One thing is certain: Easter here in Kenya is very different from Easter at home. Now I’m not talking about the weather, but about everything. One reason is of course that my surroundings are Muslim and therefore has no tradition of Jesus’ death, because he died as a prophet and not God’s son. Kitengela is full of churches, but not near where I live, and many of them are charismatic or Adventists . It’s not exactly my type . But I ‘ve had my quiet moments listening to Bachs St. John’s passion on Good Friday on YouTube. YouTube is helpful to have. Does the way smoothly into NRK radio here , even on a Mac one, but listen rather seldom – except “Klar en klassiker”.
Another thing that is very different is that shops and banks are open on Sundays and public holidays. No holiday closures here, nor Easter. Bought shoes on Good Friday, nice shoes Ksh 3000.-. The newspapers were also on the street. There you did read about a matatu collided with a truck out of control and 11 people died. The truck driver and assistant ran off into the jungle . It swarmed by people in Kitengela , but not as many as it can be. Many people have traveled ” home” to the family at Easter . Also today we have been visiting the town and ate lunch at Pizza Inn and Chicken Inn . Very fine and cheap with a pizza for Ksh 500.- .
It appears that Easter should continue to be quiet and peaceful for our example.
Land of the kikuyus
But we’ve had a few excesses in terms of travel . We drove the wife of Buda home to her family in a city in northern Kenya called Isiolo. We have been there before and I was a little in love with the place and the surroundings . Distance up there is not more than from Oslo to Kristiansand, and the running time was 5 hours with several breaks along the way. So we drove through the central highlands , the richest part of Kenya , Kikuyu land! There we drove past towns like Karatina and Nyeri – in the past lived and died Scouting’s mother and father, Lord Baden – Powell and his wife Olava Baden – Powell ! . As you see the time spent the road north from Nairobi is excellent, if not exactly highway. Through the southern part of the area we drove through a fruitful , uneven , almost garden like landscape . Many farms here were brought by the colonial masters for ca. 100 years ago. In this area had Maumau their activities in the 1950s before the movement was crushed by the British. On the left side we did have eventually Aberdaremountains in sight, calm, almost flat mountains with peaks up to 4000moh . On the right was a large mountain shrouded in a thick cloud. In the mountains lived the Kikuyu god, Ngai .
Towards Aberdare mountains Mt Kenya
When we did get to Nyeri, the landscape changed to become more open. We drove along a large plain , Laikipia Plains, and with little vegetation, the view was far. And , it looked as if the dense cloud dots surrounding the Mt . Kenya, Africa’s second highest mountain ( 5199moh ), began to disintegrate. Something , however, was already gone, the last train from Nanyuki, the railroad between Nairobi and Nanyuki . Much of the track was left as a reminder that there had been trains. The road followed the track pretty much most of the way . That’s how it went with most of the side tracks in Kenya; there was no money to earn in the railways ; although in his time was the backbone of Kenya’s transport system. The weather improved and when we arrived in Nanyuki and the equator for a short stop, was Mt . Kenya visible between skyflakes.
The stretch between Nanyuki and Isiolo are one of the most beautiful in Kenya. I am captivated every time I run here. On the right side sits Mt . Kenya. It seems so close, but you usually use 5 days to get to and from the top. Besides, you are not at the top without climbing training and equipment. Mt . Kilimanjaro is in the form a large volcano with some ice and snow on top. Mt . Kenya on the other hand is a volcanic remnant that strives game against the sky. I’m not going to try myself as a mountaineer , but I took some pictures on the way back when the mountain of God playing hide and seek between the clouds in the sun was going down. There is something puzzling over those mountains and it ‘s no wonder that the Kikuyu left main god, Ngai, be the god residing in the mount of God . Beautiful lighting.
big wheat fields Towards Isiolo
The road went uphill to almost 3000moh , and up here had rich colonists their huge grain farms. Large areas were covered by vast fields that we can only dream about in Norway and most of Europe . In the background was constantly Mt. Kenya. Then began the descent towards Isiolo in large bends. The quality of the road was excellent, just the trucks must be cautious downhill . We look Isiolo in the distance and wilderness behind. Although there are 500km further to Moyale, the border city of Ethiopia, this area is almost empty of people – apart from a few nomadic tribes, cattle thieves , bandits and others. The road north from Isiolo transformed by some kilometers to a cattle trail and make their journey to a trial.
To the west the vast Turkana Lake Turkana as the central focal point. Once upon a time NORAD built a road to Lodwar. I haven’t tried to run it , because I have not visited Turkana yet. In this area there is a flora of nomadic tribes , most quite small. Many have not understood that they live in a country called Kenya. They often engage in local feuds against each other, often due to cattle theft, which at times has evolved into tribal wars. In one case went 50 policemen in an ambush and was liquidated . In the paper recently I read a post that said that one could not accept anymore that people lived in the Stone Age when the rest of the country ( somewhat exaggerated ) was moving into the digital age . Now that it’s made oil discoveries, the government has been a sudden interest in the area. Turkana is however also a landscape that appeals to tourism with its exotic environment and wonderful landscape . Turkana bordered on the north by South Sudan, the world’s youngest country, which certainly struggling. The News Today (20.4 ) reported that 100 people had been killed in connection with cattle robberies. I imagine that South Sudan is an extension of Turkana , and that it really is not very ripe for independence. Rumors here in Kenya says that President Salva Kiir, who did have Norwegian advisers, has already managed to become a very rich man.
Towards Isiolo Isiolo
We get a reminder of what we run into in Isiolo. In the city center we did see soldiers in full war gear – it?s not common. The news reported that someone has attacked a mosque , and that others have gone and attacked a church ( which is the unfortunately developments in Nigeria) . It is a situation that neither the Christians nor Muslims want. Kenya will be a country of peace between religions, but authorities have not quite managed to get it in connection with the treatment of the Somalies and thus the Muslims in Kenya.
We ran into a side street to a hotel there, where we ate dinner and said goodbye to Mammarasha and Rasha. We decided not to stay in Isiolo, but go back to the city at the equator, Nanyuki . The streets of Isiolo was now completely normal , no soldiers were watching . In all, the trip back to Nanyuki was rather rainy and foggy , but when we approached Nanyuki, it was the clarification and Mt . Kenya showed up beautifully . We stayed at a decent hotel – two rooms with breakfast and magnificent views of Mt. Kenya.
Nanyuki is located on the edge of the Laikipia Plains as we crossed in 2011 on a roughroad. Below is a series of huge farmer who runs cattle among other boran cattle – the best meat producers in Africa. Some of them have started to become sanctuaries like Ol Pejeta Concervancy and Lewa Wildlife Concervancy .. Here you can find a sanctuary for chimpanzees. Although it is not proven that chimpanzees have been living in Kenya, you will find all the major African animals buffalo , elephant , giraffe , antelopes , lions , hyenas , leopard and rhino not least – both black and white. But even here within a well- guarded electric fence poaching is going on.
Safari in a smaller scale , we have been doing in the recent times – out on the savannah few miles away. This time we saw the giraffes we have missed stayed and they seemed to be very much alive. Great pets to have so close to – also the elegant impalas
At the end of our trip to Isiolo, I suggested that we could take a trip to the 14th Water Falls in Athi River, not so far away from home. And even though I knew they could not compete with certain other waterfalls because they are only from 10 to 20 meters high, it is quite good with 14 waterfalls side by side . Much foam, a short boat ride with ropes, demonstration of diving made ??the visit enjoyable. Equally entertaining was basically the continuation. We took a shortcut – a rough road – towards Nairobi, we saw a bull fight in the middle of the road, lots of people on their way from church , many with palm leaves ( Palm Sunday ), an incredible number of people with Salvation Army uniforms, large coffee plantations of the road, etc. Some places the road was very muddy , but I think there had been no trouble getting help.
Thika with “Del Monte”
But the Easter was very peaceful.