05 June 2009

Avoid Voi

Unfortunately we weren't able to escape Nairobi without going into the city centre unless we spent about £100 hiring a car and driver for the day. So to get to Voi, our next destination, we had to take a cab into the city so that we could get on one of the long distance buses.

So as to minimise the amount of time we had to spend in the "danger zone" the cab was to drop us off directly at the bus. Things only went wrong when we couldn't find the bus office where our map said it should have been. After half an hour of aimless driving around the only option was to get out of the taxi and try and find it on foot. The thing that made me really nervous about leaving the safe confines of our car was that River Road area, where the buses leave from, is highlighted in our guide book as the most notorious part of the city. Just to reassure us further, there was a warning poster featuring a picture of someone being mugged there on the notice board of our hotel in Karen. After a buttock clenching dash around the streets we eventually made it to the bus just minutes before it left, thankfully, with our lives still intact. It was only when were safely on the bus that Liz decided to tell me about the article in the morning paper that detailed a mass riot and police shooting that happened in the surrounding streets the previous night.

The five and a half hour bus journey to Voi was like a mini safari in itself. From the comfort of our coach we saw baboon, wildebeest, zebra and even giraffes grazing at the side of the road.

We had planned to stay in Voi at the Tsavo Park Hotel but decided go somewhere else when they wanted to charge us $60 a night to stay. $60 was way over our backpacker budget, especiallly when the upper 2 floors of the hotel resembled building site and it looked like they hadn't finished putting the roof on.

We ended up at a hotel next door called Vision Guest House which was just too horrible to describe in any detail. The Karen Camp used to be a brothel but we're not sure if the Vision Guest House still is!

As well as shoddy hotels Voi is probably the only place we've been to where the food was as bad in Burma/Myanmar. We weren't sure if it was safe for us to be on the street in Voi after dark so we decided to eat early in order to be back at our lovely hotel/brothel before sundown.

Once again our best made plan failed, this time when it took over two hours for the kitchen to rustle up a pizza and a toasted cheese sandwich. The best of it was that when the food finally did arrive neither dish contained any cheese (which is surely a novel way of making a toasted cheese sarnie). To further add to the culinary adventure the chef had decided to make the pizza base out of pastry and fashion it so that it looked like a mutant pie that had been in a traffic accident. Even Heston Blumenthal couldn't create food this weird.

By the time we had eaten our dinner (o.k. so we forced most of it onto the local stray cats) we then had a very nervous, thankfully incident free, walk back in the dark.

We can safely say it's been one of the more unusual days that we've had so far on our trip.

No comments:

Post a Comment