with a few clouds around.

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Great views from the room

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We are now the other side of the equator. It's a bit of an anti-climax that the water does not appear to go down the other way round in the plug hole.

We have a BBQ lunch by the swimming pool which consists of kebabs and sirloin steak with salad. One of the salads is very nice, hot and sweet with tomatoes, onions, peppers, chillies and pineapple.

Bomas of Kenya
This afternoon we book an optional trip to the “Bomas of Kenya”, which is a commercialised but well laid out area, with mock up tribal villages and traditional dances. It is quite interesting, with the Masai village with their cow-dung huts and all the woodcarvings being the most fascinating. They also have some very good acrobats, but quite what that has to do with traditional dancing I don't know.

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The drums, rhythm and beat of the local dances gives me visions of real villages, where the local tribe perform their rituals around a large fire, driving out the evil spirits.

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We buy the 'compulsory' safari hat and I would really like to get a carved giraffe. On the way back we go past the Norfolk Hotel with its delightful colonial ambience. I can just imagine it in the days when Britain really was GREAT Britain.

Dinner
Dinner is an experience! The dining room is quite nice with tablecloths and candles. We have soup to start off with, then Chateaubriand. The chef comes out to our table with the whole piece of fillet, cuts it, then fries it and sets fire to it. He is just about to serve it up, when one of the waiters comes along and tips it all on the floor. So he has to start all over again, all the while mumbling “sorry sorry...sorry sorry.... sorry sorry...” It is worth the wait though.

After that palava with the main course being flambéed at the table, I am cheeky and ask for crepe suzette for dessert. We have a good laugh with the waiters and I really enjoy the evening. The food is superb and the service... well, it is slow, but courteous.

Posted by Grete Howard 00:47 Archived in Kenya

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