I had a real taste of travel in Africa. We tried just about every mode in 12 hours… it was an adventure, to put it mildly!

We awakened in a canvas tent along a river in the Masai Mara game reserve. We had a good night’s rest interspersed with the sounds of lions roaring, zebra’s barking (in alarm), and a leopard grunting as it meandered through our camp. Pretty amazing to wake up to. :)

Jared Busl gave us (and our motorbike) a ride across the Mara until we reached the edge of the park (the National Geographic folk who dwell in this part of the world are very adverse to motor bikes and all things unnatural in general—hence the need to get a land cruiser ride out of the park boundaries).
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Driving across the green Kenyan countryside with wind blowing through the hair and zebras/impala all around was a real thrill. It was SO beautiful. We followed a dirt track around the north boundary of the park and shouted greetings across fields to colorfully dressed Masai herdsman who were leading their cows and sheep to early morning pastures.

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Crossing the Mara River
The lovely ride ended in a classic way—flat tire. We graduated to walking and pushing the bike until we were rescued. 
 
Next phase of travel: Land Cruiser ride (almost) to Nairobi. That stretch was comfortable. Especially  after we left the three hours of dirt road section. We were dropped off at a curio shop an hour from Nairobi and there the real adventure began. We first caught a
ride with a stranger (with a comfortable vehicle) who happened to be eating lunch at the restaurant and amiably agreed to give us a lift. An hour or so later, we were dropped off in the middle of the city. I left half my clothes (the favorite half) back at the safari camp. We made arrangements for the clothes to make it back to the States and I did emergency shopping for minimum essentials. I’ve learned we both have the knack of losing/forgetting/leaving things behind. ;) Quite the team we make in this regard! So far we’ve kept track of our money and passports.

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By the time we hailed a mutatu (minibus) traffic was
clogging every thoroughfare. But no worries, the mutatu drivers are legendary for their ability to make headway in spite of traffic, using all manner of
creative driving maneuvers. We were packed in like sardines and the ride progressed as planned until the bottom fell out of the vehicle. Let’s just say that we came to a grinding halt (quite literally). Perhaps an axle broke. We didn’t take time to find out for sure in our haste to join the crowd packing into the already full bus that someone waved down. We were a sight I’m sure, toting our great 50 lb backpacks and various camelbacks and handbags in with us.
 
Once we were pinched in between people, the bus ride was a little more benign than our previous transportation. It was apparently in no hurry to get anywhere really fast and we wound around blocks and stopped every minute or so to let people off and on. Darkness had fallen by the time we were dropped at another busy crossing. It was all we could do to keep the taxi drivers from hauling off with our luggage as they shouted for our business.
Pretty soon we were jammed into yet another mutatu (this one kept its axles intact). After more minutes of careening through traffic, we were dropped off in another dark and busy town center. It only took only a few minutes to catch a taxi and find our way to Maxwell Adventist Academy. 

I don’t know that I was ever so grateful to see a bed. It was a great day, but one I would aspire to live through once in a while… not all the time. :) A couple hundred miles and 12 hours of travel later, it was good to rest.
 
In case anyone is wondering, I’m loving this adventure!

Maria
11/17/2012 10:14:31

If you happen to leave behind the other half of your belongings somewhere, let not your passports be with that half!!! We want to see you on Daddy's b-day! :)

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Jenae
11/18/2012 12:59:57

Only you, Chanteé. Only you. ^_^ I am laughing! Does God ever know how to fulfill your wildest dreams? (no pun intended. ;)) I love you, girl! Can't wait to see you again. Hugs and prayers

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