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one last chance to see the mountain

April 18, 2008

It’s the beginning of our last week in Kenya. Next Saturday we’ll leave for Dar es Salaam on the Tanzanian coast. We’re told the heat is merciless, but the ferry to Zanzibar takes just 2 hours. Both of us are looking forward to exploring a new place, swimming in the Indian Ocean, making our Kiswahili lessons pay off (it’s spoken much more there, or I should say there is less English there) and, truthfully, being a bit closer to getting home.

With time short, we’re packing in as much as possible, including a trip into some real Kenyan mountain country this weekend, going to camp with friends (with cars) at a place by the name of Castle Forest Lodge, and doesn’t that just sound like the place to escape the city? It’s on the south side of Mt. Kenya in the rainforest. Hiking looks superb, and camping quite civilized, with a stately old lodge building providing a nice cozy bar and perch to enjoy the valley view after a long walk. I can’t wait to see what grows there! My honey expects a 2-hr hike to take twice as long with me stopping all the time to touch and smell all the new plants.

It’s as close as we’ll get to the 2nd highest peak in Africa this trip, though we’d hoped to climb it (and brought all the gear necessary). Time flashed by and the rainy season set in early, making a trip up untenable–a bit disappointing–but it will still be here if we get back. Reading about it will have to do. I’m 1/4 way through No Picnic on Mt. Kenya, the 4th on my Africa reading list.

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