Posted by: Ele Quigan | June 19, 2014

Africa Part 1 – Nakuru 16th June

The rain is different here; there are no signs of warning, a few large drops and then sudden downpours. This is no heavy rain; this is real, genuine tropical rain.

Of course you think immediately of Toto and rains down in Africa, but this is somehow more surreal.  Especially when camping.  It’s windy, trees and branches blowing about, waving the rain through.

While we look at our stuff again regretting our heavy, full packs, against this stormy backdrop, I also wonder if we might have at least some reserves when the dry clothes run out.

I recognize so many plants, trees, but they are ginormous.  Every familiar plant is oversized.  Trees droop with bougainvillea, more colours than we’ve ever seen, and somehow more vibrant?  Reds almost fluorescent.

There are no Hibiscus shrubs, but giant trees I assume decades old.  Even bush fuchsia is large.  You can see new growth on everything, inches and inches (even metres) from their last trim, the plants growing further out and taller pushing every fence limit, but I guess that’s Africa I suppose.

This rain is soothing.  It comes and goes, I’m glad we’re on a break for an afternoon – it’s day 2 the trip has barely started, but this rain feels familiar like home.

On the road everywhere we stop we’re accosted, there’s no “No”, no death stare that works.  “Looking is free” we’re told.  It’s more stressful than I expected, I thought I toughed this out in Vietnam, where you’re physically pulled stall to stall.

The bus rocks like a yacht, bumpy lurches both sides.  At times it is terrifying, at times soothing, I was rocked to sleep at some point.  I’m sure the groans and graunching gears will stop being such an assault on the senses.  The seats are surprisingly comfortable, upright, slouchy pillows.  They must have seen so many passengers before us.

The children here make me smile, laughing and waving from bus windows, in bright shiny uniforms, reds, blues, their white shirts stark across the landscape.

An Albino Kenyan took me by surprise today, my brain is telling me I noticed eyebrows and eyelashes first, but how I spotted that from a bus I’m not so sure.  So beautiful, and so unusual.  I’ve never seen anything like it, while I’m saddened of remembering articles of murder and witchcraft, to me there’s more than beauty in that rarity.

The air is cool in the morning and afternoon, leggings an unsurprising godsend, and a favourite cardy, full of holes already ruined from over wear.

We have our first game drive tomorrow, we’ve spotted antelope and Zebra, like sheep with unexpectedly dirty white coats. I don’t know why I thought they would be some kind of bleached white, much like the hazy, cloud covered sky.

The lack of sleep from our first night sleeping on the ground is catching up, yawns a plenty, hoping that tonight might be quieter, less dogs barking, less birds chattering, I hope it doesn’t rain like this tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

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