As I sit at my desk, with my efforts at exam preparation sprawled out in front of me on this gloomy Saturday, I can’t help but reminisce to a few weekends back when I had the pleasure of going on a trip to Lake Elementaita. Another absolutely beautiful place in my home country that I previously never had the urge to visit. Boy have I been denying myself a lot. This place is breathtaking! I mean, just take a look.
This was a day excursion that consisted mostly of climbing up and down the various hills in the area, namely; the Sleeping Warrior Hill and Ugali Hill. Why the names you may ask? Well, they look exactly like that. The Sleeping Warrior Hill literally looks like a warrior laying on his back, sleeping. The Ugali Hill goes without saying…it resembles a steaming hot heap of Ugali. For my international readers (a girl can dream, ya know? LOL!), Ugali is a local dish that’s pretty much the staple food around here. In my opinion, its taste depends on the accompaniments but i’d suggest you try it out for yourself.
We started off at the shores of the lake and stopped there to snap a few pictures and introduce ourselves to our fellow hikers for the day. Another reason I love these trips, meeting new people who share the same spirit of adventure. Soon after, we began walking towards the first task of the day: the Sleeping Warrior. When we got to the foot of the hill, we saw a herdsman and his herd of about 20 cows already halfway up. This really mislead us into thinking it was going to be an easy job. If a cow can climb up a really inclined hill with it’s seemingly imbalanced body, then we surely can? The minute we began we knew it was going to be a climb that involved all four limbs —no wonder the cows had it easy! We were grabbing onto bushes and branches for stability and support, meanwhile avoiding slipping in the soil. At this point i’d like to encourage any aspiring hikers out there to invest in a really good pair of hiking boots, as well as hiking gloves. I still have the scratch marks on my hands and shoulders.
After a bit over half an hour (quick, yes? I know, we were determined) we were at the top. All my fatigue left me in an instance. The view was just jaw-dropping. It’s things like this that make me wonder how some people don’t believe in a superior being, a being that can be the only one responsible for such wonders on this earth.
We began our walk through the reserve to Ugali Hill. Now, I’m not sure if our guide was telling us this to inspire panic or maybe even add a bit of thrill to the hike but apparently, we had to walk in a silent single file and be ready to lie flat on the ground in the event one of the many freely-roaming buffaloes happen to charge at us. Thankfully, we made it to Ugali safely.
As soon as we embarked on Ugali Hill, I regretted complaining about The Sleeping Warrior. This was the real deal. It just kept going on and on. The top of the hill seemed like that ever-elusive mirage lost wanderers see in the desert. If it wasn’t for the various stops to see how far we’ve come along on the hill, i don’t know if i’d have made it…but i did. After a short stay at the top we had to make a hasty decent as the rains had began. This would only make our journey down harder because of the slipperiness of the rocks.
Once down, the feeling of accomplishment was simply amazing. I don’t mean to sound cliché but there’s an undeniable feeling of being out there with nature. Skeptical? Try it out and come thank me later…preferably with a voucher for a hike somewhere or a Maasai Mara game drive. 🙂
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— Ivy xx