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Saturday, December 15, 2012

Kenya, kenya, kenyaaaaaaa

I took a trip to Kenya, Africa, 3rd planet from the Sun, Sol, Milky Way Galaxy, the Universe earlier this year. My favorite song about the trip: ;-) Actually, let me back up. This trip took a lot of work to plan and execute. I've been overseas off the continental United States two times prior to this - both were very straightforward, short trips to touristy destinations. My passport is pretty underused, and I've always been itching for a reason to use it. Heck I got it more than half a decade ago on the chance I would be just off the coast of America in the Island of Bermuda (assuming I didn't get lost in the Bermuda Triangle, of course). With my girlfriend there, I now had a reason to go exploring Africa. So time to dive into planning! It took several weeks of dialogue just to even nail down a couple of weeks when to be there. Apparently, no one in Kenya follows any kind of schedule or clock, so stuff seems to run on "someday" and "whenever." We took some good guesses and figured with some leeway, I could get into Kenya by August 17th and out on the 31st. This was maybe January or February and even then it felt like I was late actually ordering my flights out there and back. The cornerstone of the trip was to climb Mt Kenya, the 2nd highest mountain in the continent. This beast is nearly 5000 meters above sea level (that's some 16,300+ feet to us Yanks) and has to be summited over a number of days. The highest I've gone is 14,200 feet (Mt Lincoln in the continental United States) and even that only took most of a day to get up and down. So with that set, now we had to figure out what else we wanted to do. See the lions? Safari tours are quite a time commitment. Hit the Indian Ocean and the beach? It'll take a few days on some dangerous roads to make our way to the coast and back. Just hole up in a hotel and catch up? Romantic, but why come 8,000+ miles just to see the inside of a hotel room? We settled on at least heading to the beach for a few days after we summit, to celebrate our heady accomplishment. This still took several months of discussion and price shopping and collaborating online, but once we figured out what to do and what to pack, it was now just a matter of catching the right flights and heading to the dark continent! Next: The long flights....

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