August 20, 2011

Rift Valley to Kisii, Kenya

Filed under: Trips,Uganda — pearsey @ 8:45 pm
Tags: , ,

So here we are, back in Nairobi, Kenya (about 12 months ago), getting ready to head out on safari. We got a bit of a sleep in because one of the passengers on our trip was going to be late (flight delay). So eventually we loaded our stuff in the truck, and she still wasn’t here, so then we waited again… We’d just decided we were going to go, when she arrived. Before she even stepped on the truck we were looking at each other with oh no what are we in for looks. Let’s call this lady CL, for cat lady, because she reminds me of those eccentric old ladies who have a million cats running around. CL apologised for being late, yelled at somebody for treating her luggage “roughly”, (had brought more than you would ever need on an 8 day CAMPING trip), told us her whole story, nearly cried (or may have been, I can’t remember) and generally just did everything she could to draw attention to herself. So…. forgetting about CL for a while now 🙂

We headed round to a supermarket to get some supplies – our truck is, well, the size of a truck. This supermarket wasn’t made for trucks. So we drove in, but how we got out I’m not sure. I can tell you it wasn’t a three point turn though, it was more like a one hundred point turn. Literally. We had about a foot to spare either end and it took ages. The supermarket was pretty good though, had some pretty decent supplies, but still, it was expensive so we were all going through the Kenyan shillings pretty quickly.

Finally got on the road, much later than we should have been, but still, good to be away. Driving through the outskirts of Nairobi was pretty much like driving through Kampala. Just that the road was heaps better (it was asphalt). Our first scenic stop was a lookout over the Rift Valley. It was huge, we had a clear day and you could see for miles. We had probably a 180 view and all you could see was this valley below. Anyway, the stop was brief and we continued on. I was surprised at how many crops there were as we drove past. There were even some pretty big harvesters and I realised Kenya had actually entered the mechanical age when they farm! I think most of the crops we saw were wheat and corn. In a way it was kind of sad to see so much of the land given over to farming. I know we need to grow food, but when you know the land used to be a place where the animals would have been and that the way of life for the people would have been much different, you have to wonder what the price of progress and a growing population is. There were still a few of the classic Savannah trees that you associate the wilds of Kenya with, so it was cool to see them (just seemed wrong seeing them in front of crops). Went through a few small towns as we crossed the valley and saw a few tribsemen walking around with their cattle.

Stopped on the side of the road somewhere for lunch, just out in the middle of some desert area. There was one guy who looked after some cattle, dressed in his traditional gear who took a bit of interest in us. Unfortunatley his english was zero and our kenyan vocabulary was a huge one word that we could actually pronounce properly. Not much exchange took place and after a while he just left. Our tour leader Julius thought it was rather funny though as we recounted our exchange with him.

At lunch we were introduced to “flapping”. We just had sandwiches and cordial, so not a huge amount of dishes, but they still needed to be done. So we first learnt how to do the dishes – rinse them in the first basin, wash them in the second, then rinse them in the third. How did we dry them? Well it was air drying. So we stood there dishes in hands, waving our arms around. They dried pretty quick during the day! Oh yes – and all of us had to wash our hands before we ate – there was a process for that as well, I think three basins again.

After our lunch stop, we continued on, stopped at wood carving place somewhere along the way (they stood there and watched us take photos, then one guy demanded money, we didn’t oblige) and eventually got to Kisii. In Kissi we stayed in an old boarding type place. The rooms though were excellent – we had been told it was “simple”, but you couldn’t fault it. We had power, a nice bed with sheets and blankets and plenty of place to store your luggage. Admittedly you had to walk to the bathrooms, but that was no problem. And this place gave us a really nice breakfast in the morning where they even had a tv going! They had some nice gardens inside the place and it wasn’t far to walk back to the shops. Which kinda proved handy later that night… The girl I was rooming with, Jen, had her camera breakdown on her. So here we are about to go on safari and she has no camera. So we headed off to the “supermarket” where they told us we could get a camera. We’re like – a camera in a supermarket??? Turns out the supermarket had everything, more like our Big W kind of stores. It’s getting late (and dark) and we’d been told not to go out after dark because it was dangerous so we were trying to get this deal done fast. Finally after some searching and negotiations with sales people who didn’t speak english very well and kept trying to up sell us things, we finally had a new camera. Definitely a different experience trying to buy electronic goods in another country that’s for sure!

Made it back for tea to find out that we’d missed first course. What had I missed?? Just soup! No problem there for me at all!



  1. […] walls are pretty thin and sooner or later somebody closer would respond to the panicked cries of CL (besides, Jen, the other person in my tent was out at a toilet stop, she’d be back soon to […]

    Pingback by From the Crater to Nairobi « Thumper… — August 28, 2011 @ 9:13 pm | Reply

  2. […] walls are pretty thin and sooner or later somebody closer would respond to the panicked cries of CL (besides, Jen, the other person in my tent was out at a toilet stop, she’d be back soon to […]

    Pingback by From the Crater to Meserani « Thumper… — August 29, 2011 @ 9:27 pm | Reply

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