Pass The Windex

Linda Lou Burton posting from Amboseli Airport, Amboseli National Park, Kenya–– It was 11:45 by the time was were looking at the Fasten Seat Belt sign. Did our luggage get on? Sometimes you just have to trust the gods. On safari planes, only one bag of soft-sided luggage weighing no more than 33 pounds allowed, absolute! So everything else we crammed into our one allowable backpack, or wrapped around our neck, or slung over our arm, nothing neat about it. Rick had his water bottle hanging from a finger, his can of Pringles in hand (his Pringles a running joke like my bottle of Coke). See his money belt making a bulge under his shirt? Advertisement for a mugging, my opinion, mine tucked safely underneath the waistband of my pants. My water bottle was tucked in the side pocket of my backpack; my jacket ON. But then, I had CANE in my hand, which didn’t help a bit climbing the fold-down steps to get inside the plane with no Daniel assisting, (pole, pole). Despite the inconveniences, lift-off happened, yea, now to see the Great Rift Valley from above, free and easy as a bird! Wishful thinking, Linda Lou. Shucks, I didn’t count on dirty windows.

According to the MAP, we flew over the Olorgesailie Prehistoric Site on the floor of the Great Rift Valley; it’s between two extinct volcanoes, Mt Olorgesailie and Oldonyo Esakut. In a lake basin that existed during the latter part of the middle Pleistocene period between 200,000 and 100,000 years ago, discovered by Louis and Mary Leakey in the 1940s! Those Leakeys were all over the place, remember the Lake Nakuru area? We made it to the Wilson Airport in Nairobi in an hour; they had a wheelchair for me, a shiny waiting room, clean washrooms, the works. Those who managed to bring their Bush Breakfast pastry boxes enjoyed a snack; I bought Safari Cookies. “Don’t tell Rick,” I whispered to Lois, “but there is an entire SHELF of Pringles around the corner, in all flavors!” She giggled, and promised to keep mum. We boarded Plane #2 at 2 PM. Oh luggage, please follow. Oh windows, please be cleaner.

The windows were cleaner! But it didn’t make much difference because, I realized, I didn’t know what I was looking at; oh shucks, again. I spotted a small lake (maybe?); a herd of animals (white dots?); trees, roads, water, dry flats. The flight was smooth, less than an hour to Amboseli Airport. Where I spotted two 4x4s, in Globus colors, just waiting for us.

It was 2:50 PM when we landed; another flurry of excitement; other planes; other people. Dust. I spotted my fancy-schmancy brown-palm-tree suitcase being toted to the pile; tag-sorted to a Globus 4×4; two drivers wearing the familiar Globus orange and green. That suitcase went to Antarctica with me; Gibraltar, Spain; all 50 states. And here I am today, still working on getting a clearer view of things.

Note: Amboseli Airport is in Amboseli National Park in south-central Kenya, close to the international border with Tanzania. Approximately 95 miles south of Jomo Kenyatta International and Wilson Airports in Nairobi, its latitude is 2° 38′ 42.00″S and its altitude 3,757 feet. The single asphalt runway is 3,870 feet. It serves Amboseli National Park.

Amboseli National Park