Short Cut

 

22nd June: We headed off for Mount Kenya this morning in two vehicles, K&P are going onto Nairobi afterwards and Michael and I are off to Nakuru to collect two electricians and the equipment they will need to wire up the guest house for solar. Michael knows a short cut, wow what a journey, across the hills and valleys of outback Kenya, washed out river beds and in many places not even having a road or track to follow, it might have been shortcut in kilometres, but time wise no and I don’t think many tourists would have done this journey, what a treat. A couple hours into the journey we stopped to talk to two women, one older lady with a baby, and a young lady, after a chat Michael said we need to give these ladies a lift as they have far to go. As they were climbing in a young Maasai warrior appeared and also persuaded Michael to give him a lift, we tried to disassemble his spear, but gave up and managed to get it into the car without injuring anyone.

Maybe an hour later we come to a village and the young warrior gets out and a few k’s more the ladies leave and that’s when Michael tells me that they have been walking for two days and still had fifteen kilometres more to go. They had stopped last night in a small village we passed though some time ago and they had started their journey in Maralal, about seventy k’s away, where we had also come from. They hadn’t started their journey together either, they meet on route, very lucky for the young girl Michael said. The older lady was going to see her family and the young one had been kicked out of school because her fees hadn’t been paid and she was on her way home to try and get some money together so she could go back. We just don’t know how lucky we are, ay!

We arrived in Nanyuki during the afternoon, checked into our hotel, had a meal and went to bed quite tired after our slow, but rewarding journey and we hadn’t walked anywhere unlike the two Maasai ladies. In the morning after breakfast we loaded ourselves into one vehicle a set off to Mount Kenya National Park, somewhere over there in the clouds that covered

I don’t think any of us were impressed by our 10k trip into and up the slopes of lower Mount Kenya. We saw some Water Bucks (Antelopes), some Elephant dung and that was it, the tracks up to the first mountain camp were curtained by bamboo and too thick to see anything through. A party of college students were making preparation to leave after climbing the mountain as we arrived and we chatted with their guides for a while and found out it was a five day climb. Kerry and I decided to walk a little way further up the track (no vehicular access), but still no better views because of the bamboo, but it was good to get the exercise. Michael tried to harvest some bamboo to plant at home, but he under estimated how tough the bamboo is and of course if he did plant it his community would eventually be engulfed as this part of Mount Kenya has been. I found some nasturtiums in flower near the park entrance and had a long awaited taste of home, I offered Michael a flower to eat and he gingerly placed it in his mouth, then started jumping up and down, I can’t think why. 

High up in the Rift Valley

High up in the Rift Valley

The following morning Kerry and Paige headed off to Nairobi and Michael and I set off for Nukuru and once again another journey of contrasts which took us along parts of the Rift Valley. There was an outpost along a high vantage point with two armed guards on the lookout for poachers. They let me take some pictures from the observation platform and pointed out a herd of elephant’s way below, bugger if I could see them, but had no reason to doubt them. Michael mentioned that they were Rangers from the local Maasai community and did this work as volunteers as they didn’t like the slaughter of the elephants either. Although the Maasai aren’t vegetarian (they may eat meat once a month) they don’t eat the wildlife and never have, they live in harmony with them. We traveled as far as Nyahururu and stayed the night in a familiar town that I had stayed in a week ago, but this time without the rain and mud.

The lushness of the Rift Valley

The lushness of the Rift Valley

The next morning we continued our journey to Nukuru and the best part was seeing another side of the Rift Valley, this time it was the lush farmland below with the many small farms of a few acres each. At one place we stopped to take a photo a young man came over wanting to sell me his stuff and when he became aware that I wasn’t going to we chatted. He told me he climbs up to this vantage point every day and pointed out parts of paths he took in the tree covered side of the escarpment and his little farm below, I checked to see if he had four legs because it would have been tricky even for a goat.  

In Nukuru we loaded the supplies and the two electricians and headed home going back to Nyahururu and then the long pot holed drive to Maralal. It was getting dark and Michael was tired after the long drive and so I took over for this leg of the trip as I would have been costly for all of us to stay the night and lose part of the next day’s work travelling. We arrived battered and tired at 10, but not without getting bogged on route. It was where we passengers had walked when I came by bus the previous week. Michael got out with a torch and inspected the two alternatives, a large pond with no idea of the depth or a muddy track cut up by vehicle’s, he picked the latter and down we went, but eventually we reversed out after much praying. There was only one other choice, so through the water I went, the car needed a clean anyway, no problem with the water hole, but the remaining 200mtrs was very nerve racking. We heard a Matatu had got stuck there and had to stay the night waiting for a tow from a 4WD with the customary 18 people on board, what a night they must of had. At 10.30pm arrived back in Kisima and home.

Denis

God is Good

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2 thoughts on “Short Cut

    • Thanks Pete, Most of the time I am unsure, but usually upon reflection things seem to make sense.

      I am sure you are making a difference in your world too. Much love Denis

      ________________________________

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