LUTMAN'S 2013 KENYA BIRDING SAFARI TRIP

NOTE:  When Sharon adds comments, they will be in {curly brackets}.

Report 0. October 18, 2013. Kenya Arrival

We leave Istanbul in the late afternoon of October 17th. I think it's so you don't load and unload big planes in the heat of the day. Why do you think?

The lights of Nairobi as we do our October 18 3:30 am approach, having left Istanbul on Turkish Airlines Flight TK-8 about 6 1/2 hours earlier. Sharon captures me after breakfast in the Hotel Boulevard Restaurant. I think I'm playing Words with Kenyans.

 

Here's a more overall view of the restaurant. After eating, we load up our binoculars and Kenya field guides, and go out into the manicured garden behind the hotel. We knock off a few trip birds (birds we've seen before at some time, but this is the first time on this trip). {Beautiful weavers coming to a bird feeder they have in the garden. I had first wondered why our room was down the longest hall but then saw that we were directly opposit the feeder and could bird from our room!}

 

Our room is visible below. We are on the second floor (the bottom overhanging room), last room in the distance. Great view of the gardens.

 

Sharon likes this wildebeast head and horns. I like the security of the locked and guarded entry gate to the hotel, below right.

 

At Sharon's request, one of the waiters brings her a bottle of water, and she signs for it, meaning it is added to our room tab. The arch below is a good reference when we're trying to describe where a bird is.

 

This sitting area looks more like it belongs in Disneyland.

"Hey! You just won the Superbowl. What are you gonna do now?" "I'm going to Nairobi to that hotel with the cute blue and white Smurf tables and chairs and umbrellas!!"

 

We connect with our birding guide and friend, Steven Easley, by phone and agree to meet for lunch and then do some birding in the garden.

 

The weather is nice, so we eat outside, picking up some birds in the process. {It's great to see Steven and resume our friendship. He doesn't look like he's changed at all in the past 7 years. How can that be fair, that he doesn't look any older, I guess that is the difference in aging in your 60's as opposed to aging in your 30's} I review the food options in the menu and have it narrowed down to four or five choices when Steven says to the waiter, "Do you have anything like a cheeseburger and fries?" Yes, says the waiter, and feeling like I want to join the burger party, I opt for the same thing. Sharon elects not to go the cheeseburger route. {I have delicious tomato soup}Steve IDs a Streaky Seedeater while we're waiting for our food -- a nice songster.

After lunch the three of us go back to the garden and we get a few more birds, a lot more than we would have gotten on our own. Thanks Steven. He is surely bored with these fairly common birds, relative to the birds we will get on our travels. In other words, we're just warming him up.

We break for the afternoon, but get together for dinner, after which it's up to our room, to prepare for the plane flight to Malindi tomorrow.

BIRD OF THE DAY: Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater (photo from the internet)

 

(Our photos from the first half of the trip are on my Macbook Pro laptop, lost in the universe, the initiating event of which was me forgetting my backpack, containing the laptop, under the seat in front of me after deplaning from our Istanbul to LAX flight. These photos, on my computer, are currently lost somewhere in Turkish Airlines-LAX offices or LAX- Lost and Found. Or still on the plane, tucked neatly in the under-seat-space of 28D of the Boeing 777 that plies the back-and-forth route between Istanbul and LAX).

The other you-should-know-better news is that I never turned on the "Find My Mac" feature so we could track it whenever it comes on. If it ever comes on.

I'm allowing the universe to return it to me, if it feels like it. Ohmmmmmmmmmmm, as in Ohmmmy aching head.

Cheers,
Bob


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