2018 has been a year of many firsts… see at the beginning I told myself I wanted to travel more outside my county Laikipia so that I can see and appreciate other parts of Kenya and today I am proud to say I have done my best.
I started with our immediate neighbor Nyeri in search of Zaina waterfalls in Chania forest. With a group of friends, the plan was hatched and brought to life. It was such a beautiful experience standing like a little footnote at the base of that towering waterfall, so good that my friend called someone that had offended her and forgave
. Nature is powerful like that.
I then went a little further to Naivasha where my love for hiking was born. Unprepared as my friend and I were, we hiked through the gorges at hell’s gate all the way to the devils bedroom. We then conquered Mt. Longonot, not an easy hike but we made it after 6 hours of walking, crawling and breaking my tooth! At some point during the climb when I couldn’t feel my legs and I couldn’t breathe, I found myself wondering if it was worth all the trouble but the view from the top and the sense of achievement silenced all those thoughts.
The most trying hike was Mt. Ololokwe (The mountain of God) in Namunyak conservancy Samburu county. I worked out and did my research in preparation for the hike but you see daughter, sometimes even the best laid plans can go really wrong. We did not get to the base camp in good time because we got stuck in a lugga (dry Sandy riverbed) and as a result we were going up one of the toughest mountains in the unforgiving samburu heat. I was so beat after the first few minutes that our guide Jackson had to carry my luggage and allow me to rest every five minutes. I hope like me you will be resilient in face of challenges and dehydration
and when you set out to challenge yourself, you will not give up the minute it gets a little tough.
Later that night on our way back, we got stuck for almost 7 hours in the cold Meru county because we had a flat. None of us knew how to change a tyre so we had to ask for help from strangers. What followed is a long story but the moral of it all is dear daughter, be a hands on girl. Learn how to do things like changing a tyre because It may save your life or a night out in the freezing cold.
After this experience, I decided to hang my hiking boots for 2018 but the bug had bitten so hard that when I got another hiking opportunity I went for it with open arms.
Mt. Kilimambogo wasn’t supposed to be tough based on what I had read but again, we had to hike in the scorching sun because TIA (this is Africa) where 9 o’clock could mean 9.30 or even 11 o’clock.
Dear daughter, please learn to always keep time and if you are ever running late communicate to the other parties, apologize and whatever you do, never act like being late is okay.
I did a lot of other fun activities in my usual places. I went for the second Grevys rally and earned my badge as a citizen scientist. This time I went to a new place in Laikipia north (Tumaren camp) where the landscape, sunsets and wildlife makes your jaw drop in awe…
I could go on about my adventures to new and old places but allow me to focus on the lessons I picked along the way from Laikipia to Suguta marmar, Lewa to Olpejeta, Nanyuki to Doldol and many more…
1. Always leave a place better than you found it. Don’t mess with the flora and fauna, do not litter, collect more than your own litter and if you see someone messing with the environment, call them out but always remember to be polite.
2. If you become a hiker like me, research your destination , work out so that you are ready physically and mentall. Be patient with your hiking buddies and never quit.
3. Be in the moment, focus more on making memories but remember to take photos because photographs are a return ticket of a moment otherwise gone.
4.If you go to conservation areas, stick to the designated tracks, don’t scare away the animals or harrass them because after all you are in their space.
5. Make friends along the way . Im the last couple of years I have been able to go to places that only existed in my dreams thanks to those friends.
6. Always catch the sunrise and sunset… It is the most magical moment when everything turns golden and for a few minutes the world and its problems donot exist.
7.Every year go some place you have never been.
As I conclude, I will leave you with some of my best photos from 2018 and a quote by Sarah Jessica Parker from the movie New year’s eve. I have personalized it a bit because let’s be honest we are in Laikipia not Times Square New York where the tradition of dropping a ball at midnight takes place.
We will get there some day though… Dare to dream daughter.
Here is to more travel, adventure, books and learning in 2019.
“…before we pop the champagne and celebrate the new year, to stop and reflect on the year that has gone by, to remember our triumphs and our missteps, our promises made and broken, the times we opened ourselves to great adventures…or closed ourselves for fear of getting hurt, because that is what new year is all about. Getting another chance, a chance to forgive, to do better, to do more, to give more, to love more and to stop worrying what if and start embracing what will be. So when it clocks midnight, let us remember to be nice to each other, kind to each other and not just today but all year long.”
Happy new year!
Thank you for following me on this journey.
Love and love