We arrived in Kenya on the 27th August at about 3pm. We had arranged to meet Anna there, who was arriving the same day at around 9pm, so we just had to hang around and wait. The Airport was very basic with not much to do at all, and was also quite intimidating, meaning that our first impressions of Kenya not so good! We found a pub and parked ourselves there and had a few bevies! (Which always helps if your feeling a bit uneasy!) Eventually nine o'clock came! So we made our way to arrivals to meet Anna, which was once again a pretty lengthy process!
Once we had said our hellos we got a taxi to Nairobi International Youth Hostel and checked in. I then asked the man on duty where we could get a few beers, the man asked us to follow him and lead us out of the hostel, down the road and then to some very shifty side roads! It was pitch black and there were quite a lot of shady looking characters about, so to say we felt a bit vulnerable would be an understatement! We ended up in a bar packed to the rafters with dodgy Kenyan men where we ordered a few tinnies of Tuskers (a fantastic local beer, may I add). While I was paying for them, I was aware that there were a few drunken men getting uncomfortably close to Sarah and Anna, so I battered them and we left as soon as possible to get back to the hostel! Obviously this experience only added to our negative feeling about Nairobi, as did the fact that the following day was Kenya's biggest political day in 49 years! - The Constitutional Referendum. - It was also due to be a Public holiday, meaning that Nairobi would be ridiculously busy and according to news reports, not the safest place to be.
As a result of our not so welcoming start in Nairobi we decided to leave early doors the following day, and try and get on a bus to Mombasa. We left at 5.30 the next morning in a taxi to the bus station - even at this early hour the streets were being lined with hundreds of people! We had no luck at the first few bus stations as they were all fully booked, It was starting to look like we had a nightmare of a day ahead of us! Thankfully, the helpful taxi driver managed to find us a bus with some seats. It was small but very cheap (about £7 each for a 9hr journey!) so we couldn't really complain and to be honest we didn't care how we left Nairobi we just wanted to get out asap! Although the bus was due to leave at 7am, we didn't actually leave for another 2½ hours, as we had to wait for the bus to be full! Once again there were lots of dodgy people getting on and off the bus, lots off hustle and bustle around the bus and drunken men starting trouble. Even when the bus finally did set off to leave, there was group of men standing in-front of the bus and as far as we were concerned they could have easily been intending to hijack the bus!
Eventually the bus got through the crowds off people and set off on the long journey to Mombasa. A huge weight was lifted off our shoulders and we began to feel relatively safe. It was an uncomfortable ride, but it was a good experience. We drove through many Kenyan villages and a National park (a herd of elephants were pointed out to us but we failed to spot them!). At one point a woman got onto the bus holding a live chicken, in a plastic bag by its feet, much to Anna and Sarah's horror! For 6hrs the chicken lay at the woman's feet silently - we were sure she must have killed it- but then as she departed the bus we saw that the chicken was still alive and it even let out a little squawk! We slept for most of the journey and finally arrived in Mombasa which was a relief.