Pulling into Nairobi late on a Saturday night seems to be something lonely planet, and anyone with any sense, advises against. Despite this, we had no choice thanks to the Kenyan Road Authority's decision to build a one lane highway between their biggest port and capital city. This results in twenty cars being stuck behind one truck, until the cars all filter past, speed for 400 metres and then catch the next truck. As such our 9.00 am departure saw us arrive eleven hours and 400 kilometers later.
After a cab to the youth hostel we ate a rather boring dinner there and parted ways to our gender based dorms.
Our big day in Nairobi started with the usual chapatti breakfast. We found out there was a soccer game on later that day, local rivals and ladder leading pair Gor Mahir playing AFC Leopards. One of the goals of the trip was to see a local soccer game and this seemed like a great chance. We trekked into town and bought tickets at an abandoned theatre, electing to sit in the terraces. The rest of the morning was spent wandering around, organizing bus tickets and bartering heatedly for souvenirs. We headed off to Nyoyo Stadium, following the vuvuzelas. As soon as we got within sight of the stadium the crowds started. Slowly moving mobs of green-clad Gor supporters danced amongst the blue and white Leopards fans. Drinking, chanting, bouncing was all part of the pre-game fun. We eventually found the right gate and joined the long, snaking queue to get in. We heard the game start, and the queue started to get rushed through, seeing us miss the first fifteen or so minutes of the game. This is an estimate though as Kenyan soccer grounds don't have scoreboards, clocks or any kind of signs.
The standard of play was absolutely terrible, making A league look like the EPL, but nonetheless we enjoyed the first eighty minutes of play, with more time spent watching the masses of fans dancing around their respective halves of the stadium. Unfortunately, the game took a turn with about ten minutes to go when a Gor player was red-carded for an airborne tackle. The Gor fans, amongst who we were sitting, erupted. Those who were closest to the barbed wire fence surrounding the field began to kick at the wire, picked up stones and shook at the places they could grab. Masses swarmed towards the ground, abusing the referee. As this happened large numbers, mainly those who didn't want to invade the pitch, headed quickly for the exits. This turned into a bit of a mad rush as the first people jumped the fence and the riot police moved in. Large chunks of concrete were being hurled as we jumped the fence out of the stadium. As the sirens started up we bailed out of the area quickly, both puffing heavily with the first decent physical exertion we'd done in weeks. Now and then groups of people rushed past us away from the stadium, not helping any soccer riot anxieties we had.
Finally we returned to our hostel and decided a beer was in order. We were directed to a place just over the closest main road. When we got there it appeared there was only the local police station. Nevertheless Mads asked the security at the gate if there was a bar, and we were directed to the police canteen. Walking in to many strange looks, we settled into a few Tuskers, drinking amongst off duty and not so off duty police, one still toting his Ak-47.
Having a day to kill before our overnight bus, we went in search of a cinema. Two abandoned buildings later we gave up, went and bought some expensive sandwiches and spent the day wandering about before going to pick up our bags, heading to the bus station and buying a kilo of tough, grilled nyama choma for dinner. Our 9.30 departure time came and went, with our main entertainment coming from the Portuguese soaps playing in the waiting lounge and the screaming woman being deported back to Uganda. At about 11 the bus showed up, and an hour or so later we were on our way to Uganda.