So once again we leave the Jungle Junction camp in Nairobi and head west to Lake Naivasha for a few nights. Marcus’s parents Harlan and Hazel farmed up on the Kinangop Plateau nearby so we thought that the lake would be a good base to use while we explored the area. We happened to choose a camp called Camp Carnelley’s due to it being praised on the iOverlander app that we use but wondered if the owners were indeed related to the Carnelley’s that we stayed with in South Africa right back at the start of the trip. It took a couple of days to find out because the owners were not fully hands on and the staff were not sure.
Anyway on the second day we asked the booking manager and he called Moisey who is the owners daughter, she turned up and took us down to her parents house which is secluded away in a beautiful spot on the property. We were introduced to Tom who indeed is a first cousin of Bridget whom we stayed with in South Africa. Bridget’s parents Lovat and Anne farmed on the Kinangop Plateau very close to my parents and moved down to South Africa. Tom runs this camp with the assistance of his son Lovat and daughter Moisey and they are doing a magnificent ob because it was a lovely peaceful place to stay. We spent one amazing day discovering the Kinangop including a drive around the edge of the Mount Kipipiri Forest Reserve which was full of small scale farms and big pine forests and was just a stunning drive.
On our travels between North Kinangop and South Kinangop we happened to pass the Mucibau Primary school where the children were out playing soccer on the playground but using a tiny ball the size of a tennis ball so we swung around and went into the school where we introduced ourselves to the Headmaster Paul Kamau Karanta and his deputy Anne Gatuyu who were delighted when we asked if we could donate two new soccer balls to their school. They then insisted that we come around and meet all the children in each classroom because they had just finished a subject on interaction the previous week. The children were just so well mannered, also delighted to meet us and had a lot of questions for us including what did we eat in Australia and was it true that Kangaroos have a pouch for their babies! It was a fantastic experience for us and I hope for them too. Paul the headmaster really wants to pursue a sister school relationship with a school in Australia so we will have to see what we can arrange. For those of you reading this blog Marcus turned 60 in January of this year and instead of presents he requested a donation towards a fund to buy soccer balls to give away to schools along the way.
Then it was on further north west to the city of Eldoret but we had decided to take a longer but more scenic route than the main Nakuru road and what could have been a four and half hour trip turned into a marathon eight hour drive over some of the roughest roads we had been on. The scenery was amazing and we were given so many friendly waves a shouts of “Jambo” that our arms felt like they would fall off.
Eldoret has a population 250,000 and famous for producing some of Kenyas finest long distance runners.
Eldoret has a population 250,000 and famous for producing some of Kenyas finest long distance runners. It was also the place a good friend of ours Bruce was born in over 60 years ago when the population was only 3000. When we arrived we had a video chat with Bruce to see if he wanted us to take any photos of places he remembered and then we set off to find these locations. Bruce’s father was a dentist in Eldoret but we were unable to find where his clinic was so then we set off looking for the Selby Falls but discovered it was now called the Koromosho Falls and Marcus braved the very steep walk down to and inside the falls while Pauline waited at the top.
We then went looking for the Eldoret Sports Club where Bruce and his brother were given a Fanta and a packet of Biltong in the carpark while his parents enjoyed Gin and Tonics inside the club! Then finally we went in discovery of Bruce’s first school called the Hill Primary School but on arrival we discovered there was security on the front gate and maybe little likelihood of gaining entry. Marcus jumped out of the car and with a big smile and a good story was granted 5 minutes inside the grounds to take some photos. We drove up a long shady tree lined lane to the school and as we passed the football grounds we again saw some children playing soccer on the sports ground with a very old a shabby ball. When we reached the administration block we met the Sports teacher Vidija who was absolutely delighted to accept two soccer balls on behalf of the school and then took us on a guided tour of the school. It was a Sunday but all the boarding students were there and crowded around us wanting to talk to us and high five us which was lovely and quite comical. We could instantly tell that this school had a very special feel about it and the rapport between Vidija and his students was just beautiful.
Then it was getting late so we headed back to our campsite which was about 20 kilometres outside Eldoret and owned by Raj who when we returned insisted that we join he and his girlfriend Tabby for dinner. Raj was recovering from a hip replacement and had been off the grog for six weeks but fell off the wagon for us! We had a meal of chicken broth and curry chicken and rice which was yummy but served quite late for us. Raj smokes Camel cigarettes but also has a packet of Marlboro White which we found out is actually Ganja otherwise known as Marijuana and he smoked a couple of those through the night which was hilarious. We had some great conversations with Tabby about the Aids HIV problem which she says is a massive problem not just physically but also a far bigger problem is the education of safe sex etc. Parents feel they can’t or won’t talk to their children about the problem and schools don’t teach anything about Aids and HIV. The first real information Tabby got about the problem was when first started at University and also relayed the story of doctors being bribed to give false negative readings to a future spouse. By about 10pm Raj had a serious case of the munchies and devoured half a tub of ice cream, quite a few packets of chocolate biscuits and lots of liquorice sweets! We were finally able to drag ourselves away at around 12.30, way after our bedtime! The next morning we left Eldoret for a town called Kitale so that we could get as close to the Kenya-Uganda border as possible. The only disappointment in Eldoret was their rubbish tip which was burning from one end to the other and no one seemed to care much.😳
When we arrived in Kitale our Maps.me navigation aid took us through the back streets and got us thoroughly lost even trying to make us cross the railway line where there was no crossing. Eventually we got where our campsite should have been but there was no sign and all the property’s had high fences but luckily a local showed us which gate to beep our horn at! It was a very rudimentary camp site with very run down ablutions and not much atmosphere but it was after all just an overnight stop. Maps.me can be a great app but sometimes decides to take us on a shortcut, most often we embrace the deviation but other times when we have been driving all day and are tired we don’t care for it so much!😎
The next morning we were up bright and early for the drive to the border and the road was undergoing a lot of upgrade works so was a little slow. Along the way we came across more cut flower greenhouses that supply the UK market. We arrived at the border post and for the first time ever had no one in front of us and a quite surprised immigration and customs personnel. This is a very little used border crossing but one that would take us in on a Northern route up through Uganda that we had planned. We guided the Kenyan officials through the Carnet paperwork and were through to the Ugandan side in the record time of about 15 minutes. Once in Uganda we entered the Immigration building and we received what has been the most friendly welcome at a border post yet. We were stamped in again with no one in front of us and then the Immigration Officer came around to our side of the desk and presented us with our passports and a bottle of water each, thank you Uganda! 😍. Then we walked across the road and up the hill to the Customs office and again without checking our vehicle our Carnet was stamped and we were free to enter Uganda again in the record time of 15 minutes. At this stage we had already fallen in love with Uganda and it’s people!😍😍