This is Page 6 of the journal of my visit to Cameroon and Kenya.

April-May 2012 Africa
Travel Journal

April, 2009 Korea/Japan
Travel Journal

Page 1 - Arriving in Cameroon >

Page 2 - In Cameroon >

Page 3 - Leaving Cameroon >

Page 4 - Arriving at Mt. Kenya >

Page 5 - On Safari in Kenya >

Page 6 - Leaving Kenya >

South Africa Journal >

I took all of these pictures. Most of them link to very much larger versions of same.



Cheetahs waiting for their lunch

Cheetah Feeding : February 18, 2007

Iris and Don are taking me to lunch here: Trout Tree Restaurant but about 10am Iris drops by to tell me they're feeding the three cheetahs soon and I should go and watch. They will get one rabbit each. The hope is this will help to stimulate breeding - the female likes to see the the two males fight.

Ideally, they should fight over her own fine self but, failing that, then any sort of fighting may do the trick. Fighting over food can help them to prove to her their masculine prowess and get Nature's grand plan into motion.

The cheetahs are lazying about in the shade and the rabbits are not here yet. I watch small children riding the ancient tortoise. They're having a grand time! Even the tortoise doesn't seem to mind. A lesson: a placid soul is the key to long life.

There is a black and white Colobus monkey they call Chuck. It runs around loose, often lingering near its pals inside of their enclosure. I'm shown a trick. There are all sorts of veggies grown nearby and all you do is get hold of an ear of corn and scrape some kernels loose in your hand. Then hold them out with both your hands and your elbows tight together. Chuck jumps aboard your arms and eats. Cool.

Somehow in the middle of this demonstration, it happens that Chuck ignores the kernels and makes a dash for the cob that's been carelessly set aside! He quickly runs up the side of the enclosure to the top, out of reach. This has worked out better for that Chuck than it did for this Chuck.

Doomed rabbit

Hey Mr. Bunny! Can you guess what's for supper?

The rabbits have arrived. How exciting. Cheetahs hunting. Cheetahs fighting. Cheetahs mating. Wild animals at their finest.

Evidently, there is quite a process leading up to actually delivering the rabbits. First the keepers go in one side of the enclosure and get the three cheetahs clued in that there are rabbits coming. They are teased a bit with rabbits held out by the ears. One of the children is concerned that the rabbits may be hurt. Clearly, the rabbits have got bigger worries.

All three cheetahs are gathered near the main entrance and the rabbits have certainly got their attention. Pretty soon, one rabbit is released and they all run to pounce on it. There is a high pitched squeal from the rabbit as one cheetah arrives there first and grabs it in its jaws. Then silence. The other two cheetahs wait patiently at a polite distance. No fighting. Disappointing.

After a while a second rabbit is released. It just sits there until another cheetah pounces. Squeal. Silence. And again no fighting. The third cheetah gives no indication that it's ever going to give any trouble to either of the other cheetahs. So the third rabbit is dropped over the fence near me. I almost get a picture of the pounce. But my aim is slightly off. It's certainly not because of the high speed chase! The rabbit just sits there.

Cheetahs hunting

Cheetahs run to catch a rabbit

Cheetah has caught a rabbit

One cheetah has caught a rabbit. The others wait patiently. Unfortunately.

Finally, the scene is reduced to the three cheetahs each savoring its meal. And they sure do seem to be savoring it. The one nearest the fence is licking the rabbit's internal organs with what appears to be extreme ecstasy. But, all in all, I think this could have gone better. They eat once a day, six days a week. Usually, the food is not live. Maybe they got a little too much to eat yesterday? Better luck next time.

Cheetahs eating rabbits

Cheetahs relish rabbits

Colobus Monkey

Colobus Monkey

Back in the main area of the animal orphanage, I try the monkey-feeding thing again. And I do have better luck. Chuck eats all the kernels I've got for him and then jumps to the waiting arms of one of the children. His dad makes a sudden move and Chuck snaps at him fiercely. Chuck seems almost to have more potential for violence than the cheetahs today. Not really, but it almost seems so.

Like most of the animals here, the monkeys will all be let loose. It's only a matter of waiting until there are enough of them to form a viable group (clan, family, herd, whatever the term is) and then they'll be taken to a suitable location and put out on their own. So I wonder if Chuck will get to stay with his caged friends, or what?

Trout Tree Restaurant

Trout Restaurant located up in an African Tree

It's time for lunch so I go back to my apartment to meet Iris and Don. I've known about the Trout Tree Restaurant for some time, because of the article that I placed onto Iris' web site a couple of years ago. I ask whether we'll all be dining free on account of our having generously promoted the place online. [Checking later, I notice that if you Google the name of the place then our web page appears first. We really should be treated as honored guests!]

Like many of Africa's most interesting restaurants (those of my own limited experience, that is) the whole parking situation is completely sub-standard compared with everything else about the place. It's a terrible bumpy dusty road down into the place. Then you park in a dusty uneven parking area. We get hit with a cloud of dust as soon as we step out.

But then, inside, it's fantastic! There is a gift shop and stone steps. There are Colobus monkeys in the trees. Trout ponds below. And, sure enough, the restaurant is built around a huge tree on two levels. Amazing. It feels like I'm in Hobbit land or someplace. We have trout sushi followed by grilled trout. It's a good place.

Iris confides that the monkeys were some that she herself let loose in the forest. Not far enough away from civilization, apparently, because here they are. Oops. But they seem happy as do the customers. And the restaurant is certainly happy because the place is packed.

Don says he likes this place because it's so busy on Sundays that they don't even have time to take his money! (But he does find somebody willing to take the time.)

Mount Kenya Safari Club

Mount Kenya Safari Club grounds

Mt. Kenya Safari Club : February 20, 2007

I've been reading a book called Paradise Found, The Story of the Mount Kenya Safari Club. It's a beautiful coffee table size book. The history of the Mt. Kenya Safari Club is fairly unbelievable. Sort of stranger than fiction. One of those stories that if Hollywood made it up, it would be dissed as absurd.

I notice that Wikipedia has an empty entry for the club so I think that what I'll do is finish reading this book and then place a summary of it into there for my readers here, as well as for everybody else.

For some reason, I'm most fascinated by the fact it was once owned by famous arms dealer Adnan Kashoggi.

Anyway, Iris has arranged for the concierge at the Club to give me the grand tour. I believe she has recommended me as an internationally prominent travel writer. (If anybody from the Club sees this, you are welcome to hold me to the promise of a Wikipedia article and then we'll call it even. Okay?)

I'm shown three different suites. They are marvelous. The first is like a comfortable small apartment. The second is a whole private house, with a view of a private pool of water (where birds congregate, I suppose). It's well removed from anybody else.

Suites at the Safari Club

These are good digs.

Pool at the Safari Club

The pool is nice, too.

The third is my favorite - not too big, not too small. And not too expensive at only about $200/night plus taxes. It's also something like an apartment, including a private porch with a close view of the electric fence - beyond which is the national park. It's possible to see every sort of animal roaming wild there. Even elephants and leopards.

View from a room at the Safari Club

I like this view of the adjacent park

Because the Club grounds are so enormous, not very well lighted, and not 100% guaranteed against dangerous animals... if you're staying here and you want to come to the Club for dinner (or for any reason) then you just call them and they send a car right to your door. Nice.

I'm told that at night it's pretty much universally the case that people take a ride back to their rooms. They don't walk. Good idea.

On the way back to the main Club building, we stop at a little chapel. Weddings are performed here. It's not used otherwise. I thought they got married in the rose garden... but then I remember there is a rainy season here.

Hedge Maze at the Safari Club

Guests can go get lost in the hedge maze

And there is one of those hedge mazes. I can't help thinking of the movie The Shining, of course. The concierge tells me that people get lost in there once in a while. LOL. Others report where they're going before they begin. "If we don't return by X o'clock then please send a search party to the hedges!"

Mount Kenya Safari Club inside

Interior of the Club

There is lots of talk about the planned renovations, the $15 million or more. Big, Big plans. Come back in a year. I would love to.

Better would be if I never had to leave.

Next to the reception is a framed letter listing the Club's charter members:

I'm treated to a drink on the Club's splendid patio and then, on the way out, I'm shown where the real equator line crosses the property. There is a sign identifying the equator right next to the main entrance. But, in fact, it runs through the middle of the rose garden. I'm glad that's settled.

Dr. Maharmon : February 21, 2007

Doctor Maharmon

Free medical care for needy Kenyans.

Kenya Medical Clinic

Waiting area at Dr. Maharmon's medical clinic.

There are two hospitals in the area. One is the government hospital, which is pretty bad. And a private hospital that is pretty good.

And there is Doctor Maharmon, an American who has been working here for a long time for free. She lives on the property of the Monastary and operates a charity medical clinic next door.

Don's nephew's wife is a nurse and she has smuggled in some medical supplies to give away. We are expected at the doctor's clinic. It's a very simple set-up she's got here - but reportedly highly effective. She helps people.

Doctor Maharmon

Doctor Maharmon of Kenya

While we wait, I notice a car in the parking lot that says Kansas on it. I guess that's where she's from.

There are a few people waiting but as soon as she is finished with the current patient, then we introduce ourselves. She is happy to see us. She says she gets few American visitors. It's been several months at least, she reckons.

I mention there are wealthy Americans passing right by her on the way to the Safari Club every day. She shrugs. She knows.

The nurse hands over the bag of goodies and Dr. Maharmon is grateful. But... "This won't last the week."

Practically immediately she states her greatest wish. "Have you got an old {insert techno-babble} machine tucked away someplace at your hospital, not being used? You can't imagine how badly I need one here." I gather that it's a gadget for counting t-cells and will save lives by allowing her to properly gauge the right level of medication for her patients.

I am very much impressed by her seriousness. This is a woman on a mission to help the people of Kenya and she is not one bit hesitant about enlisting the help that she needs. The nurse will do whatever she can to fill this need.

Dr. Maharmon asks how we like Kenya, and we say we like it very much of course. She says, "So do I. That's why I've been here for 20 years." I admire, respect, and like this woman very much.

It's difficult to bring, or to send, medical supplies here. One might have to pay duty if customs officials believe the items might end up going for sale here. I don't really understand all the issues.

But if you might be interested in sending a donation to Dr. Maharmon then I suggest you give a donation to the Animal Orphanage with instructions that it be passed along to the doctor, and Iris will see to it that it gets to her.

Kenya's poisonous snakes

I found this poster disturbing. What a lot of poisonous snakes they've got here!

Golden Friend : February 22, 2007

Iris has a surprise. She wants me to join her over at the Wildlife Orphanage. The staff there has got something for me. I wonder aloud if it's a baby giraffe, I've always wanted one, but that's not it.

One-time donation

Use this PayPal form to make a donation to the Wildlife Conservancy in any amount you like. Or become a Member for $30 annually.

I am presented with a Golden Tile bearing my name, and it will go up on the Wall of Tiles within the animal orphanage compound. All the primary staff are there, including Bonge, the wildlife manager; Funde, who supervises the care of the animals in the orphanage; and Jane and Mary, who run the Conservancy office, conduct tours, and collect donations.

They really have made me feel that I am a part of this project. And I am so glad that I have been able to be of help.

For a donation of as little as $130 you can also get your name onto this wall - and onto the web site, too. Remember, all donations go directly to the cost of caring for the animals. Iris doesn't take anything. For her, this is a labor of love.

Dinner at Mawingu : February 22, 2007

I am invited to dinner back at the German doctor's house. I walk through the Mt. Kenya Game Ranch unscathed and uneaten. It's beautiful.

This small residential area is named Mawingu, which I have recently learned from the Club's history book was the name of the first European-built house in this area. There is a romantic story involved... but I'll have to review the details first so just please wait for the Wikipedia article.

Mt. Kenya Game Ranch

The game ranch grounds are beautiful.

Mawingu at Mt. Kenya

Mawingu is the small residential area.

I pass Stefanie Powers' house and the others. Can you imagine having a house in a place as wonderful as this - but you spend most of your time someplace else? I can't.

I help the doctor to learn to use Photoshop, along with some other tricks. And his wife is having some other computer troubles. I help as best I can but it's not easy because their Windows installation is in German!

Emergency medical care in Kenya

Photo of emergency medical care in the Kenya 'bush' - - quite some time ago

I comment on a particular photograph on display. It's of the doctor when he was much younger and he's shown helping somebody who got stabbed by a rhino. (I'm glad again that my walk over here was uneventful.) The only thing he had to help the patient with the pain was a single warm beer! But the patient did recover.

Another remarkable picture shows him receiving, in payment for medical services, some goats. I laughed because I thought, well, what in all the world is he going to do with goats? It would be so rude to refuse them. The solution was, he declared a feast and so the whole village got to join in. Worked out well for everybody. Nobody was embarrassed.

Together with the pictures is a big hoop of wires. Naturally, it has got an amazing story to go along with it. The doctor spotted an elephant in back of his property which had these wires wrapped tight around its foot. The elephant was clearly in a lot of pain and something needed to be done urgently.

The doctor got a quantity of white paint ready on his elephant viewing platform and waited for that one to reappear. When it did, he splashed the paint along its back and then summoned the Kenya Wildlife Service to bring its helicoptor and it's dart gun. They located the elephant from the air, put it to sleep, and they cut the wire loose.

I practically never have adventures on that scale back home in dreary old Las Vegas.

We get pleasantly mildly sloshed on South African red wine until it's time for the doctor to drive me home. Iris has warned me that it's a very bad idea to walk that route after dark. You don't have to tell me twice! Heck, I listen to the alien animal noises from inside the safety of my apartment and don't even open my front door after dark, even with a gate and a 24-hour guard only a stone's throw away.

I get home safely, past the rhinocerouses and other perils of the African night.

Rhino with BIG horn

We wonder if this (sleeping) rhino might have the biggest horn of any living rhino. It's possible!

Roaming the Property : February 23, 2007

Bar at Safari Club

View from the bar at the Safari Club. Those elephant tusks are the real thing.

I help Iris with the finishing touches of her presentation, and she and Don leave for the conference in India where they'll try to preserve the last wild remnants of the Asiatic Lion. I think her presentation will be well received.

Iris actually says she would not have agreed to go but that she knew I was coming and would help her to prepare the Powerpoint aspect. I don't know if that's literally true or not but I'm glad I could help - both that I could help Iris and that I could help the lions.

I offer to come along and help her further in India - by clicking the button from one picture on the screen to the next - but there is some question whether that effort would quite justify the very considerable expense...

The office manager is throwing a birthday party for her boyfriend tomorrow. Iris gives them each a bottle of South African champagne, and one for me, too; and wishes us a good party. "Thanks. I hear we're having barbequed bongo!" Lucky for me, my joke is well received.

I begin sorting and packing. In the evening, I walk over into the Southern Hemisphere to the Safari Club

Final Countdown : February 24, 2007

I make a visit to the Conservancy, and take a picture of my tile in place on the wall. It looks good, I think.

Students at Conservancy

College students sometimes make use of the Wildlife Conservancy and neighboring Education Center, as well. Mara (baby wildebeeste) and Oliver (baby buffalo) never lack for attention.

Conservation Donors

My name posted where all the animals can read it. You can get your name here too - and help to protect Africa's wildlife.


They like to watch the world from up high. I'm going to miss the cheetahs!

I chat with Fundi and I tell him about seeing all the Big Five. He is just slightly less impressed than the others. He has seen three leopards in the forest outside of the Game Ranch. Yikes! Yes, he agrees, it's rather unsettling to bump into leopards when you're out there on foot like that. But they never really gave him any trouble.

We talk a little about the animals. Oliver, the young buffalo, has recovered from his surgery. But he still plays too roughly. He will have to go outside into the Game Ranch with the grown up buffalos pretty soon.

And Mara the wildebeeste comes over - as she always does - and nuzzles us. She is very friendly.

I get some more pictures of the cheetahs. And then I try one last time to get a video of the ostriches dancing for the camera. I try real hard. Then I give up. I guess it was a one-time deal before. I was not prepared with the camera and now they only behave like normal ostriches. A photo-journalist must at all times be prepared for the unexpected!


Stupid ostrich refuses to dance for me again.

I've been meaning to mention... Male ostriches have black feathers because they sit on the nest at night. Females are dusty brown because they sit on the nest in the daytime. I find that so interesting.

There are lots of people at the birthday party that I've met before, and some new people including a couple more local pilots. They sure have interesting jobs. They fly to Uganda, or to the various parks in Kenya, or down to Mombassa or Tanzania.

Sometimes they just fly people around to look at the wildlife from the air. Their airline - Tropic Air - can even offer a helicopter for wildlife viewing safaris - at $2000 an hour. It seems to me like a lot but their customers can easily afford it. One of the pilots, by chance, has just delivered some Germans to the Safari Club and so his airplane is parked a two minute walk away at the airfield. Maybe he'll give us a ride around the mountain later on this evening or in the morning.

African fetishes

African fetishes. These things are so cool.

Dinner is great - even though there's no bongo antelope included! The funny thing is, there are two maids hired for the occation. I'm not quite used to maids at a casual afternoon barbeque like this.

I meet a woman who has recently spent two months in Douala. I mention the difficulty of appreciating the view on account of the dusty air. But she was there this past rainy season so I get little sympathy. To estimate how far in the distance she could see through the downpour she holds out her hand. Okay, you win.

Last Day at Mt. Kenya : February 26, 2007

I got my packing pretty well figured out yesterday. There is not much more for me to do but I remember that I had wanted to take some pictures inside of the Mount Kenya Art Galleries for the web site. (I need pictures to display at the top of the categories.)

This is far the best African art gallery that I've ever seen. It's got everything from supposedly magical fetishes to modern art paintings done up with an African flair. It does tend to put my cheap stuff to shame, but I still love my cheap things.

If you buy African art, remember, it's probably fake (cheaply produced). Unless it comes from somebody that you have good reason to trust.

Paintings and bronzes are another matter; but look out when buying masks and fetishes and other tribal artifacts - they were no doubt made by authentic Africans... but likely not by authentic artists, and not by authentic native tribesmen, and not very long ago.

Buy the cheap stuff anyplace. But if you want quality then buy it here.

Mount Kenya Art Galleries

Beautiful things all over the place.

Mount Kenya Art Galleries

I should have spent more time in here.

African wood carvings

African wood carvings. These are by authentic artists. So I can't afford them.

Authentic African masks

Authentic masks that were really used. Very unlike the masks that I bought for $10.

Later on, I go to watch the performance of the tribal dancers on the lawn at the Mount Kenya Safari Club. Lots of drumming and chanting and dancing. Very nice.

Tribal dance at the Safari Club

These dancers perform every evening for the guests of the Club. It's my last night at Mt. Kenya!

Kenya highway

Kenya is a good looking country.

Au Revoir Kenya : February 27

Steven picks me up early. He's got errands in Nairobi, besides dropping me there, and he's got to be back before dark. I'm all packed and ready to go home to civilization. It seems like longer ago than a mere three weeks since he delivered me here.

I missed a lot of the drive up here, because I napped after having been up most of the night, so I take this opportunity to take my last photographs of Kenya. [They don't turn out very particularly well. Sorry.] The countryside is so beautiful I say to Steven I don't want to leave. "Let's phone Iris in India!" He laughs.

I can't help commenting to Steven that America has got the best highways in the world. Traffic is still a problem but the quality of the roads themselves is unsurpased in the world.

Getting close to Nairobi it's nice because there is a proper divided highway. Then all the traffic comes to a complete stop, which is not so nice. Crime and traffic are the two biggest problems of this city.

Don has mentioned that the population of Kenya is now five times what it was at independence. This has put a lot of pressure on Nairobi in particular.

Kenya hillside

Pretty hillside in the Kenyan countryside.

Divided highway near Nairobi

Blessed relief. A divided highway close to Nairobi. I sure appreciate good roads now.

We pass a big open air market. Steven says it's not far from Don and Iris' apartment where I'll be passing the afternoon and early evening, but he recommends that I not venture over here. He is frightened of crime in Nairobi. I'm convinced. But it's a shame. I think I could possibly fit a few more things into my luggage - but the sellers will sell less today on account of the criminals.

We do turn out to have a little extra time and I offer to buy Steven lunch. But I'm short of cash. Can we stop at an ATM? For some reason, this becomes difficult. First there are few ATM's to be found, and then the first one we do find is out of order. The second has a line of people waiting. When I get to the front, the machine won't accept my card. I go to change U.S. dollars inside the bank and they advise me to use an ATM across the street.

Eventually, I find the right ATM. I explain to Steven that this sort of thing is far easier in the USA. There are some advantages to living in a developed country. Add to the fine roads and the fine grocery stores, the availability of cash machines.

We drive to the apartment and pass the Norfolk Hotel next door, which is where I'll walk to arrange a cab to the airport. The finest hotel in Nairobi. And now it shares an owner with the Safari Club.

In the apartment I'm introduced to the maid. She speaks no English but she's got a nice smile. Steven hasn't got time for lunch after all so he leaves me there, and I go next door for lunch. The hotel and the lunch are both very nice.

It's my last meal in Africa.

Norfolk Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya

The best hotel in Nairobi is the Norfolk.

Nairobi skyline

The skyline of Nairobi, Kenya.

Kenya Broadcasting Company

The TV channel HQ is across the street. The sign forbids photographs. It's very juvenile of me to place this here.

Later, I take my last nap in Africa and then get to work on catching up this journal. The maid leaves to go home and, using Swahili and gestures, she reminds me to leave the key inside the apartment and pull the door shut behind me. She also shows me snacks and coffee and bottled water. I sure have been well taken care of in Africa. Now I'm all alone and journaling.

I take some pictures of the city from the balcony, and take some more later during a rain storm. From up here, Nairobi doesn't seem so scary.

I lose track of the time while writing. Before I know it, it's dark. And I still have not arranged a cab. Oops. This is my one last chance at my much-foreseen gruesome death in Africa.

I ready my bags near the door and, taking the key with me, go down to the security gate. I speak to them because I must make certain of being allowed back inside. I tell them I'm going to run (probably literally) next door to the hotel for a cab and I will be right back. They offer to get me a cab themselves. Really? That would be great!

Sure enough, by the time I return with my bags - and this time without the key - they have got a cab for me. I tip them 150 shillings for the assistance but it's probably not enough considering there are probably crowds of particularly brutal muggers lurking in the bushes outside in this most-upscale of Nairobi neighborhoods watching for careless Americans.

The driver asks if I prefer to ride in front, and I would! It will be my very last look at Kenya so I better make it a good look. Settled in, I remember that Iris was very particular in telling me to use a KENATCO CAB. I don't know what brand of cab this is. Maybe I still have one more chance at getting featured on CNN.

But the driver doesn't seem one bit frightening. I mention the crime and that I spent my last afternoon in Africa shut away safely inside an apartment. He feels badly about this and wishes that I had the opportunity of hiring him to show me around the city in daylight. He promises that it would have been a good - and safe - tour.

British Airways flight to civilization

British Airways. I recommend them.

Course, there's still the matter of the traffic problem, which I mention while gesturing at the completely stopped traffic. This as he shuts off his engine again. Oh, well, that's only because of the rainstorm earlier. If you say so. His name is Martin and he is quite the Kenya-booster. I enjoy riding with him and chatting.

Barack Obama's name is mentioned. His voice faltering slightly, Martin asks if I prefer Hillary or Obama. Obama for sure. Martin can barely contain his excitement. I get the feeling that his feeling is that a Kenyanish president of the USA is too good to be true - but if only this American can endorse him then he can permit himself to believe there is a real possibility. It's so touching!

The normal fare is about 1200 shillings but it takes twice as long as usual because of the traffic. And I like him. And he didn't rob me. I give him my business card and invite him to email me and I give him 2300 shillings for the fare. He has given me a good send-off.

Amarula from South Africa

Amarula tastes wonderful. It's from South Africa.

I sure hope the airline won't give me any trouble about my luggage. I placed two smallish bags inside of one enormous loose bag. The big bag is bigger than the allowed dimensions - except if you don't count the empty loose space inside the bag. It's a matter of interpretation, I suppose. Fingers crossed. I have absolutely no idea what I'll do if they do give me trouble.

But there is no trouble at all. I ask the clerk at check-in and she promises me that she will not lose my bags.

I do not look forward to spending 3+ hours wandering around here. It's really not a very nice airport. And I'm unlikely to bump into any more Nobel Prize winners to help me to pass the time this time.

I buy some African key chains as gifts and drink an Amarula in the bar. After that I go inside the waiting lounge - after having passed through TWO completely redundant back-to-back metal detectors. I have no idea what that's about.

The woman next to me can barely speak she is so ill. Maybe my chances at an African death are not quite entirely reduced to zero after all.

With nothing else to do, I take a picture of the 747 and resume reading the same novel that I got halfway through on the way here six weeks ago just as Kenny Rogers begins singing his "know when to fold 'em" song on the muzac.

Boarding the plane, I'm in line right behind a Canadian father and three sons, one of whom looks just about ready to faint or vomit. Yep. I'm still not completely out of danger. And maybe I won't be for another week or ten days incubation period!

It's close to midnight by the time we leave. I sleep a little. I wake up briefly over the Mediteranean Sea. The lights of Palermo look perfectly magical. I resolve to visit there one day.

February 28, 2007

Greenland from the air

Greenland has a more interesting landscape than I expected.

I wander London Heathrow for five very boring hours.

Then I'm on a different 747 but I think it's interesting that we take off to continue in pretty nearly the same direction as when we arrived from Africa. Nairobi, London, San Francisco all in one straight line. Strange but true.

We leave just before noon and we will arrive just after noon in California. It's going to be mid-day all day long. It's cloudy and there is nothing to see so I close my window and read a book.

My GPS display indicates Greenland. Curious, I open the blind on the window for a peek. What-da-ya-know. The clouds have cleared up and it's so beautiful. I look around and pretty soon everybody who is awake is marveling at the view and many are taking photos. I had no idea that Greenland had such dramatic landscapes. I resolve to visit Greenland, too.

I watch a couple of movies and then we arrive. The other side of the plane has an excellent view of the Golden Gate Bridge on a sunny day. My worry now is that I only have a two hour layover between flights and I wonder if that's enough time to clear Customs and collect my ticket and re-check my luggage and find my gate.

Turns out, it's more than enough time.

In Las Vegas, only one of my bags appears. The other has been flagged by the feds. It got no attention at all from Customs but now the security people have found it necessary to pull it from my flight in order to scrutinize it. It got this far without exploding... that should tell them something.

The bag will get delivered the next day. All is well. No sign of tropical diseases. Now that all of my souvenirs and gifts are unwrapped and laid out it doesn't seem like nearly enough.

My only regret is that I should have bought many more Africa souvenirs!

Remember to click the link below for the earlier South Africa travel journal.

April-May 2012 Africa
Travel Journal

April, 2009 Korea/Japan
Travel Journal

Page 1 - Arriving in Cameroon >

Page 2 - In Cameroon >

Page 3 - Leaving Cameroon >

Page 4 - Arriving at Mt. Kenya >

Page 5 - On Safari in Kenya >

Page 6 - Leaving Kenya >

South Africa Journal >

I took all of these pictures. Most of them link to very much larger versions of same.