A serene space, quiet. Just a few minutes drive from town. It took us hours though. The ongoing road construction made it difficult to spot the gate and we kept going round and round the forest looking for the entrance. Google maps didn’t help at all. Siri and Ok Google were useless at this point. We’ve always trusted them and this time they led us down a log filled path.
We never lose hope, we are humans. So, we relied on local knowledge. It was disturbing since REAL men don’t ask for directions. Haha. We called the sanctuary reception and they guided us. Not the perfect way since they never asked which direction we are coming from. They said turn left, the bypass has no U turns so we figured it’s from the CBD side, so on we went. A few kilometers later we are on Ngong Road. Now we can turn left, no, wait, right.
OHHH there it is. Something precious. The signpost. That’s what we need. About a kilometer later we are at the gate. What a relief.
The moment you enter the gate you realize you are in a different place. It’s quiet, chilled, wind blowing the trees back and forth, they are having a musical I guess. No dust. Few people can say that while in Nairobi. Super awesome. That’s the word. Awesome. We are directed to park our pollutants next to the trees. This guy, he looks fun already, he leads us to our picnic spot.
Did I mention that there is a cemetery next to the sanctuary. I guess they are Resting in Peace. Perfect spot for a Halloween movie. You know, the ones that people shout, ‘Hello, are you there’ to a ghost.
This is a cemetery for the soldiers who died during the colonial period. I hope I captured that correctly. I don’t want ghosts haunting me for misquoting their titles. History wasn’t my favorite. I dropped it early.
It’s one of the most manicured cemeteries I’ve ever come across. Well tailored lawns. Clean tombstones with names still visible, 50 something years down the line. Didn’t know that the soldiers didn’t just come from Kenya. I could read names beyond the Kenyan border.
We are not here to mourn, are we? Plus, it’s not the place we are visiting today. Last respects then.
Moving on. We are a cheap lot. Or so we try to tell ourselves. This time we wanted to spend less, so we opted for a Potluck. A word most of us had to google in order not to be embarrassed. And yes, google was a saviour on this one, not like the direction thing. None of us arrived empty handed. Everybody with something at hand, bought or made. But before that, let’s check out the place. No, Let’s eat first. No, we’ll scan the area real quick, find a chilled spot, eat and then trail through the forest. There is always someone with a better idea in the team. It’s never me.
Pots open, not the grandma ones. Fancy ones that keep the food hot all day. “I smell beef. Ahh, guacamole. Mose, do you know what that is? Oh, did I just see chapatis? I love those. Where are the plates? Did anyone bring chicken? Pass me the stew. Who cooked the stew. Yummy! I want to marry him or her. Something to drain my throat? Sodas. I’ll have the coke.” You get what’s going on right? No need to get into the details.
Trekkers can cook, or are they hiding someone at home? They all say they are single. Haha. Weird how whenever I visit any of them all I get is chai mrefu. I’ll demand more next time. I’m running out of words, my mouth is full. So let me pause and chew for a minute. I’LL BE BACK.
Did we say a prayer before the meal? Yes we did, Anne can’t allow any meal down your throat without a prayer. You’ll be strangled for it. There is a cemetery nearby. Better say grace then.
Did you say there is a nature trail? We are full now. We could use a walk to settle the calories. Down the road we went. I mentioned Mose, right? He is the beast of the team. High energy always. He decides that the calories are not settling on anyone’s butt today. It’s time for a jog. No, that’s not fast enough. Let’s take it up a notch. 100 meters it is, That will burn things faster. Who to go first. Kris of course. Why him? Same energy. Haha. You have no idea what you are up against Moses. On to your mark, Get set…Done. Easy one for Kris. Neeeext. Like the doctors call. Temitope. Oh boy. He is fast, still not fast enough.
The team cheers. How lovely. We’ll do it again some other day.
My words never do justice to any of these places. You just have to visit. Fresh air is guaranteed.