Friday, December 23, 2016

Kenya - the flight to East Africa!

This year has meant tons of work-related travelling for me, and my last assignment took me to Nairobi itself! I'll have to admit that, work-wise, this was probably my most amazing experience in my last couple of years, probably because it did represent the culmination of two very hard years or work. It led me to feeling prouder than ever about what I do, and I guess I'll have to sneak in a comment about the event I went to in some post later on (you know I try to avoid work talk on my blog, but this will be a special exception).

Anyhow, these coming posts are simply about Kenya - I made the most of whatever free time I could find, and it paid off. And, unsurprisingly, I enjoyed the trip starting with the flight itself, especially after I made peace with the fact that the Lufthansa strike could derail my travel all of a sudden! I mean, barely 5 minutes before boarding my Mexico City-Newark flight I got a notification my Newark-Frankfurt flight had been cancelled! Whaaaa?

Of course, once I landed in Newark, my Newark-Frankfurt flight was still cancelled (naive me was still holding on to the hope it wouldn't be). Fortunately, I was then put on a different, later flight. And also offered the "comforting" info that my Frankfurt-Nairobi flight hadn't been cancelled - yet - but that there was no guarantee it wouldn't be by the time I landed in Frankfurt! LOL. To help me relax at the uncertainty of my flights, I availed myself of this brew they had on board and that I had never heard of - a winter lager! Rich, a bit spicy... I normally don't enjoy lagers, but this was very nice! Perfect way to toast to letting go and getting ready for whatever, right?

Good thing I decided to relaxed during that flight to Frankfurt because, once I landed there (much later than if I had taken my original, cancelled flight),  I had 15 minutes to get off the plane (ironically, I was sitting at the very last row - the very last one!), get to another terminal, pass security (and I was selected for an extra revision of my boots and watch), and reach my gate (the very frigging furthest one at that terminal). It was such a long shot I think I even felt a bit exhilarated at the challenge and amused at the circumstance. And I managed! I got to the gate and right into the plane! Because, among the gazillion flights that had been cancelled due to the strike, mine to Nairobi had been spared! Woohoo!

My reward for that very stressful connection was the best. as I got to fly over Greece and Albania at sunset time, which provided countless views of the sea, islands and mountains...

And after leaving Europe? Last time I flew over Africa on my way to Malawi I had amazing views of Mount Kilimanjaro. I was hoping this time would be the same. Instead, once we entered the African continent, our route took us over Sudan... and stunning views of the Nile River all the way until nightfall around the time we were flying over Khartoum!

So, the way from Mexico City to Nairobi was long (some 31 hours door to door, and some 24,000 km), rough (lots of turbulence, the strike, plus the minimal connection time in Frankfurt), but beautiful and even lucky - my luggage made it with me! 

Now, chronologically, I should talk about Nairobi now, but since we are already talking about flights... The way back from Nairobi to Mexico City was way more relaxed and easier, and when flying over Canada on my way from Frankfurt to Newark I even caught sight of two other planes flying in the same direction!

My final treat, in Newark, was getting hold of some tastes I was not likely to find back home - pickles (delicious, crunchy pickles), kettle corn (love that sweet and salty mix), and maple and bacon chips.

So, yeah, it's a weird post, just about the flights there and back. But flying is an experience by itself, and I had to put those photos somewhere! But next? Next is all Nairobi - the city, its people, its nature... and maybe a quick post about the conference I went to, as well.

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