Posted by: seafarmer | November 27, 2011

Rhino River Lodge by Meru National Park 27 Nov 2010

27 Nov 2010
Can it really be Saturday? Another early start after a cuppa on a
tray, off we went into the park with Raphael and Joel about five hours
– wow.. highlights were hippos – two out of the water – and one hippo
and croc as we breakfasted by picnic. Oh we came across a lost lion
cub and told the park people about it. It was skinny. I’d have left it
alone: ‘survival of the fittest’.

Yes I have had enough driving for a while but am full of thoughts and
tunes and in some ways have the emotions of my younger self – so many
landscapes, scenes, people, animals in the last few days. Carolyn is a
peachy companion, so cheerful and responsive, smiley and genuinely
charming. She’s a bit quieter today. We had a swim and lunch and I’m
enjoying the pool and waterfall below me, sunlight through the palms
and other trees, the sound of Kindani river and crickets.
The highlight of the day was still to come; at 4pm we set off in
picnic mood with Joel and Raphael, out of the compound and through
some km of shambas on an unbelievable little track, horrendous deep
stream crossing, black cotton soil, fortunately much drier now. Round
and round, up and down past lots of corn and beans and trees and huts
and people. Most stared, but smiled and waved as soon as we did. It
was incredibly picturesque. Raphael had to stay with the vehicle 1hr
45min while we went at a slow and pleasant pace walking up the hill
and round the curving rim. We had water and cashews at the top – there
was beer in Joel’s bag but we didn’t think it wise on a very bumpy
non-track, all lava with grass and ?beans? growing wild.  Joel said
the community had burned the hill to stop the Boran invading with
their cattle, as they do when it gets dry in the north. The view was
superb. The hill is Kilimakaero, means White Hill in Meru, and he says
it’s sacred. Joel, b. 1974, has three children, 13 down to 3, and they
live in Nyahururu so he only sees them when on leave. He’s been with
Andrea Maggi for some years and moved with him to Rhino River Lodge
when it opened ~ a year ago. The evening shadows made the landscape
glow and then we heard drums way below (practising for church next
day?)! Range upon range of hills away to the west, open all the way
around. This outing was a highlight for both of us. Back to the lodge
for wine and chat with the two German women, dinner and a quiet night.
28 November, Sunday

A swim first thing – ten lengths, shower, lovely tea, and pack, then
cooked breakfast and off at 0930 – with a passenger Christine and her
toddler Prudence who is to get ears seen to in Nairobi. Gorgeous
child, dimpled, smiley, no complaints all the way – home 4.30pm – last
hour or two particularly horrid traffic. One thing atrocious road
behaviour at 50kph, another level of scariness on dual carriageway at
100kph. The first half of the day was again most picturesque with
people in their Sunday frocks and sometimes we heard blaring from the
zillions of churches. Up and down – good quality road – I asked so
many questions – discussed religion, Mugabe, house deposits and
mortgages, domestic violence (not acceptable here now either). I
persuaded Christine to sing a couple of times, Raphael too. CA slept a
lot of the way. Great to get home to welcome from Maggie, tea, shower
and Musa (home last night from the Hajj). Dog peed on our luggage left
at the door!

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