Robert writes: -
Four astonishing days on the road north from Nairobi to Marsabit,
where we are camped by Paradise lake in the middle of the Marsabit
crater. An oasis of primal rain forest in the midst of arid desert
and semi desert. We have stopped to talk to Samburu warriors, adorned
in bright red cloaks with mountains of beads around their necks, long
polished spears and clubs, and terracotta dye in their hair. We have
spent a happy new year's eve drinking whisky by a stream in the
Nyamuniak conservancy with Robert's cousin Nigel and his partner Sveva.
We've proved that you can, indeed, burn out the electrics on a
Landcruiser (Sveva's, not ours) and get it started with nothing more
than a wire from the fuel pump to the battery and a hefty push. We've
found that the weak point of an overloaded Landcruiser (both Mahali
and Jambanja) is the roof rack mountings - but fixed them with self-
tapping screws and bits of old inner tube, in the best jua kali
tradition of African bush mechanics.
And rather than write a long screed about what I've seen and done,
I'm going to hand over to the Jangano team for a collection of
impressions and thoughts on this past few days.
My favourite part was in Nyamuniak, where we went on a long walk up
to the little river that we swam in. The walk up was was very hot and
I was quite grumpy and tired, but the river was cold and full of
rocks that you could stand on, and we climbed up on one huge rock to
see a view of the mountains and the valley. Also I spent a long time
sitting in a tree above our camp site, thinking about the trip that
we are on, and how fun it will be and what will happen on it.
OK. My favourite part has been arriving here at Marsibit - not just
the camp site but the whole area. It's amazing because in a sea of
desert there's a special island covered in rain-forest, with three
big craters from extinct volcanos. There's lots of game - we've seen
elaphants, buffalo, vultures and dik-dik.
In the dry river bed, or Luggah, where we camped wild last night near
Seralevi, we had a Samburu visitor called James. He was a primary
school teacher and a warrior (two very different occupations). He was
29 and looking for a wife. This meant that he had died his hair red
with ochre and was not allowed to drink anything. All his liquid from
what he ate and in a scrub desert where keeping hydrated is very
important this is a serious challenge. Apparently he was 'on the
trail' of a wife so would be able to drink again soon. He also
carried a really cool spear made from the discarded metal of Chinese
road builders. Apparently he could throw the spear 50 metres and that
he had killed five elephants with it (apparently). Anyway it was
really interesting to meet him and have a conversation.
My favourite place that we've been to so far was the Seralevi river
which was all dried up. A Samburu warrior named James was walking
along and came past our camp and we talked to him a bit about how he
lived and how we lived and we took some photos of him. Also, with no
help from the adults Xander and I put up the tent that we are
sleeping in. When we had done that I felt proud of myself and Alexander.