27 December 2010
Total Distance: 9100 km
Distance covered today: 168 km
Start: Naiberi Overland Camp, Eldoret, Kenya
Finish: Robert's Camp, Lake Baringo, Kenya
As we have heard so much about Robert's Camp, we decided to break camp early but first we had to visit Eldoret again for their famous cheese. Pity they don't produce Camembert anymore but still got Highlands Red and something called Jeera - both tasting rather great.
We took the road heading north-east out of Eldoret to a place called Iten. At Iten we dropped from 2300m to 1200 within 10 minutes and with views that I am failing to find more words to describe. It looks as if a giant took his hand and with outstretched fingers dragged it through the landscape creating massive deep valleys and tall mountain ranges on either sides. As we stood on the edge of the ravine we looked north and south and could not see the end of the valley. After driving some 5 - 10km on the bottom valley, we climbed again to 2100m to a town called Kabernet and not 5km further, dropped once more to another new valley running parallel to the previous one. Every time one drops down into the valley, the vegetation change completely. On the highlands it is wheat and cornfields and at the bottom of the valleys, it is near desert with plenty of umbrella-shaped acacias which is so typical Africa.It is in this second valley that we found another of the famous Rift Valley Lakes called Baringo. We drove though a forest of acacias and we are trying to picture where we have seen this kind of nature. It is sort of Sesfontein, Uis, Hartmans Mountains combined and everything not.
The people in the valleys are not as prosperous as the ones on the escarpment as it is very dry and hot. What is incredible is that they built their homes from corrugated iron. Can you imagine the heat inside! It must be like a giant oven.
Robert's Camp is everything and much more. We are camping 10m from the lake shore's edge with the sign 'Caution! Hippos and Crocodiles' right in front of our kitchen telling us that we are not going to walk around tonight! In the water there are a number of dead trees which look like hands sticking out of the water with fingers outstretched pleading for life above. Behind it there are at least 3 layers of mountains lurking behind the islands. We are surrounded by an endless variety of birds - Northern Carmine Bee-Eaters, Superb Starling, Masked Weavers, Crested Barbets and and and… We are sitting in the cool shade of a huge acacia overlooking the tranquil lake eating the left over braai lamb chops from yesterday and we are planning a fruit cocktail which we will make from the paw-paw, banana and mangoes we got today. The price of fruit and vegetables are actually silly. We got some 15 potatoes, 8 mangoes, 12 massive bananas, 1 paw-paw for about R30. When the people want to give us change, we tell them to keep the change as it is just so cheap.
I think we can survive here for a day or two…