Posted By Mands 14 April
Yesterday, the Jangano team definitely started on a new phase of the Trip.
Socially: having had a wonderful month of sharing our travels and experiences with others (since Addis with my sister Vix, then since entering Kenya, with the Owens and then the Stephensons), we now find ourselves back to being Just Us once again. Even better, back to being the full 9-person team, with Jakers back from boarding school. It is great to feel truly Jangano again – having had what has effectively been a Half Term break! Robert, Nicky and their boys spent nearly a week in Nairobi with Chris and Karen Stephenson and their gorgeous children Daisy, Barnaby & Jasper. Gus, our boys and myself stayed with Matthew & Alice Owen and their gorgeous Ruby & Guy. The Half Way servicing of our trusty cars (they have covered 20 000km plus by now) meant enforced urbanisation for 5 days (extremely busy time for the Dads, great fun for the kids and Mums!)
Our final social safari (comprising 18 of us altogether) had us headed West toward the Mara, to spend the Easter weekend on a Maasai friend's stunning piece of land on the banks of the great Sand River. After which, we all bade a final farewell to our wonderful mates at a place called Narok. From thence continues our westward journey and begins the new geographical chapter. The most significant change for us is that we have experienced rain for the first real time since we started the Trip. And not just a little rain shower, but a true, tropical Rainy Season downpour! In fact, it rained solidly from Narok until Kericho, in the western Highlands of Kenya. And this is what the pattern is set to be for the next month's steps...This obviously affects us hugely, in terms of camping, though we're trying not to think too much about it yet and would rather hope for the best! But, yes, the next month is certainly going to be soggy and damp! We are determined, however, for the rain not to dampen our spirits. We have three more amazing countries to go through that are fairly unknown to us (though Gus, Nicky & Robert have been to them on work assignments in the past): Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi. We sat down – in front of a cosy fire – to a serious Planning session last night, in an attempt to determine the maximum opportunities for this next stage. To our shock and amazement, we realised we have only 10 weeks left on the Jangano journey to Cape Town. Eeek!! So much still to see, do and go to?!
So, psychologically, we also begin a new chapter, as we realise we are southbound, ever-nearing southern Africa, our "home territory". It is strange to think that our Time Away, which felt like it would last forever, now suddenly and abruptly, has the proverbial grains of sand falling through the hour glass so quickly. Let us therefore continue to enjoy every moment of every day of this next special chapter – even in spite of the rain!