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Easy WeekendMy Experience

REFLECTION IN THE WOODS

The name of the destination makes you want to jump on a plane and get there as soon as possible. But sorry to burst your bubble, you can’t. There are no planes to this destination. It’s remote, and you know what that means? It is green. It has flowing and falling waters. 

How about that for your weekend? Just do nothing but drive there and sit by the waterfall sipping whatever your religion allows and chatting with those that you call friends, waiting for the glorious sun to set so that you can roast marshmallows over a 3 feet high bonfire. 

The distance favours anyone around the Nairobi region. It is about a 2 hours slow drive from the city. The roads are nice with just about 300 meters to spare for tarmac. 

We have a 12 month destination calendar out, so kindly just follow our social media pages for these updates. This has been a bucket list for some, not for me though. I didn’t even know such a place existed until my members mentioned it. Lately, I have been a lot laid back. I let things flow in the direction they want. What’s the term for that in English? Fate or Destiny? So yes somebody suggested this hideout and I was super excited to join them.

We are a much smaller team nowadays. People found different interests and fell off one by one. My hope has always been that they will rejoin someday. You know, the more the merrier.

We have gotten better and better at planning, or maybe people tend to come to consensus much faster nowadays. It makes planning easier. Since it was one’s bucket list, they had already researched the place and even made calls. The prices favour couples with just ksh.4500 per couple for the night. For the single souls you have to chuck ksh. 3500 to freeze alone in a tent or a cabin. We recently amended our rules as well. Talk of changes in the team. I call it growth though. Well the rule is: Accommodation fee will be treated as a bulk cost. You know, similar to transport and meals. At Least that way the cost is evenly shared and none of us feels the pinch when they travel alone. The date is obvious for us. Every 3rd weekend of the month.

We set to depart at 9:00 am but there are a bit of delays. People have to plan on who takes care of their loved ones while they are away. One hour later, we are on the road. Like I said, it is an easy drive. Traffic hasn’t built up yet. We make stopovers. We love pit stops to just enjoy the scenery. But most important, to feed our bellies. There is a nice restaurant along the way. I can’t recall the name. Let me scroll through the photos. Ahh, Mambo Grill it is. It is a simple set up. The fish is good, the pork is sizzling hot and a cold Balozi to drain everything down. We are done with lunch, we are back on the road. February is dry. The sun isn’t favouring any more stops. There is a new dam along the way. That will be our last stop. I bet it is beautiful when it is full of water. It has just been drained to the rice paddies down the stream. We can’t get in. We need approval from the irrigation board. Too much paperwork, so we will pass. Maybe next time.

We have arrived. The parking lot is full. We are not sure we are at the right place. We hear a waterfall thundering somewhere so we park by the road side and hit the trail. It’s a steep climb down but we are hikers. At least that is what we tell ourselves. We get down and yes oh yes, the view is breathtaking, but for a moment. I told myself I will be honest with my posts. So yes, for a moment, your eyes scan through the waterfall and then the flowing river. But then it is interrupted by the crowd that is there. It is super packed and we are standing there confused on wether we are going to cope. I have trained myself to always be low on expectations. Especially on hyped destinations. So immediately I cope with that. Gerald heads towards us. He is the owner of the place. We have a quick chat on where we will set camp for the night. We didn’t book early so we are not getting any of the cabins. Oh, I guess that’s where the name came from. I will try to grab an interview with Gerald later on. For now, we will settle for the basic tents. He quickly comforts us that the huge crowd is only for the day trippers and once the sun sets we will have the entire space for ourselves. A sigh of relief is seen through each trekker’s eyes.

There is something about water that just gets my blood rushing. I always want to jump in, and that is exactly what I did. My target was to swim under the waterfall but I guess that is just too much to ask of myself. I’ll settle for the shallow waters for tonight. The water is extremely cold but refreshing, it’s like one of those ice bucket challenges. You can’t quite stay in for long. 

The fire is set as the evening breaks in. We all gather around. Drinks on the table and marshmallows at the end of sticks. We are just trying to enjoy the night. We have a charcoal jiko with us and some kilos of goat meat marinated to drain the night. We need supper though. The meat was only planned as a desert hehe. 

There was a bit of miscommunication between us and the host. He had mentioned that we might be lucky and that he will get us a free dinner. So nothing was planned from our side other than the desert. Later on is when we had to remind him that the fish that we had for lunch is now manure in our stomachs. He had to rush and start setting up for our free meal which ended up getting ready close to midnight. Like I said, always have low expectations. I would highly recommend that you cook your own meals or give their chef a heads up that you will be utilizing his services. 

I have just discovered we are getting old. After the meals everybody wanted to retire to their tents. Most of my previous camping I have always sat by the fire until the last wood turned into charcoal. But, yeah, we are getting old. We value our sleep more than anything. It’s like we are on a scientific research or something. Goodnight for now.

Did I mention that part of the day-crowd was camping as well. Well, they were my alarm for the morning. They were chanting throughout the morning hours so I couldn’t quite sleep. The tent’s were comfortable though. The bedding was super clean, if not new. So yes, I slept well. Good job Gerald

I wanted to jump in the water at that hour but people would mistake me for a mad man. Maybe partly I am. Breakfast wasn’t ready yet so all we could do was wait. The other camping team psyched me  up when they got in the water, so I had to join them. This time I swam closer to the waterfall but the current was so strong that it kept pushing me away. So I came up with an idea. How about jumping from the top of the waterfall. I had to confirm with Gerald first and he gave me a green light. I am a daredevil. It is a short fall so nothing to think much about. I had to do it again. Crazy me. But at least I did it. My mind was at peace. My body was relaxed but shaking from the cold. Breakfast should take it away.

Then the crowd started flowing in and we all knew it was time to leave this place. As soon as our bags were packed, some drunk jumped into the water and started swimming towards the falls. The next thing we heard were screams from the crowd. We could not see him. He was drowning. Luckily some of his friends are good divers and he was rescued. A few thumbs to the chest and he was happily breathing again. Don’t Drink and Swim. That should be stamped somewhere at the camp. It was time to leave. Gladly.

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