Home' Travel News : May 2013 Contents 32 travel news May 2013
May 2013 travel news 33
I've just got my Canadian passport back, as
allowed under the new Kenyan Constitution.
I am now a registered dual citizen of this
country, which makes life so much easier
from a visa perspective in particular, as they
are now a thing of the past.
I expected to fll in the usual four-page
passport application, then supply birth
certifcate, photo with certifcation on the
back, and all the other documents you need
to supply government with when applying for
a passport. There has been chat for a long
time now on social media and around the
dinner table, about the necessity for all this
paperwork. The government, after all, already
has records from previous applications, and
surely they issued the required documents
in the frst place.
Well, a pleasant surprise awaited me at the
Canadian High Commission: a one-page
form, no back-up documents required, only
a couple of photographs without certifcation.
Someone's been listening -- well done,
Over the Easter weekend I went with my
family to Lake Baringo. I'd heard that the
lake had risen dramatically, and twenty-one
and a half feet is dramatic, let me tell you.
The lake had also changed colour, from a
muddy brown to a clear bottle green.
No one really knows why the lake has risen
to such an extent, the colour change is
explained away by the sudden (and in lake
terms 2-3 years is sudden), infow of new
water which has sent the previously muddy
brown to the bottom of the lake by sheer
weight. A friend from Arusha had another
theory on the colour change: magnetic
forces changing, and instead of pushing
the suspended particles apart it now draws
them together, which sees them sinking to
the bottom and, voila, clear green water.
Lake Baringo Club is under water, closed -
probably forever. Samatian Island looks like
an atoll from afar -- evidently, waves regularly
swamp the swimming pool and both it and
Island Camp have lost accommodation
and other buildings, although both continue
to operate unhindered. Island Camp is
upgrading with new bandas, new larger tents
and the remaining classic tents are having
a major makeover. An article obviously will
follow next month with the new improved
Island Camp re-opening on 1st July, just in
time for the cooler weather up-country.
I've just stepped off the plane from Bahrain
- oh, the poet! Sand and oil, that's about it,
but it's a likeable place with all mod cons,
rather like Dubai in the 1970s. Laid back and
no traffc issues. The trip was mostly about
visiting friends and, of course, the Bahrain
Grand Prix, which was bit of a procession.
We'll be putting together a group to the
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix the frst weekend of
November - click HERE if interested.
They are having their 'troubles' in Bahrain,
not dissimilar to what happened in Northern
Ireland and for the very same reasons. But
life goes on without much of a worry. The
plume of black smoke from the odd burning
tyre, plus the occasional whiff of tear gas, is
about all you are really aware of, if at all.
Talking of whiffs of tear gas, well not really,
the Bahrain Rugby Club is an oasis for expats
and a buzzing social hub -- great chat, cold
beers and the occasional whiff.... Strangely,
they also play rugby here, right now topping
the Gulf rugby table. I had the best steak
ever at its restaurant called Manos, run by
a Greek-Zimbabwean. Magic, marinated in
his secret formula, and served with monkey
gland sauce followed by a Dom Pedro and
lots of good wine.
Monkey gland sauce has nothing whatsoever
to do with monkey's glands; a theory of why
this name was used is that when it was
frst invented, there was lots of talk about
monkeys' glands being the key to eternal
Researching the origins of Monkey Gland
Sauce, I do have a tough job, you'll agree;
I came up with this story. When the Carlton
Hotel opened in Johannesburg in the late
50s, they brought in French chefs to introduce
South Africans to fne dining. These chefs
were so appalled, some say disgusted, at the
eating habits of some South African guests
that they mixed chutney with tomato sauce,
sugar and garlic, and served the concoction
with steak. Very much tongue in cheek!
The rest of the story is predictable. The
diners loved it, and the legend was born.
There is also another story about a French
gastronome in the 1860s, but it's a bit of a
stretch; and what's more they don't have
monkeys in France, so go fgure...
Changing tact for the more sensible of
you dear readers, construction of the new
Terminal Four and multi-storey car park at
Jomo Kenyatta Int'l Airport looks like it's
moving - if that is the right word - at a snail's
pace. I counted on one hand the number of
workers on site, and it wasn't even tea time.
Other than that, our beloved JKIA seems in
good fettle, the aircon works in most places
and the buses that ferry you to your aircraft
are all back in service and fully operational.
But anything that starts with an airport...
Talking of which, it's Bali - without a visa - this
week; more about that trip next month. This
job keeps getting tougher and tougher...
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