Blogs from Mt. Kenya, Central Province , Kenya, Africa

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Africa » Kenya » Central Province » Mt. Kenya February 12th 2020

Us & the team were all picked up from Meru Bandas at 7am after watching a beautiful dawn and driven down the track through the bamboo and hardwood forests and out of the National Park. Sadly we didn’t see any elephants on the way. We were driven through lots of coffee, tea & banana plantations and tall grass for cattle feed. We had a brief stop to show us a tea plantation and were told how they just pick the top two leaves every 7-10 days - after hiking the mountain our legs did not appreciate the steep loose soil slope up to get there! We also passed the tea market and coffee processing plants in the village. We then headed to Chogoria where we waited for Moses in a café that had amazing fresh juice ... read more
Waterfall
Relaxing at Castle Forest Lodge
Tea plantation

Africa » Kenya » Central Province » Mt. Kenya February 11th 2020

Up at 4:15am to pack & get breakfast in time to leave at 5:15am to hike the few kilometres up Point Lenana (4985m). Very steep and had to do a lot of scrambling over rocks with the help of steel cables – this is the highest via ferrata in the world! It was bitterly cold (our water bottles started freezing over!) but the stars were amazing! We made it to the summit after an hour arriving shortly before sunrise with a thin band of orange light along the eastern horizon. Watching the sun come up over Kenya was rather epic, it was even a clear enough day to spot Mt Kilimanjaro on the southern horizon! From here we had a long hike down the Chogoria route, starting with a stretch of rather nasty scree on which ... read more
At Point Lenana
Coming down the Chogoria route
Pre-sunrise glow

Africa » Kenya » Central Province » Mt. Kenya February 10th 2020

As we felt ok with the altitude (with the help of Diamox!) we skipped the acclimatisation day and instead used this day to hike the 5km up to the next hut which would significantly cut down the night hike tomorrow morning. Whilst holding the dodgy toilet door shut for Chavaunne I got a lovely view of a mountain eagle! There were also several rock hyrax handing around the camp. The hike started with a nice gentle incline up the valley then went steeply up the scree slope, which we needed to take very “pole pole”! The only vegetation up here was some moss, lichen and a scattering of pretty yellow flowers. After what felt like ages but was only a few hours we made it over the ridge down to the Austrian Hut at 4790m by ... read more
Austrian Hut camping
Rock Hyrax
Upper Teleki Valley

Africa » Kenya » Central Province » Mt. Kenya February 9th 2020

We packed our bags and had a tasty cooked breakfast in time to set off at 7am for our hardest day of uphill. We started by retracing our steps from yesterday afternoon up the track, then turned off onto a footpath through the Hygenia forest and then out onto the more open heathland before climbing through the dramatically named 'Vertical Bog' (not that dissimilar from many peatbogs back home. The first half of the day’s walk was the steepest and after lunch it levelled off a bit through more open areas of tree heathers and lobelias (including Lobelia deckenii & L. telekii) fading into grassland in the Teleki Valley. There were lots of vole-runs through the grass – made by mice I was told. We arrived at MacKinders Hut, on an outcrop of moraine ... read more
On Mt Kenya
On the Naro Moru Route
Water Lobelia

Africa » Kenya » Central Province » Mt. Kenya February 3rd 2014

Monday morning Speck is up early and looking for monkeys. He heard they could be seen in Nyeri but has yet to find any. This day David has been recruited to drive the Mercedes to Nanyuki. At 11am Mother, Caroline, Karuoya, Daniel and Speck are all in the car and on the way. On route they stopped at Narumoro, where Baba Kimathi is a member of a cooperative that has constructed retail space for rent. There many souvenirs were obtained before continuing on to Nanyuki. Shortly before they reached Nanyuki, the car reached the equator, everyone debarked and photos were taken with a sign marking the equator. Lunch at Muthui's was delicious, chicken, goat, 2 kinds of chapati, stew, potatos, and fantastic guacamole. Joanne Muthui had enjoyed seeing Speck and Caroline so much on Sat that ... read more
02032014 Henrietta
02032014 on the equator

Africa » Kenya » Central Province » Mt. Kenya February 2nd 2014

This day was spent still at the Kimathi homestead. It is T M Kimathi's 83rd birthday. During the morning Speck played with his small friends, Lincoln, Gloria, David, and Rose. They dragged him from chickens, to quail, to rabbits, to cows to tomato trees (not a typo, the tree grows a fruit that tastes like tomatoes), and all over the place. Around 1 pm is the cake cutting which is preceded by speeches. First T. M. spoke, then his wife spoke. Then a man who was in his 70's spoke of how he had known T.M. for a very long time and come to all of his birthday parties for a very long time, and then told a fairy tale, and then kept talking and it looked like he was describing bowling because of the arm ... read more
02022014 cows ear
02022014 even smaller friends
02022014 more small friends

Africa » Kenya » Central Province » Mt. Kenya February 1st 2014

Today Speck will be introduced to the rest of the family and extended family. The rooster wakes him up several times and he finally surrendered at 9 am. Breakfast is a couple pieces of arrow root, a sort of purpleish potato, and tea. Everyone is in preparation mode, the plan is to eat at 1pm before the church elders arrive, then at 3 have a kind of ceremony, and then afterwards Speck will go through a dowry ceremony. In expectation of needing some money, Speck and Caroline went to Nyeri town and hit the ATM, then a quick stop at the grocer and back to the house. Speck and Caroline grab showers and get ready and shortly after 1pm are ready to eat. They are given some confusing instructions and then are left waiting. 2pm comes, ... read more
02012014 dowry day
02012014 kids
02012014 mama junior

Africa » Kenya » Central Province » Mt. Kenya January 31st 2014

Friday morning Speck slept in until 9 am again. Caroline spent the morning packing and getting her hair done again. (it is so cheap to have your hair done that most women do not even own a blow dryer.) While Caroline was getting her hair done, Speck had become bored and took Janet and Shiro for a drink at Eden. Speck tried his first Guinness Foreign Extra and loved it. They returned to the house and had lunch at about 1:30 and were just waiting on Junior, who was to drive, to get home. At 4pm he still had not shown and Baba Junior suggested that Speck drive. Speck jokingly agreed, not believing that anyone would trust their car to someone who had never driven a right handed car, on the wrong side of the road, ... read more

Africa » Kenya » Central Province » Mt. Kenya March 3rd 2012

We only allocated one week of our itinerary toKenya, and the Kenyans seemed a bit insulted by this. We were told that most visitors toKenyawould divide their time betweenNairobi,Mount KenyaNational Park, the Maasai Mara National Reserve, andMombasaon the coast. Our itinerary merely had us spending one night inNairobi(at the beautifulFairviewhotel, called an “oasis in the middle ofNairobi” for a reason) before being picked up for a 5-day trek upMount Kenya. Our reasoning was that we had already seen landscape and wildlife very similar to what could be found in Maasai Mara in the Serengeti, and that coastalKenyawas supposed to be very similar toZanzibar, where we had spent a week. This being said, I would love to go back and spend some more time inNairobi. We had been warned that this was one of the most dangerous ... read more
Laundry day at Fairview Hotel in Nairobi
Nairobi traffic
Chogoria transit hotel

Africa » Kenya » Central Province » Mt. Kenya January 21st 2012

In the old stories, mountains were the navels of the world, the axis mundi, the abode of the gods. Where there was no Kailash, Fuji, Olympus, or Sinai, people built their own: the ziggurats of ancient Mesopotamia, the pyramids of Egypt, Teotihuacan, Chichen Itza, and the Empire State Building in the Americas. The mountains connected heaven and earth. They were a conduit for the flowering of myth, the place where the sacred and the profane overlapped. My story was less sacrosanct. I was walking around Mt Kenya, the second highest mountain in Africa, so I wouldn’t have to do anything so stupid again. I’d been comforting myself for about a month with the thought that this was the last time. That it was time to put away childish things and spend more time vacationing where alcohol ... read more
a long way to go
liki north valley; bation in sight
camp at the base of the peaks




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