Thursday, 28 April 2011

Continuing Catchup

Edwina and Moses decided to stay on a bit longer to spend time with the boys at SCANN and Moses twin brother Francis went back to Nairobi (he missed his girlfriend).

Kimberley and I have only had a quick visit to SCANN as it was in the morning and most of the boys were at morning holiday tuition held at their respective schools (I had forgotten this) there were very few around other than the smallest boys who were sat in a class with a teacher so we didn’t want to disturb them.  We said hi to the various staff members who were around and I told them I would be in after Easter.

Kimberley and I decided that we would head to Fisherman’s Camp in Naivasha on the Thursday before she left on the Sunday, we would stay Thursday night and Friday, leave Saturday morning and head to Nairobi where we would stay at my friends apartment ready to go to the airport early Sunday morning.

We left Moses and Edwina staying in the house, providing for themselves and Henry providing for the animals.  We took the local matatu to Naivasha which was fine until the last seat which was next to me was taken by a lady with a small baby, and two children, one of which looked rather unwell.  The older children stood in the footwell between the mother and I.  I took the sickly girl and put her on my lap leaving more room for the brother to stand and to make her feel more comfortable as she looked fit to drop (she was about 5year old). I asked the Mum if she was suffering from Malaria as she was burning up. She nodded, what a handfull the mother had to travel with.  The girl slept fitfully on my lap, soaking me through with her sweat, occasionally waking sipping water and then sleeping again. The mother decided at some time to squeeze the boy onto the seat between herself and I, by now I am feeling a little put out considering I am squeezed sharing a little of Kimberley’s seat whilst having her child on my lap.
When we arrived at Naivasha town, I helped the girl off the matatu and the mother turned to me and thanked me, she was also looking feverish and I thought maybe she was also suffering from malaria.  It turned out that we were heading in the same direction and caught the same matatu ending up in the same seat formation as before. We headed out of the town centre and the matatu stopped, people started getting off, Kimberley and I and also the woman had no idea what was going on until a man behind us said we were changing matatus to another one in front.  So off we got changed to the other matatu and headed off….. By this time we were tired, dirty and sweating badly! In the new seating arrangement I ended up with the conductor sharing my seat, which meant only half of my bottom was actually on the seat, not comfortable at all.

The lady and the children got off before us which meant that I got my seat back….. That is until a rather large suited gentleman was picked up and took his seat and part of mine……. It turned out the he was the chief of the area, he chatted to me about Naivasha and what we were up to, it killed time.

We were dropped near at the road to Fisherman’s camp, bearing in mind I had a rucksack with my clothes in for 5 days, we had Kimberley’s rucksack and her suitcase to fly home with, we were not travelling light! Normally I stay at lakeside camp which is down the driveway, but this time it was full and we were staying at Top Camp, I had not been there before so we headed down the drive to Fisherman’s a good 10min walk with Kimberley’s suitcase on my back, she had her rucksack on the front and mine on her back! We must have look like total loonies. Just before we arrived at the lake camp we met someone going in the other direction with a bike. I asked him if we needed to register here for Top Camp, he said no we needed to go straight to top camp and he would show us the path to get there.  

With all the weight we were carrying the only bag he offered to take from us was a carrier bag containing the empty yellow canvas bag which I use to bring over donations. Probably the lightest thing we were carrying!! In the rush to get our bags off the matatu, we had missed the fact that we were actually dropped at the sign pointing to Top Camp! We were shown what I can only consider to be a goat trail up a rather steep hill as being the path to Top Camp, we thought he was joking, but no. We stood laughing and with some pushing and shoving from Kimberley from behind we started our ascent alone, the man made his way on his bike along the road.  With lots of puffing, moaning, cursing and rest breaks, we made our way up the steep climb. We wandered into someone’s property who lead us to the camp. By this time I was almost crying with the effort of carrying the bag on my back.

We were shown to our banda, wooden chalet where we quickly freshened up with wet wipes, added a bit of makeup and got ready to go back down the hill to the bar as it was already twilight. We found a askari (guard) not far from the banda and asked him the best route, I had torch in hand and he lead us down by this time the light switch had been flicked and it was now dark.  Trying to descend the goat trail in the dark was scary even though we were lead by the askari (without torch he obviously had good eyes) I lead Kimberley with the torchlight shining at our feet.  The journey seemed endless in the dark and all our muscles ached from the tension by the time we appeared at the road. We thanked the askari (took his number for the possible need for a guide for the return trip) and headed down to the club house for dinner.

Unfortunately, our favourite spot in front of the huge fireplace was taken by some german or finnish girls who looked to be settled for the night.  We settled for a sofa placed well under some lights so we could indulge ourselves with reading our books.  Sean, the owner of Fisherman’s came to chat, we had met him at the Guava Bash at Naivasha the previous weekend. He kindly bought us drinks and continued on his busy job of making sure everyone was happy.  Later in the evening we made light of the fact that we didn’t realise we had to be mountain goats to stay at Top Camp, apparently most of the people who stay there come with vehicles, he could have told me! He also said if I had called him he would have picked us up and driven us to the banda!!! AHHHHH!!!  Well, we had a good work out to get rid of all the excess weight from the Guava pancakes.  Sean offered to give us a lift back to the banda later and we eagerly agreed. We went back to eating our chips and veg samosas too tired for a full dinner and reading our books.

At about 11.30 or it may have been midnight the bar was clearing (there was a big music event being held on the Saturday and I think that was why people were sleeping early), Sean said he would be right with us to give us a lift and then he disappeared into the store room behind the bar.  When he reappeared he was carrying paint cans, rollers and brushes, I asked what was going on. He told us that after he dropped us off he was coming back to paint the bar.  

Needing no encouragement whatsoever we leapt at the challenge and offered to assist. In total there were 5 of us, Kimberley, myself, Sean and two helpers, we threw ourselves into the task which was helped along with numerous glasses of alcohol to make the job easier, if not such a good finish!

We stopped at about 4.30 exhausted but pleased with the job, the bar had been pink for 7 years and was now jungle green to fit into the leafy environment in which it sat.  Covered in paint and rather worse for wear Sean drove us to our banda where we fell into bed as we were.  We had been troubled by a couple of mosis but managed to get through the night.

At 7am we were awoken by very loud conversations from the next banda which was being renovated then followed by more loud conversation and the sound of large rocks being chipped away into brick blocks.  I was so tired that I got up and went out and shouted that we were still sleeping……. It went a little quieter but the chipping of the blocks continued.  We dozed for a couple more hours fitfully with the outside noise. We got up, tried to get rid of some of the paint we were sporting on us looked outside, the view was spectacular, we looked straight out over Lake Naivasha and as we were so high up all the surrounding area too, it was worth the hike.  I checked with Sean that although breakfast finished at 11 that we would be able to get something to eat, he arranged with the bar that we could.

We strolled down the goat trail with what we felt we would need for the rest of the day as it was too far to pop back for provisions.  We sat watching the black and white monkeys jumping through the trees above us as we waited for our breakfast in exhausted silence (and a little hungover to tell the truth).  We ordered a backed lunch and decided to go back to the banda for a catchup nap. So that we would be able to come back down early evening and enjoy the free steak dinner that Sean had promised us for the work we had done.

That evening we came down early before the switch turned out the daylight, we picked our way through the rocks and managed to avoid the prickly acacia saplings that lined the route. Yet again our seat by the fire was taken, this time by two mature English photographers who were discussing their shots of the day.  We sat to one side at a table, ordered our well deserved filet medallions is a yummy creamy sauce with rice, it was delicious and even more so that we were not paying for it.  We would have had pudding but there was just no room for it.  We then waited patiently for the gentleman to vacate their places by the fire, even asking for first refusal when they moved on.  They were settled for the night.  We went and sat back on the previous nights sofa reading and I was getting madly fed on by the mosis, eventually we had to ask for a coil to be burnt at our feel to try and discourage their unwanted attention.  

Sean came over and chatted about the colour of the bar, I liked it but Kimberley thought it was a bit much. I mentioned the mosis and the lack of nets in our room, he said he would see if there were any at top camp and get it sorted (needless to say they had none available).  We had an early night that night as we knew that the following day we would be leaving and it would be an effort as we so love Fisherman’s, the bar was also rather full as the camp during the day had filled out ready for Saturday nights music event.  We prefer it mid week when it is quiet and peaceful. 

After Sean again giving us a lift to the banda we settled for a good nights sleep or so we thought.  Having mentioned the early start of the workers Sean had requested that they start late Saturday morning and were more aware of the visitors so we felt we would not have such an early rude awakening………

The banda proved to have added its number of mosis, without a net we were troubled all night by the buzzing of our little unwanted guests, this required us to hide under the rather thick duvets that we had on the beds.  Now we were either left to the mercy of the biting of the mosis or suffocated with the heat of hiding under the duvet.  To top this during the night we were awoken by heavy hoof sounds outside the bands and very noisey munching noises, apparently the locals had brought their cows over during the night to graze on the grass to keep it short!!!!!! More problems with the mosis then just as we thought we would sleep the men arrived and instead of starting work, sat noisily talking.  We got no sleep!

When we got up and started packing ready to leave I noticed from the open window (opened the panel in the wooden wall) to find that some tents had appeared over night a short distance away, there were three people standing chatting quietly, one of them I recognised as a project owner from Nakuru, I went over to greet them and he came over for a chat and too see what the banda looked like.  It turned out that he was so angry with the noisey chatting of the work men that he had gone over and told them to BE QUIET, so that was how we managed to nap for a short while! He and his friends were staying for the music event that evening.

Sean had promised he would come and pick us up to save lugging the suitcase on my back down the goat trail.  We waited and I sent him a message, some time later his wife called to say he had been doing more painting and went to bed after 4 again, so she would come and pick us up.

We were dropped at the road between the two camps to catch the matatu into Naivasha. We waited with a guy from Mexico who was working in Nairobi as a tutor for a family, he was touring round for the weekend and had been waiting some time for a matatu.  A car appeared up the drive from lake camp and stopped to see if we wanted a lift to town, we were so happy as this was travelling in comfort (even if it was for a short ride) we all climbed in and he dropped us right at the matatu stage for Nairobi. 

The Nairobi leg was a long one as the matatu stopped and picked and dropped along the way, cramming as many people in as was possible.  We got off at Westlands where we found somewhere to sit and have something to eat whilst waiting for my friend to pick us up and take us to the apartment where we were staying for the night.  We showered and napped then went out to a place called Diamond Plaza which is a favourite of mine for an amazing atmosphere and a good selection of food stalls.  We had a good evening then back for an early night as my taxi friend Jenga was picking us up at 5.30 to get Kimberley to the airport.

Well, think that will keep you all going for a while.    

Love to you all,


No comments:

Post a Comment