Marsabit to Sarara – Day 75

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November 27th 2007
Published: November 28th 2007
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We had a noisy night with flapping tents and awoke to an even stronger wind and swirling mist coming off the mountain. It wasn’t really cold, just unpleasant. But we were packed up and were off on schedule with a farewell to this friendly, rather isolated but very enterprising Swiss gentleman.

We drove for at least 10 miles in the mist southwards into Kenya, descending the mountain all the time. The road here was excellent. But when we got lower down and out of the clouds the road steadily deteriorated into the second consecutive day’s bone-shaking driving. It was not stones this time, just corrugation where, if you went slowly, it was awful. So we adopted the only solution - to drive as fast as conditions would safely allow when it wasn’t quite so awful but we were through it more quickly.

On reaching Ololokwe, for me one of Kenya’s most magical mountains, we turned westwards towards Wamba for 10 miles along another corrugated road before turning right onto a bush track. Ian had been here before so knew the way. This track wound through the bush for 17 miles, crossing many dongas (dried water courses) where only 4x4s can pass, until we came to Sarara - a very exclusive lodge situated in the wildest of African bush and “owned” by the husband of a cousin of ours.

It is the off-season now so there are no guests. But, by pre-arrangement with our dear cousin Hilary and her husband Piers, we were expected.

Sadly Hilary and Piers are away but the place is being supervised in this quiet period by ‘Tish who welcomed us with lunch on arrival. We then set up our tents in the car park, the only time we have not objected to such a site, which was the only nearly level spot around. We enjoyed hot showers and then, as the day drew to a close, we watched elephant coming into the floodlit waterhole in front of the lodge before cooking our usual evening meal near our cars and then settling down for the night.

There is a lot of development going on at this lodge, with new accommodation for visitors as well as a wonderful 2-bedroom self contained building known as the “Donor’s Building”. This is funded by donors, as its name would suggest, who will then be able to use it whenever they wish while other guests will be put in it when the “donors” are not here. A sort of wonderful, time-share concept. What an attractive place it will be when it is finished in 2 weeks’ time.


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