Day 3: Lake Naivasha... again

Today we travel via the Rift Valley, that stretches while the way from Jordan to Mozambique in South Africa. The first human remains were found in this valley.

The day started with breakfast at the hotel and then packing up the truck (some of the rough roads cannot be handled by a normal bus, so a specially built truck is used). This truck was much smaller than the one we had before on our previous trip. Even the guys who were from the South African tour thought so. We didn't get individual lockers, but rather all bags were locked in the same vault at the back of the truck. This is actually not a big deal had it not been that we had planned to keep some of our stuff in bags, separated in our locker. This new development meant that we would have to re-organize everything.

Anyway, off we went determined to make the best of it. The new German guys that had arrived the night before (they missed the orientation) turned out to be quite nice, and closer to our age and background. so there may be some sociable people after all.

We left Nairobi, and the first stop was a viewpoint of the Rift Valley, the same viewpoint we had stopped at the last time.

We arrived at Lake Naivasha around 11, and much to our surprise, we remembered exactly how to pitch the tents. The tents were a bit smaller and had a different model, but still. We did not need to participate in the demo. We took a quick walk to the lake for some pictures, and then had lunch (sandwiches) with the group.

After lunch, there was an optional walk for $45. We had already been on zebra, giraffe, wildebeest walk so we were not interested, at least not for $45. Had it been $20 we would have gone. Many other people felt the same way; they had also seen animals before. Since no one wanted to go on the walk, the group suggested that we do the hippo boat ride in the afternoon/evening instead of getting up too early the next morning. This seemed to work for the guide, Jay, and plans were changed.

The boat ride was re-scheduled for 16:30 instead, which meant we had 4 hours to kill. Together with a few friends, we decided to go to the other side of the lake to find Pelicans. We couldn't find a hole in the fence to pass to the other side, so we exited the camp itself and headed out towards the road. On the way, we saw some monkeys and water buffalo (so we did kind of get a nature walk ;-)).

We left the campsite and walked a bit on the road until we saw a sign for a public beach. We ventured in an found a whole bunch of local people by the lakeshore. Some were there fishing and some just for relaxing. Because of the massive fishing and the gutting, there were 2 distinct things we immediately noticed: 1) Horrible fish gut smell (which you get used to after a while) 2) massive flock of the large black vulture birds (the poisonous kind you cannot eat).

We spent some time taking pictures and talked a bit to a local guy. Thereafter we tried to make our way back along the electric fence (placed there to protect against the hippos) instead of walking the whole way back via the car road. There were a few mud holes along the way, but we made it back safe and sound. We even ventured a bit further towards the other direction of the camp and reached the end of the lake where there were absolutely no people and everything was still and calm, except for a young man out in the water trying to chop down a tree with an ax. Then we went back to the camp to rest a bit before the evening boat ride.

The boat took us to see the hippos. There were only about 5-6 of them, and they were by a shed. Not at all as spectacular as last time when we saw 100:s of the along a river. On the other side of the river was the Masai Mara (aka. Serengeti). Thereafter the captain drove us to a crescent island, which is actually a peninsula. From the shore, we saw wildebeest, zebra, waterbucks, and buffalo. This was the park we would have visited had we gone on the nature walk. It was not at all impressive, especially since the animals have been placed there, plus we got to see them from the boat. Had we paid for the walk, we would have felt seriously buttholed ;-).

We may sound a bit negative, but that is because everything so far has been repetition - things we have already seen (and probably at a better setting). Also, the more you experience the harder it is to get the WOW-factor. But the rest of the trip should be all new experiences, so we are really looking forward to that. Never seen gorillas in the wild for example ;-).

After returning from the boat trip, we had dinner with the group. The Aussies went to the bar afterward, but we turned in for the night around 21. It was quite warm in the evening, so we didn't even put on a t-shirt, just naked in the sleeping bag. However, towards morning it got colder and we needed our warm clothes. Also, we got a reprise of the previous trip's "fuck fuck"- panic wake up in the middle of the night from Vedran. Only this time it was "Oh shit shit".

Vedran always has difficulty sleeping in a new place, camping or not. In fact, his last words before falling asleep were "I hate camping".