According to the Kenya Bus Services website the number 34 bus in Nairobi goes to the airport. Apparently this is not always true.
Last week Kate and I need to go to Nairobi, which is about 2 and a half hours away from Nakuru, to pick up a visitor. She was coming in on a Kenya Airways flight from South Africa, and we thought this would give us a perfect chance to enjoy a meal at my favorite restaurant, Trattorias, in downtown Nairobi.
Alas it was not to be. By the time the day came to go to Nairobi we did not have enough money to eat at an upscale restaurant. In fact it was doubtful that we had enough money to eat anywhere.
So we made plans on how to pick up our visitor and make it back to Nakuru with the cash we had.
Step one of the plan was to take public transportation to Nairobi. We walked to town and bought two places in a van to Nairobi. Easy enough, and economical.
The week before we had booked a room at a Nazarene guest house, which is a really nice place for a fraction of the cost of a hotel room. Now we had to figure out how to get from the drop off point of the van to the airport and then to the guest house.
I decided we should take the bus to the airport.(140 shillings versus 1,900 shillings for a taxi ride.) I’d never done it before, but they had a website with all the routes listed, so how hard could it be?
The van dropped us in town and we walked/pushed our way through the crowds to the bus stop. Turns out it was the wrong stop, thanks to a friendly loiterer we found the right place and jumped in bus number 34.
Jumping in these busses is really easy for Kate, she’s skinny. However for a 270 pound round man, well it’s not so easy.
We took our seats. A lady sitting near us asked if we were going to the airport, to which we replied yes. She tells us that the bus does not go to the airport at this time of day, around 5 p.m. or so. That would have been nice information to include on the website. So we jump off, again not so easy. I had to have some folks back up and off the bus so I could get off.
At this moment for some strange and unknown reason Kate started to act like we were in a race or in a big hurry. She was running up to busses and asking if they were going to the airport. Eventually she discovered the one that was and we climbed aboard.
It’s about a 45 minute drive or so to the airport from where we were, though the bus would take a little longer due to dropping and picking passengers. Our visitor was to arrive at 6:45 P.M. and so we were figuring on arriving just in time.
Unfortunately things didn’t go so smoothly. We passed through the main gates to the airport and about a half mile from the international arrivals terminal the bus broke down. We all piled out and started walking.
We made it just in time. Just in time to see that our visitors flight had been delayed till 9 p.m. that is. So we drank a soda and tried to figure out what to do with ourselves for all that time. We didn’t really have the money to eat dinner and still make it back to Nakuru. I mean airport food is expensive after all.
We walked around the airport. That took 10 minutes. It’s a small airport.
Glancing up at the notice board we saw the flight had been delayed again, this time to 11 P.M. Sigh.
Another walk around the airport, and another glance at the notice board. This time the flight wasn’t even listed. Out came the computer and after a tap tap here and a tap tap there we discovered the flight had been cancelled.
We were able to call our visitor and learn that she would not be in till around 6 in the morning.
I gave up at this point and we took a taxi to the guest house, grabbing some fried chicken on the way.
She made it safely the next morning, and thankfully bought us some breakfast and we all made the 2 and a half hour trip home safely.