Mount Longonot

Yesterday, a group of us decided to climb Mount Longonot – a volcano in the Rift Valley.We met up in the morning, and took a matatu to the mountain – plenty of crazy driving of course.
We finally got there by midday… erm, not the best time to climb a mountain, but oh well.

We set off, in the scorching sun… and within a very short time, we all had sunburn despite being covered in factor 50 suncream – meet the African sun everybody!

The walk up was nice, although the heat made it more difficult than it should have been.  We met a giraffe on the way… I do love my giraffes 🙂

The crater is really beautiful… a big drop, to the crater floor which is now full of trees.  We walked around the whole crater rim, roughly a 2 hour hike.  There is a high peak on the crater, which involves very steep climbing, so the way up was not exactly easy… Although we got quite frustrated by the Kenyans, who apparently go to Longonot for a Saturday stroll… one guy was JOGGING around the crater, and all the others were wearing flipflops, and still overtaking us.  We were there in full hiking gear, chugging down the water, almost dying 😀

When right at the highest point, we sat down on the rocks for lunch!  We were almost caught in a downpour of rain, so we quickly packed up our lunch, and started down the other side of the peak, so we wouldn’t get caught in the storm right on top of the peak!

The walk down was much easier, and really pleasant.  The scenery is so beautiful, definitely worth the walk.

On the way home the matatu driver decided to make a detour, and ended up taking us down mudroads through villages where they clearly weren’t used to cars, never mind a bus full of white people 😀  He pulled up outside a shack and beeped his horn, and said “let me say hi to my wife”.  Out runs a lady, he chucks her a jumper, and says, literally: “HI”.  Then gets back in the car, grinning, and tells us: “Now I don’t need to come home tonight”….

I got dropped off at the round about in the centre of Karen, and it was getting dark.  It’s not safe to walk home in the dark, and the taxi drivers rip white people off.  So the house helpers that I live with have told me many times “just take a motorbike for 50 bob”.  So yesterday, I decided to extend my African experience, and I found a motorbike guy…and started bargaining for a lift home.  “100 bob” he says.  I laugh, and say “50 bob.  If you don’t want 50 bob I’ll go with the other guy over there”.  “Get on”  he says.  So off I zoom on the back of a motorbike.  I must have looked like a circus attraction…. Mzungu on the back of a motorbike, with hair flying madly in the wind 😀

Would have been an excellent day… only I got sunstroke, and had a terrible headache, and face ache, and lung ache and everything ache almost all night… The price of hiking in Africa at midday.

I am most impressed with myself though, because today I have woken up with almost no pain in my legs!


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Joe
    Oct 11, 2011 @ 15:42:50

    You actually did well on the hiking thing.Last year i tried the Ngong hills and at the end of it all i was breathing like a camel on the the driver taking a detour?Never heard of but still you guys should have complained so that he doesnt do the same to the next bunch of "wazungus" going to the Mt.Longonot. All in all, bravo!


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