I never really thought about hiking, I love to travel, and I wouldn’t have wasted a single minute thinking about a weekend at the coast, or a drive down to Naivasha. So one Friday, my buddy Kris calls me up and asks if I would be interested in going to Mt Longonot for a hike. “Will there be booze?” he was hesitant to answer this question, and at least now I understand why. It was just 1000 bob, that was inclusive fare, and food-I accepted, and have never turned back from that day.
Saturday Morning, he calls me up at 6 am, I was already up, excited and anticipating this epic adventure. 15 minutes later we were at Tuskys Kenyatta Avenue, freezing in the cold, and that’s where I got to meet Rose and David who would be joining us for the Trek, they would later become very good friends, and we have ended up doing much more than just Trek. We bought snacks and pooled to Naivasha (at this point we did not have arranged transport, you know, those fancy minivans that pass you by and you see tired and satisfied faces? People had to volunteer their vehicles.) Fast forward to Mt Longonot, took about an hour from Nairobi.
I was psyched up for the climb, and if you have been on a mountain before, then you understand your life is drained out of you as soon as you pay the park fees. We took a mandatory photo at the gates (it’s just our thing to document memories). Well, as soon as we started climbing, now 7 Trekkers (Moses, Kui, and a friend joined later) it immediately hit me that this wouldn’t be the last time I hang out with these people. Unlike other groups where things are hierarchical, and you immediately feel new as soon as you step on the bus, these guys were like family, too many jokes. It did not matter whether it was your first time on a hill or you could lift a whole truck with your toe, all they cared for was having fun while they hiked, which made things a whole lot easier. Longonot was a killer, and to be brutally honest, I was the worst, occasionally Rose would wait up for me (never Kris, Mose or David) I was panting and sweating like a hog, at one point I was crawling on my limbs like a toddler. By the time we were getting on top, I was relieved that I had climbed my first mountain, only to be told I had to go round the crater. The Crater was beautiful and watching from above; the valley was full of life, plants, birds and small streams. The trails were perfect, and for one reason (they sucked the life out of you). There were several stops, where we got to meet and interact with other groups. This experience bittersweet, good because I enjoyed the scenery, but still, I have never cursed myself as I did on that mountain. That week, I spent nursing sores all over, and that’s when it hit me, I was very unhealthy! I signed up for the gym and started watching my health.
One year later, I am still an active member of the Trek; I look forward to the monthly hikes. I have gained so much from this group, I lost 10 kilos, and kissed goodbye to my potbelly completely after 4 months. I am always in shape, since I want to be fit for my next obstacle. I have made a completely new network of positive friends. More than all, through the Trek, I have been able to expand my business network and career.