|Wednesday 25th July - Kenya - Maralal
This morning we had hot showers! This was a very welcome luxury for us all. Cold showers have been available at every place where weve camped over the last week, but the last time we had hot showers was back in Addis Ababa. We liked the Musaretu camp it was simple, clean and well looked after.
Yesterday evening, on our way back from watching the sunset, we spotted a playpark, just round the corner from the campsite. This morning a guy from the campsite took us round to see if the girls could play there for a bit. The playpark is part of a nursery school for children aged 3-6. The school is run by the Catholic Mission who also run a primary and secondary school in the town. We met the Sister in charge of the school, a lovely little Italian lady called Sister Geraldine. She was very welcoming and enthusiastically showed us round each of the classes. Jane, being a primary teacher, was particularly interested and got chatting to the Sister about teaching methods. Jane has agreed to send out some new resources to help the school. The school seemed very warm and friendly and the children were happy and well behaved. Keziah and Naomi had the playpark to themselves for a bit while the children were still in their classes and then the girls joined in the youngest class for a while happily practising writing the letter p. We watched the children having their milk-break and then we played with them for a while in the playpark. Lots of little faces waved goodbye to us through the school gates as we drove off.
Todays road was very varied. We drove through some terribly rough rocky sections at the start of the day until we got onto the escarpment above the lake. The views were incredible Lake Turkana stretching out below us. We continued past mountains, through forests, over sandy sections and bumping over rocks and boulders. Towards the end of the journey the scenery changed to lush, green hillsides covered in thick forests. It had obviously rained here recently and the track was very muddy and slippy in places. While pulling over to pass an oncoming vehicle, we very slowly drifted on the mud into the bank at the side of the road. No damage done, we drove on. Around the next corner we came across a bus stuck in the muddy ditch at the side of the road. Cue SuperDaddy with his X9 SuperWinch! Rarely has a road obstruction leading to an hours delay been greeted with such enthusiasm. Suitably dressed in our clean, white trousers, Jane and myself took the children up the muddy bank. We watched and videoed proceedings from beside the bus passengers. With years of work in the UK oil industry behind him, Andrew attempted to uphold high standards of health and safety, much to the bemusement of the Kenyan onlookers. When performing a bus rescue, especially when the feat is being captured on film, there is a delicate balance to be maintained. The rescue should take long enough to build up a degree of suspense, but not so long that everyone gets bored. We all agreed that Andrew timed it perfectly for the maximum applause from the assembled crowd. Keziah went away happy, saying that her Daddy was a hero. Naomi on the other hand was far more interested in the huge cow pat shed found beside the road.
We arrived in the town of Maralal at about 4.30, having left Lyongalani at about 10.30 another long day of driving. We drove to the Yare Camel Club where there is a campsite and little bungalows. We took a couple of bungalows for the night oh the luxury of en-suite bathrooms! The Yare Club is lovely, with beautifully maintained gardens, a bar, a little playpark for the children and simple, clean accommodation. The restaurant, however, really lets the place down. Toasted sandwiches and chips were the only things on the menu and even that wasnt cooked well. Compared to the previous nights delicious meal of fish and rice it was a big disappointment.
The American students arrived an hour or two after us and we enjoyed their company again this evening. They have been very kind to the children talking and playing with them. Tomorrow they go on to Naivasha whereas we go in the other direction to Samburu.