A lot has happened this year. I haven’t been able to write often as I should. I have been to many trips and experienced lots of adventure, but I haven’t shared the same with you. I know some of you have been checking this blog to see if there was something new. Others have subscribed and haven’t got any new post notification. Even someone asked me the other day if I stopped travelling. To all of you, I am sorry. There are reasons as to why I hadn’t had time to jot some notes from my numerous travels. However, this was a wave and I have found a way around it. So, sit back and keep Travelling with Eliud.
This has been a year of spontaneity. I have been to many unplanned trips that turned out to be awesome. Equally, I have been to lots of planned adventures with Safiri Nasi limited. In this article, I want you to travel with me to a hidden gem in the southern side of Kajiado County. Two weeks ago, Chinku travels and I decided to go for a backpacking adventure. This time round we wanted to tag along like minded people and we reached out. We managed to have four other adventure enthusiasts join us. Six was a good number to work with. We set out a date and our 4 days exploration started on 17th November, 2019.
We met in town CBD and boarded a matatu to Kiserian. We had lunch while waiting to board a bus at 2pm. The thing is, there is only one bus that plies our destination’s route and it departs Kiserian at 2pm daily. If you miss that, you wait until next day. Ksh. 500 per head was the fare. We paid, boarded and at 2pm, the driver started the Engine. I was surprised because I did not expect the bus to keep time. This is probably because it drives to a remote location where time did not matter, but it turns out I was wrong. The KCF cylindrical bus (looks the same as Tulaga that plights Nairobi-Kinangop route) took on Magadi road.
This road passes through scenic landscape especially along Corner baridi, Kisames, olepolos and Oletepes. Most of you have done trips to Olorgesailie and Lake Magadi; therefore, you have used this road.
In the Bus, we took the back seat. The six of us fit there.
We hadn’t seen each other for a while. Some of us were meeting for the first time despite knowing each other online. It was a good time to get to know each other. Everyone was a free spirit and open minded. Stories were flowing steadily and the laughs were uncontrollable. Passengers on two or three rows in front of us turned back to listen to our craziness and just like that, the bus was Lit. By the time we know it, we were in Magadi-The TATA Chemicals town.
The bus stopped for some minutes, dropping some luggage and picking passengers. We did not see the essence of stepping outside. The excitement of getting to our destination kept our spirits high.
Past Magadi is a vast wilderness with no modern roads. Maasai Manyattas and villages are a pointer that people live there. We noticed some wild animals such as Ostriches, gazelles and giraffes.
We passed through several shopping centers while enjoying the landscape and the sun going down.
At 6.30pm, we arrived at Entosopia. The bus made a final stop at Nguruman-a local town center that was full of life. On alighting, we met our local guide called Nandio. He took us to where we were supposed to camp.
Nguruman is a center at the foot of Entosopia escarpments. It is developed along Entosopia River and has schools, health centers, police post, an airstrip and a research center. Loita hills escarpments are a walking distance and Lake Natron is a few kilometers away from Nguruman.
Here is spontaneity madness. We camped at a friend’s compound where we had access to water, toilet and bathroom and a perimeter fence. We had nothing except our tents, sleeping bags and cloths. The guide welcomed us to the compound and offered us mangoes and Pawpaws-Fresh from the shamba. We set up camp and went to check if we could get something to eat at the local center.
This is a town you can’t expect to have an operational hotel/restaurant with food ready. I mean, people eat at home and there are not so many visitors who would buy food. We ordered meat at butchery and asked them to prepare for us. As we waited for food, we got into a local pub that caught our attention due to its loud music. Here, we met a lovely bar lady (in our village, such ladies are given romantic names such as ‘Njeri kia mbaa’, mukami wa leta mbili’, etc). The pub was upstairs and it has a pool table and a large dance floor. Trust Nairobians to take over and turn locals into spectators. We had dinner afterwards and called it a night.
On the second day, we were up at 6am. The previous night we had bought milk, bread and eggs, which we sweet talked a neighbor to prepare for us in the morning. By 6.45am we left for Entosopia escarpment hike. This is an amazing hike with scenic views. The hike starts at a local church and passes through Entosopia River.
There is evidence of flooding along the river banks. According to our guide, sometimes the area receives a lot of rainfall that causes flooding. So fierce that it uproots trees and moves huge rocks from the hill downwards.
After the river, we started an uphill task while enjoying the views.
At 10.00am, we were at the summit. This was followed by a walk to where Entasopia River flows from on top of the escarpment. We hoped to see a waterfall that would ice the hiking cake. Sadly, it was no more. The heavy rain had caused erosion and made the rock, which was holding the waterfall to wither covering it completely. We met a flat ground.
Chinku travels and I had been to this place before and we narrated to the rest how the waterfall was with pictorial evidence.
Since, there was no chilling at the waterfall as planned; we decided to take a cool dip at the river.
We then hiked down and at 3pm, we were at Nguruman. After freshening up, we agreed on cooking food that night. We borrowed some utensils from the neighbors, went to the center and purchased some foodstuff and we made fire under a mango tree. There are nice people out there. The locals were so helpful. After having dinner, we played some games and called it a night.
The third day, Mimi Times, decided to take a baboon walk, while the rest of us remained asleep. She had an amazing time learning baboon’s behavior at a research institute.
When she came back at 10.00am, we were awake and had prepared breakfast. We gathered under the mango tree and as usual, stories dominated our conversations. There were instances where we recorded vernacular clips from all the tribes represented as a way of appreciating diversity. This day started with a lazy vibe. There was scotching sun. Our plan this day was to visit the locals and learn more about their daily life. However, the sun gave us an idea. We agreed on going to Entosopia River for a cooling off dip and later visit a local farm.
This was a well executed plan. At the farm, we met a very generous farmer who gave us Mangoes, Pawpaws and green Bananas. We ate mangoes and pawpaws on the spot to our fill and carried the Green bananas to the camp. We did not know what to cook for dinner.
At 8pm, we went to the center and we couldn’t find any butchery with meat. The market was closed as well. The guide told us that there was a shop where the owner sells chicken. We rushed there before he closes shop. Luckily, we found him, but he did now have any chicken at the shop. He sent us to his home where we met his wife and kids. We were taken to the chicken coop and on mentioning the price, we decided to buy two male chicken. Since the sufurias we had back at the camp were small, we asked the chicken seller to lend us a larger sufuria with a promise to return it next day. She agreed and since the market was closed, we went back to the campsite. We slaughtered the chicken and cooked it together with the green bananas. A very delicious meal it was despite lack of condiments. Since it was our last night, we went back to the local pub. This time, the pub did not have coins to open the pool table and therefore we did not stay for long.
The bus was leaving the next morning at 4am. This meant that we had to wake up at 3.30am. Well, we hacked it and we were sat on the back seat at 4.00am. However, it was a struggle. Who wakes up that early knowing well they are going back to Nairobi? Back to reality? At 10am, we were already in kiserian. We had breakfast, a debrief of the trip and later parted ways.
This was one of the best trips I have had this year. First, because I had amazing company-People who made me laugh throughout the entire trip, and secondly because of the good time I had with the locals at Nguruman. This is a place I would recommend for any backpacker out there. Anyone who seeks adventure and is easy to mingle with locals would love it at Entosopia.
Until next time, Keep travelling…….
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