Backpack Full of SunshineA travel blog of a boy following his dream and embarking on a four year backpacking sabbatical around the world

Kenya

Three days in Kenya, it has already been a constant struggle between “Let’s get the fuck out” and “I never want to leave this place”. No longer sheltered by the safe suburban haven of South Africa, where I spent summer of 2011. This time around I was knee deep in REAL AFRICA. (“T.I.A.” as General Mummy proclaimed “This Is Africa” while dropping a handful of red clay onto our boy Leo’s palm in Blood Diamond. Instant classic by the way.) Back in Cape Town, where it felt no different than any other first world cities, people drove German cars, drank afternoon teas, and played tennis on weekends. Here in Nairobi, tea time after tennis seemed like a world away. In the past 72 hours, we have witnessed a soccer riot, strolled through multiple slums, and passed by half a dozen minivan crashes. Of course, there was also the continuous staring, pointing, and “Jackie Chan”ing. But somehow, there is an indescribable charm in being here. Physically and mentally, there is something primal and animalistic about this place. During the day, the sights, sounds, and smells seemed more robust than ever, almost tactile in a way. At nights, the alertness that ran through my veins were unlike anything I have ever experienced. Maybe I was just starting to discover the magic of this land.

The Carnival Steak House

3/01/14 We somehow backtracked to Stanley’s apartment with very little trouble. Brent and I did make a pretty good team. Whereas I seized every opportunity to sharpen my negotiating prowess, Brent was our human compass, never failed to deliver us from point A to point B. Stanley was away but left the door unlocked for us. The extra clothing I left at his place were...

Mt. Kenya

2/24/14, Day 1 Brent and I got up early and enjoyed a nice breakfast with the family. Pawel half jokingly said he would come join us for the 5 day trek in the hills, until his wife Regina shot him a wry smile. He then insisted Brent and I stay for a few extra days, so he could take us on day trips around the area and do some animal spotting. Knowing he has a family...

Meru

2/23/14 Nairobi → Nanyuki → Meru We left most of our belongings at Stanley’s and headed for Mt. Kenya. Anticipating navigating around the country for the first time on our own would be anything short of an adventure, Brent and I got up early, and left Stanley’s around 8 am. We stopped by a local cafe on the way, where I did my best to carb load, wolfing down a meat...

Nairobi

2/20/14 Brent hopped on his direct flight to Kenya a couple of hours ago, and we had hoped to rendezvous in Nairobi International, and go from there. Evidently still a neophyte after only a couple months of traveling, I purchased the cheapest ticket available, without much considerations. Research on flight records, even to Africa, was the last thing on my mind...