April 26, 2013

To do anything

If I've learned anything from living in Kenya, I'd venture to say that I've learned more about living than about Kenya.  I'm still woefully ignorant of the policies of Uhuruto (though with the oblique explanations I maintain that's not 100% my fault), but I finally know the utility of 4x4 vehicles in this world.

And I know how it feels to maximize time: to experience each day as an adventure and each weekend as a vacation.  Saturday and Sunday never used to feel like enough time to do everything; now there's enough time to do anything.

(Then again, I'm no longer a student.)

After hiking the Ngong Hills the other week, we continued up the Rift to spend a night at a house on Champagne Ridge.  It was a funky-looking place... deep rust stucco and stained glass windows, perched high on the cliffs above the valley.  Not terribly unlike the Flintstone House that I used to pass daily on my high-school commute.

Hippy Home

No one else for miles (ahem... kilometers)

The drive was supposed to take just about an hour, which is probably close to accurate in the dry season.  But in April, with a flat tire, a loose exhaust tank, and several bouts of getting stuck in the mud, it was closer to 4 hours.  

Which might have generally put a damper on a one-night get-away, but what it really meant was that we arrived just in time for sundowners on the porch.

Room with a view

Feet up

And after kicking up our socked feet for a while, we decided to do some dusky exploring on the cliffs, finding a hidden waterfall and watching the sun drop into the valley.  

And when it became dark, we returned to the house to cook dinner, light a fire, and do a bit of star-gazing.  

In the morning, before we packed up for the multi-hour drive back to Nairobi, we breakfasted on the porch.  Even without liking bacon, I'm in love with this scene: 

Dog watches bacon being cooked on porch overlooking Rift Valley.  

Of course, like with the road up, one never really knows exactly what you'll get when renting houses off of a website like this.  The place was absolutely lovely- windows overlooking the valley in every room, including the bathrooms.  But the owners did have some unorthodox decorating schemes.  Beyond the Dali-esque dripping stained glass and tabletop lizard mosaics, they also had several large boulders placed around the house.  And not in corners, but right in the middle of high-traffic rooms.   

Walk walk walk Rock

But if stubbed toes and flat tires are the price of admission, the ride seems well worth the ticket.

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