Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Farewell to Africa

Mar 11 - Farewell to Africa

My morning started with some hotel inspections including the sister property to Emerson Spice named Emerson Green which is undergoing a grand renovation to be completed in June.  It has much the same style and charm with a little less flamboyant color than the Spice property.  I forgot to mention that my room at Spice was named Violette and the color scheme followed in accord.  Next it was off to the famous Serena beachfront property which is part of the large Serena chain of hotels.  They had a lovely pool and terrace overlooking the beach and nice sea view rooms with very strong air conditioning.  I prefer the smaller family owned boutique hotels but this would be the best place for those seeking a more modern property, sea views, or a swimming pool.  I did a little shopping as well and picked up some beautiful hand crafted pillows from the women's cooperative and some nicely carved wooden salad spoons as well as some scented soaps.  It was hard to keep to my rule that my purchases must be functional because after a lifetime of travel I have so many trinkets and pieces of art that there is no more room for such things despite my longing to acquire one of the stunning Tinga Tinga paintings of a Masaai village scene or another of a street scene in Zanzibar.  I was also tempted by some well crafted hand painted inks of the old wooden doors.  So many choices!  Then it was off to the airport for a my quick flight to Nairobi where I connected it the excellent Turkish Air flights to Los Angeles via Istanbul...did I mention that business class lounge features free massages and a golf simulator among other treats and delicacies created by the various chef stations in the spacious 2 story of the best in the world.  If you can save enough miles to go business class it is amazing!  They even have free wifi and live TV on the plane from Istanbul to LA.  Bow that's the way to do it!  Arrived home refreshed and completely invigorated by my travels.  Once again I have fallen under the spell of mother Africa and her many charms.  It is a true honor and a privilege to be able to witness the wonders of is great continent.  As I always say, you have to visit Africa once in your life if you are able to - you won't be disappointed.

Now, time to plan the next trip - a family safari in July 2015 to Zimbabwe featuring rhino tracking, excellent leopard habitats, large populations of elephants and lion, historic and wonderful Victoria Falls, and a luxury camp on the upper Zambezi where we can do canoe safaris, walking, cultural visits and night drives!  Who is in???

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