Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Road to Tsavo - Kenya

After my cousins wedding in Mombassa around August 2006, 50 of his friends and relatives hopped on a bus to partake in a 2 day Safari at ‘Tsavo East National Park’ in Kenya. Some of you might recognize this as the place where the film ‘Ghost in the Darkness’ starring Michael Douglas and Val Kilmer was shot. I believe this is where the whole drama actually took place in real life as well.

The bus ride was entertaining. There was ample left over booze from the wedding so as far as I am concerned the party never stopped.

I did my best to keep the spirit alive and flowing but a lot of the crew were pretty worn out form all the events. None the less we inspired a few drinking games in the bus and the 2 hour drive to the game park just flew by. You snooze, you loose.

Every single seat on the bus was occupied. It was like being back in school again though. All the hip kids were in back talking story and the social misfits were stuck in the front. I was practically sitting next to the driver!

On the way over we conveniently made a piss stop that just happened to be at a large handicraft/souvenir shop.

We were all grateful to find that even out here in the savannah, American Express, Visa, and Master Card were welcome. You have got to love capitalism. I could not wait to see the cheetah sponsored by Nike sprint across the landscape.

But all sarcasm aside, the shop was pretty amazing, situated in the middle of nowhere. I even wandered around and saw some of the craftsmen making the carvings. There were loads of ethnic carvings and tapestries for sale. The prices were set for tourists but a bit of hard bargaining will get you everywhere. I was quoted $400 for one of these drums and eventually bought one for $40.

This handicraft shop may have been a tourist trap on the Road to Tsavo, but for the weary travelers sitting on an hot bus for 2 hours, with no cigarettes, and bunch of obnoxious twits in the front disturbing the peace playing idiotic drinking games, it appeared as an oasis in the desert. And quite a few of the people picked up last minute gifts for which I am sure the bus drivers got a cut as well. But that kind of shot never bothers me anyways.

The day and night we spent at Tsavo was epic. And now that I am back in China with great internet speeds I can post all the pictures I want. But I will write about it all when I am feeling less cynical.

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