Day 13 – 16 Mount Meru, Lake Duluti, and going home

On day 13 we left the lovely Ngorongoro Farm House and headed toward Mount Meru where we stayed at The Katambuga House, where we were the only guests for the first night. Very personal service. And we had a chance to use the pool!

We had to stay two days so we could get our Covid-19 test within the required time frame. The place we first went to for the test was just some tents in the very back of a hospital area. Then they came and moved us to an actual building (after climbing up a hill). Masks required, but most of the medical staff didn’t bother. I’m not sure if the testing protocols have changed, but the technician barely touched my nose but did swab inside my mouth. Negative test delivered right on time. And off to the airport, where our test results were never asked about.

While waiting for the test results, we visited Lake Duluti for a nature walk and canoe ride. I started the walk (which I thought was going to be 30 – 45 minutes), but Montezuma hit a few days earlier and there were not bathrooms on the hike. So I went back to the camp after 30 minutes and Kathy continued on for the entire 2.5 hours! I was able to photograph many water birds from the camp but Kathy saw an owl on the walk. Then we went on a canoe ride that also lasted at least an hour in the early afternoon and we didn’t have sunscreen. A bit of sun for both of us.

On the way to the airport we needed to purchase two TSA locks for our luggage. I had to pry one of mine open as the combo no longer worked and Kathy wanted to secure an outer pocket. It took a few tries to find a lock and we were walking (with our guide) on the uneven streets. I had on my airport shoes (slip-on) and tripped, landing against a parked car with my right shoulder and knee. Oops. That hurt. I’ve dislocated that shoulder before and it was already sore from holding my camera so I had limited movement in that arm for the 36 hour trip home. At least is was on the last day…. A few trips to the chiropractor and a shot of cortisone, it is almost as good as new.

Once at the airport we were told that our seats had been given away. WHAT! After lots of back and forth while they had our bags where we couldn’t reach them, we were able to purchase first class tickets WITH CASH. They had a “system error” and couldn’t charge any of the three cards we tried. Sure. After being escorted to the ATM at the arrival area, we were able to pull out $2 million shillings for both of our tickets, which was about $450 each. That is a 5 inch stack of money that the clerk counted twice, stuffed in the pocket of her vest, and then held on her lap. Lots of people watching this transaction. I wonder how many got some of the cash. But we got on the plane and at less than the $600 original cost so it all turned out in the long run. Kathy has filed complaints with everyone.

It was a long flight home but we arrived on Friday afternoon, just in time for dinner at a Mexican restaurant in Clovis.

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