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9.11.2010

Lake Nakuru, The Stem Hotel and the Last Homely House before the Mountains

After a three hour crawl through Nairobi, well marinated in Diesel fumes, we started climbing.  The entire road from the coast is a climb, of course, but it got obvious now.  We reached the edge of the Great Rift Valley and then Lake Nakuru. BSG fans - you know where they land on the "not-Earth"? - Flamingos etc. THERE. Uh Huh. From this spot on, until the shores of Lake Tanganyika, I will be traversing the Great Rift from one end to the other. It is old, and you feel it, seriously old. And beautiful.

About dusk it started to rain, and we had 300klicks to go. Friend Z and I conferred, and it did not seem like a good idea to give me another go at driving in the rain after dark, on unknown roads. The roads are DARK. No lighting whatsoever except for your headlights. There is usually a center line stripe, but no indicators for the sides  of the road. And neither Gladys nor Dave could get excited about riding in the back again. So we found a hotel.  And a some supper at a Kenyan Truck stop. Nice cabbage stew and chapati and tea.

My room at the Stem Hotel with a blooming Poinsettia outside
I collect signs - here are two from The Stem Hotel

The "shots" are in reference to the small water heater attached immediately to the shower head. Mine was wired in with electricians tape and had lots of visible black scorching from "shots" I elected to have a sink bath.

No Late Night Ramblers at the Stem Hotel
After a good sleep and breakfast we continued up towards Eldoret and then 60 k beyond to the village where Dave and Gladys live.  The village is high on a rocky outcropping. Clearly volcanic but ancient.  We arrive just after 1pm and we are all glad that we had the wisdom to split the trip.

Glady's house is well ordered. We are greeted by the Helper Nancy and some young relatives at loose ends, and tea is ready. The Village water pump is out, but this is not a serious problem because the house has a water tank and solar panels with battery back-up to the electricity. Water, if we are not extravagant and  lights but no water heating - it is enough. A good bed, good  food and good company. I am happy to rest here before the next leg.




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