Safari Day 10 – 08/04/08

We packed up and headed back to Arusha (a city of 700,00) today.  We stopped at one last gift shop although I still don’t feel compelled to buy much – it all seems too commercial.  However, I did by a few necklaces that can be used as Christmas ornaments. They had a sticker with the initials of the maker so at least they are hand-made.

We visited the school that Bill and I had visited last week.  We have three teachers on this trip so they were very interested in seeing the school. I personally would have preferred more game viewing if that was possible.  But, Bill has been working to improve this school and is anxious to show off the progress. The overseer of the village, Joseph Kitia, was very happy to see us and gave us a very complete tour. The children loved having their picture taken and shown to them on the digital camera.  Kathy was especially good at showing them the pictures and always had a gathering of smiling faces around her.

Then it was off to the Mountain View Lodge for lunch with the drivers and a final good-bye to them.  This lodge is absolutely beautiful, the rooms are large, very clean and well equipped.  I do expect more from a lodge that is close to Arusha and not out in the Serengeti but it was a bit disturbing to realize that the company which owns this lodge owns the lodges in the park that we were originally booked into.   Bill was off for a dinner with some local Rotary folks so our dinner degraded into a bit of a complaint session amongst the folks on the trip.   We all felt that there was a bit of a “bait and switch” since the originally itinerary had different hotels that advertised amenities that we had counted on like wireless internet, hair dryers ( and water pressure 🙂 that the substitute hotels did not provide.  When we were at the Seronera Lodge, which was the particularly bad one, Bill had mentioned that it was a better location and closer to the game.   It sort of left a bad taste in my mouth and I actually woke up in the night thinking about it.  But, I must not let what could have been spoil the trip.  It was an amazing adventure and I got to see many animals and will bring home wonderful memories and photographs.  Although, I have to say, after my last two experiences with photographers running trips, it might be better to stick with an established travel company!

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~ by Becka11y on August 6, 2008.

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