All Aboard: The Jambo Deluxe

Nairobi  > Mombasa, Kenya * August 2013 * Fuji X-E1


18h00 Three gals in three floppy hats arrive at the Nairobi train station. Make friends with two handsome Danes on the platform. One looks ill; he's had fever for days. (Thankfully, he's not in our train carriage.) 

18h30 Where. Is. Jeffrey?!

18h50 Jeffrey arrives.


19h10 Jeffrey’s broad shoulders barely squeeze through the train corridor.

19h30 No lights, no matter. “Someone’s on it, hakuna matata,” our train attendant informs us.

20h30 Dining car. We all wished we chose the semolina-fried chicken over the beef stir-fry. The night is officially ruined.

22h00 White wine. Tusker beer. White wine.

22h30 How does a gal effectively take a piss on a moving train anyway? Answer: CORE strength.

23h00 Mosquitos!? On a train! WTF.

00h00 Name that movie reference. Story hour from Lonely Planet Kenya. Something about the Portuguese building a fort in Mombasa decades ago and then promptly getting whooped by the Kenyans FOR-E-VER. (Hint: Sandlot movie reference.)

00h35 zzzzzzzz m’squito sting zzzzzzz

06h25 Alarm. Snooze. Alarm. Snooze. Somewhere east of Nairobi, west of Mombasa, the sun rises over Kenya. We get up to watch to say we did.

07h00 Back to bed.

08h00 Breakfast bell. Dining car. Windows upon windows of views. Can we PLEASE have some fried chicken? No? Tusker beers all around.

09h30 Morning Nap.  

11h00 Back in the dining car. 3 more hours till Mombasa? Bring on the Tusker. Break out the playing cards and dominoes. My new dominoes protégé beats me. Thrice.

12h30 Midday Tusker train nap. 

14h00 A freight train is holding up our train. Stalled on the tracks. Just in front of us. Just outside of Mombasa. The locals will move it, we’re told. An hour ago. We demand fried chicken.

14h20 Thought seriously about jumping ship to find a taxi in order to make our lunch reservation in town. Hypothetically constructed a catapulting contraption made from a bunk bed ladder and luggage to launch us to Mombasa from the train deck.

14h45 Mombasa. Finally. Karibu Sana.