In the interest of sharing the rest of the tale, I’m going to try and tell the rest of the story now. It might be long.
We left the waterfall and made our way back down the mountain. It was a fairly long way down and we were all pretty tired. Great views though.
That night I made the decision to stay at the camp with Nikolai, Martin and Jacob. The campsite was about 10 minutes outside of town with a nice mango tree above it and a common area for cooking and eating. It rained, but we had a great time watching the baboons in the mango tree above our tent.
We were trying to think of innovative ways to get our beer cold which involved us putting it in a small stream near the campsite (didn’t’ really work). We cooked some snobroed that night which is essentially flour, water and salt dough wrapped around a stick. It’s apparently a very danish thing to do; it’s their version of smores. We even taught the masai guard how to make it; he was pretty good at it.
The 4 of us slept in a tent that night as the baboons continued to throw their mango seeds down on us. I woke up around midnight and had to pee really badly. The only problem is that I knew that the previous day there had been a leopard and a spitting cobra in the camp. Next problem, it was pick black outside and I mean pitch black, no light. I grabbed my flashlight and headed out. A little different than worrying about meth heads at night in Adams county.
Next up was our trip to the hot springs. We didn’t take the normal road this time and our guide insisted that he knew the way. This was quite the experience as we drove across the Kenyan savanna. I can’t really explain it other than by saying that seeing this all from the roof of a 1970s landcruiser at high noon was other worldly and felt like we were back in time. Did I mention it was hot? The car was acting up a bit and sputtering all the way and I couldn’t help but feel a little helpless knowing that our water supply was kind of low and we seemed to be heading to the middle of nowhere. It’s interesting being at the equator at noon as your shadow disappears below you.
Eventually we arrived at the southern part of lake magadi. The flamingos were back and we were at the hot springs. This area was a little like the skeleton coast of namibia, but smaller. We got out of the car, guys got our suits on and we headed into the water. I was the first in and let’s just say the water was a little hot. Much hotter than a hot tub and much stinkier with the sulfur. Very awesome experience though as I slid my way into one of the pools and enjoyed the bubbling water around me…for about one minute until I was cooked.
Now was our time to head home. We got about 10 minutes away and the car died. Flat out died. We pushed it, trying to jump start the thing and no dice. We apparently got some water on something that didn’t like it. We spent the next hour waiting, contemplating how we’d die, measuring our water and realizing we didn’t have more than a liter between 7 people. Uh oh. Good news, we could see the Magadi soda plant and we had plenty of battery in our mobile phones.
After an hour, we tried the car again. Success!!!
Talk about feeling kind of helpless in a tough moment. I knew we weren’t going to die, but definitely made me feel pretty uncomfortable for a bit there. Bad news, we were still about 6 hours away from Nairobi.
We got back into Magadi. I immediately bought a couple cold drinks. Funny how you go a couple of days in hot weather and forget how nice cold drinks are. Before I go on, we noticed something very interesting when we arrive in Magadi. There was a ‘golf course’ that clearly has long since been taken care of and very dry. Not sure if people still golf on it, but got a great picture I’ll share. As we got into the town, school was letting out. The strange thing about this was that every kid had their own bicycle. Clearly the town is doing pretty well from the factory. They even had a community swimming pool.
Our trip back is easy to explain. We made it; barely. It got dark soon after on our way back. The car sputtered the whole time with clear issues in the fuel system. It started to rain a lot. Clouds covered the mountains we went through. Traffic was bad. It was quite the stressful trip and made me realize how important having a reliable car is, how much we overlook the fact we have good roads, traffic laws, etc. in the U.S. The guys spent hours singing any and all songs they knew; I put in my headphones.
For all of the pics from the trip, here’s the link: http://photography.jbwoodruff.com/Travel/Kenya-2012/201210LakeMagadi/