After a hearty breakfast of toast, fresh fruit and sausage, time to pack and head off on and telephone safari – much more scary than elephants on a Sunday morning. Tracking the illusive Safaricom phone. Sunday is definitely not a good time for phone shopping. At our third stop we tracked down phones at a huge store that sold ink cartridges, furniture, you name it.
Then across the open air mall to the butcher – who sells phone cards right next to a huge vat of tripe. The goat chops were on sale that day, but we just got the SIM cards. My basic Kenyan phone cost $20 and 3 cents a minute to call the US – better than the $4.60 that Verizon charges.
The road to Nyahururu is mostly well paved – and we traveled along the Rift Valley Escarpment – a lovely view – even with the fog we had that day. And further north we traveled along the mountainsides of Aberdeen National Park. This is a route that tourists do not take – so it was great to see everyday Kenya. Hundreds of people along the road walking to church, tending their flocks, selling their wares from market stands made of turf or wood or from a store front. Every size and shape of van take turns passing, all filled to various states of capacity, and motorcycles, bikes and pedestrians all on a barely two lane wide road.
And the best of all – we got a flat. So we had to stop and fix it and the local children came by to look at us – I guess we were the entertainment for the moment. I had bought toffee candy in town and was able to give five or six brave ones that dared to venture close to us a bit of candy. After our talented driver and guide fixed the flat using rocks and a jack – the spare was on and we were off.
Rocks are a multiuse tool in Kenya – like a primitive Leatherman – it can help you jack up a car if you make a ramp of them, they were used to mark a section of road – maybe 300 yards of 3 rocks across to let you know that there was a drop and not to pull over there.
The only time I cringed a bit and tried to will my side of the car to squeeze in a bit was when I saw a large truck barreling toward us and the banner at the top of the truck said “Student Driver.” But no lives were lost.
I received a lovely compliment at breakfast, our host John started to talk to me in his native language – and then quickly apologized – I took no offence and told him that I would take it as a compliment that he would consider me one of his family.
Thompson Falls Lodge and Hippos
Gorgeous falls, great room with a balcony overlooking the garden. Lovely park like setting with many families enjoying the day. A cold Tuskers beer and late lunch – perfect!
A walk to the river to see the hippos – maybe 10 of them where we can see them. Sondra had met a guide who took us down the paved road to the dirt road, to the two ruts in the grass to the beaten path to the marsh by the river. Maybe it was a 15 minute walk. Lovely and so cool to see the hippos in the wild – I had never seen hippos in the wild before and even when agreeing to go on the hippo walk I had no idea if we were going to see hippos in a fenced area or what. I did not try to pet them because I hear they can be kind of crabby.
And now in my mosquito net draped queen size bed, with the fire blazing to heat the room for the night. Class kicks off for us at 9A in the morning.