Monday, August 26, 2013

Paradise Lost - 10 Jul 2013

Today is a bit of a down day for all of us. Guy was to visit Nerissa at the United Nations, while the rest of us were going to the Paradise Lost memorial park where native freedom fighters hid and fought from the British in 1941. Under the impressive waterfall is a maze of caverns and tunnels that stretch for over 80 Km. the fighters used these caves for almost 10 years trying to protect their homeland. We took afew photos and tried to avoid falling down.

I found it interesting to see algae/mosses growing on the walls only where there were light bulbs lit. The walls closest to the bulbs had no growth due to too much intensity, but just farther away the walls were green, until the illumination was too dim to support photosynthesis.

Birds were pretty silent this morning. I found a Cape Robin-Chat,a Thick- browed Seedeater, a dark green sunbird that I would've photographed had not the camera battery died. On the way out I saw a tiny kingfisher that Charles suspected was a Pygmy Kingfisher.

From there we drove to the 14 Falls, or Ol Donyo Sabuk National Park. The scammers at the gate were now charging extra at the gate for the use of photography, while very aggressive boys were trying hard to get us to pay them for tours. Charles was great, as usual, and diffused any potential scenes. Meanwhile Andrew and us took in views of the river and falls from just downstream. Possible phosphate runoff from the nearby pineapple plantation may explain the heavy foam at the base of the falls.

We didn't linger, but instead drove back to the Blue Post Hotel where we had a nice buffet lunch and a cold Guinness. BTW, we also love the local Kenya beer called Tusker. It is very smooth and great tasting.

As we drive back to Nairobi to meet Guy and Nerissa for dinner, I wish to take a moment to extend Robin's and my sincerest appreciation to Guy and Andrew for the privilege of accompanying them on this trip. Guy has put so much effort into planning this trip, and has had to deal with so many logistical issues while on this trip (money, lodging, accounts payable, more money, and having to deal with six other adults) so that we could enjoy ourselves to the fullest. He has truly earned the title of 'Pappiere', which Robin and I have dubbed 'Papa'! We love him for all he is and what he has done to enrich our lives.

Nerissa had invited us to dinner this evening and to see her new house. This would involve a drive through downtown Nairobi at rush hour. Wow. Imagine a million people on the streets with five lanes of cars, trucks, busses and mat titans on a four lane road in a city with no road signs, stop lights or rules. It took 1.5 hrs to drive 40 minutes. Animal carts, cattle, people dragging carts loaded with anything you could imagine. Motorcycles with three and four people on them. Then you have vendors in the streets trying to sell their crafts or food stuffs while traffic is in a gridlock. Turnabouts and two lane highways that cross each other with no signs or signals. Shacks, sheds, shanties and homeless everywhere. The smell of diesel fuel and fumes pervades the van on top the ever-present smell of burning leaves. A few folks have said that this is one of the worst driving cities in the world, and we got to witness it first hand. But Charles got us to Nerissa's just minutes before she and Guy arrived.

Her house is beautiful! Newly built and in a new gated complex just outside the airport it is spacious and welcoming. We sat around chatting while she and her niece Angie prepared an African meal for us. Delicious! But it was going on ten and we had to leave for Amboselli in the morning, so we said our farewells and vowed to see Nerissa on Saturday.

No comments:

Blog Archive