There are gonna be HELLA pics in this post. So grab your hearty companion fortitude. You know the drill.
Who knows where Maralal is? No? Me neither, until I (Wikid it, then) went for the annual Camel Derby with the Tembea Kenya team (also, Wikipedia says it’s in North Eastern. Apparently it’s in Rift Valley. Um…). Yo. I thought my shags was far...Maralal is ridiculous. I’ve never been further in Kenya. It took us a day and a half of solid travel to get there. In my head, Isiolo is the furthest I know from anywhere. MARALAL IS 200 KM FROM ISIOLO. W. T. F.??
So we get to Nanyuki where we at at Kikwetu something something which has great food (because these things must be mentioned) and a very friendly hostess. And I saw my bank! And a Nakumatt...and a 50 bob movie place. It's like Nai! But, you know. Not. (They EVEN have something that looks like it was supposed to be the Nation twin towers! Cheap invented thrills!!)Then we get to Isiolo and guys are like, erm...The first night we slept at Isiolo Transit Hotel, because we could not keep going – bandits, et al, some of whom had shot an AP the other day. Now bloggers?? – which was not shabby at all. I am pleased to report that there are no larger than life bugs at Isiolo Transit Hotel. I don’t know about the rest of Isiolo…PICTURES!
The door of my room, followed by my curtain. Thrilling stuff!
Then the shower, (very important), mosquito net, bed, more shower...gotsta give my readers a real feel of the place, you know? :D
The welcome to our humble hotel thing beside the bed, and Bibles. You would think they had Qurans, right? Wrong...
Where we had dinner, and a view from the dinner table to our rooms.
The next day we left at 7:30 a.m. for the final (long ass) stretch. The scenery was pretty.
Then we got to our hotel...Sunbird. This is the Reception (if you couldn't tell) and...the stones...and...the seating spot outside...and pretty maize (I need a new word. 'Pretty' is becoming my 'nice'.)
And, because I like such random, it's a horror movie/pretty cloudy skies pictures...the mood was...um...electric. :D :D
When we got to Maralal (specifically, Yare Camel Camp) it was raining. Raining! I was wearing SANDALS, for Pete’s sake. I came prepared for desert climate and sleeveless, scandalous outfits. *sigh* You guy we waded in the water, like in the song. There were flooded roads about a foot and a half deep. The bus couldn’t pita. Adventure adventure! So note number 1: When you are coming to Maralal, make sure you have one of those cars that can handle such things (then again, isn’t that the general rule? Everywhere? Yes.) Second, carry gumboots, or if you can fit a kabodaboda motorbike in your luggage, it's go a long, long way. Apparently, it has never rained like that at this time of year. Mhm. I bet they say that to all the tourists lol. This is the road which transforms (Autobots, transform! Or. You know. Roads. Overflow.) into the Zambezi when it rains. Do not be deceived by the calm looking man. The rain was at like his knees a second ago.
(These pictures look upside down in the preview and I do not know how to fix them. WHat do you take me for, a techie??!!) Then we ate!
So after, you know, sijui crossing the Nile(s),we settled into our hotel rooms before the activities that were to follow the nextday. At (what felt like and indeed, was) the crack of dawn...
And of course, because Safaricom are EVERYWHERE...(I couldn't tweet the WHOLE time. It was AGONY. Because my network has no tower in Maralal. *rolls eyes*)
...to go to the police station to wait for the bus, where these pictures were taken. The one behind the fence, sing 'Locked Up!' by Akon to it. Because it's funny. There was a cute little birdie at the front of the station, and...you know...clearly I don't have sijui a 300mm lens...and clearly I like that katree...
The banner!! Peace, love and unity.
The camel version of the Thinker...and shaking what their mama gave 'em.
*throws in random sunrise*
So before the actual camel races, we were savouring the culture like sos. This dude is doing blacksmithing the old school way, yo.
So we got up to go watch a Samburu and Turkana traditional wedding. The ign'nant folks like myself thought that was going to be close to the same thing, but I was wrong. In fact, the Samburu and the Turkana have been at war with each other for centuries (sorry, I got carried away there. Not really.) KTB sponsors these weddings in a bid to foster coalescion, friendliness, general not-killingness...you know the drill. Actually, the camel derby, which has been an annual event for 22 years (WHO. KNEW????), for the past 4 years has been sponspored by KTB because they're trying to bring the two communities together. riding for peace. (chuckles) This one was the Turkana one. The following show @njerish's hair (don't ask), the groom, the groom's party, the older women in preparation, putting out the dolls they make for tourists to buy, the dolls (Magical Kenya. I'ma just start abbreviating), an ant (again. Don't ask) a kahot moran...and a traditional Samburu house (Magical Kenya, courtesy of, etc. Lol.)
(also, Kanye is refusing to attend the MTV awards if Kim can't come...I swear, everyone's going on strike...) Back to Maralal, the races began. (all MK pics)
And the crowd goes wild! Or stands around, waiting to go wild...there were runners after the camels as well, and bike races...
Because no trip is complete without a picture of my feet...or flowers...or the truck that got stuck in the mud from the retreating Zambezi...
And as the night fell... (MK)
We were treated to a cultural night. :o)
We reached the...cough...Twilight of our journey, and it was back to Nairobi's traffic for me. (MK)
p.s. I have many things to blog about. Life is moving rather quickly.