Sunday, 25 January 2015

... Gorillas in the Mist: Creeped Out by the Crawlies

I awoke to my 615am alarm looking like Medusa. Attractive, no? The thought of a cold shower and creepy crawlies meant that I was content with wet wipes and Gorgon hair. During the night I had needed to go to the bathroom. As I turned on the light there had been a rather large spider on the light switch. Then all of a sudden it disappeared. Cue lots of hair shaking. It had actually been quite cold during the night and so I was glad that I had my 4-season sleeping bag. The camp rooster lived to see another day thanks to me having earplugs. After finally successfully learning how to pack a tent and some breakfast we were on the road by 8am. A long travel day at least provided me with some stunning scenery as we drove from Lake Naivasha to Eldoret over the Mau Mau Escarpment. I saw baboons, zebra and antelopes and... The "Climax Coach", a bus that was actually named this in bright rainbow coloured writing. I kid you not. Sounds like one heck of a ride.....

A pit stop at Nakuru, the 4th largest city in Kenya, to get supplies meant time to grab a very good java from "Nairobi Coffee". The Kenyans know their coffee! This also helped me a little with my likely-Malarone-induced headache. Nakuru is also home to Lake Nakuru, one of the Rift Valley soda lakes. I will visit this on my way back to Nairobi.

Unfortunately most people know Eldoret for a post-election incident in 2008 when 35 people were burnt alive inside a church. However, I know Eldoret and the surrounding area, such as Iten, to be famous for its marathon runners. Runners like Wilson Kipsang and Mary Keitany hail from the region. A lot of elite marathon runners from other countries will also use the Rift Valley to do their altitude training, where altitudes sit 8000 ft above sea level. Sadly I didn't bring my running shoes on this trip.

The Naiberi camp ground was pretty great with hot showers(!) and a pool where I ended up playing water polo with a bunch of Kenyans. Being small and wily can sometimes have its perks! It was so much fun.... Well, it was all fun and games until I took an elbow to the ribs and chest. That quite literally knocked the wind right out of me and all of a sudden water polo seemed like a very violent sport. I was happy to sit by the side of the pool after that enjoying the last bit of sun for the day with a Stoney Tangawizi drink (ginger beer) before it was time for dinner.

Now that the camp chores are done it's time for bed! Another early start tomorrow as we drive across the border into Uganda!

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