Ol Pejeta Conservancy. You cannot come to Nanyuki and not go to this place. A few days ago, the friend who recommended this place sent me a Business Daily article about the tycoon who popularized both Mount Kenya Safari Club and Ol Pejeta. I will not write this one chronologically because things fell into place from a combination of lessons.
For starters, I had no idea if Ol Pejeta works like national parks and I did not know that Sweetwaters Tented-Camp was right inside the conservancy. I thought they were two different things, even after scouring through the website. I tried to use the live chat feature within the website for further guidance but nothing gave (someone replied days later after I had already visited), so I decided to take myself there and see what would happen. Google was very on point this time. For most part, the road is great and looks newly-done, but some km before you get to the gate, the tarmac comes to an end but it is very much an all-weather road, even within the conservancy. Ol Pejeta is 23 km from Nanyuki town. According to the guide I met later, there is some politics surrounding the untarmacked part of the road. Ol Pejeta wanted to tarmac but the government insisted on doing it, thus no one did it in the end. This was also confirmed by a woman I talked to on my way back to town.
Cyrus is the name of the guide I met deep in the conservancy. He told me that Ol Pejeta means place of many fires because, apparently, the Maasai men would burn fires across the plains. I have tried to verify this on Google but can’t, so if there is a Maasai out there who can confirm or trash this, please do. 😀
Continued from Newbie in Nanyuki
Sunday was blend-into-the-community day. And what better way to do this than to go to church. When I was getting lost yesterday, I spotted one PCEA church and one Baptist church down the road from the hotel. However, a friendly guard told me that the PCEA in town was much better and was not all Kikuyu. Hehe. It’s like I look like those people who pretend not to know Kikuyu. I followed his advice anyway and walked. He was concerned about why I was walking though and I told him walking is the best option for my chill mode. As you can tell, in places dominated by Kikuyu people PCEA is a church you will see everywhere, just like home. And they keep mushrooming.
So I set off on my little adventure of Nanyuki town. As a lot of major towns in Kenya, Nanyuki is pretty linear, with buildings congregating along the Nyeri-Nanyuki road. Remember your Geography lessons about types of towns/settlements? It is not quite the short distance I assumed it was from Sporty (as locals fondly refer to the hotel) to the church. I had to ask a bodaboda rider for further direction. It gets real hot in the morning here, funny enough. I kept walking, thinking all the while that I was clearly lost, but I was not going to ask another person for direction. He said it was opposite the Nanyuki General Hospital. No way I can miss that, right? Eventually I came by an old lady who was limping to church. I could tell she was headed to church because she was wearing an AIPCA headscarf tightly around her head.
Guys, I did it. I took the road alone and found myself in Nanyuki. Thanks to the urging of someone very close to me and a few calls (thanks 🙂 ), I am here on my first solo trip. I thought about visiting one of our neighbouring countries and then it hit me, I haven’t even seen half of Kenya. Calm down, Shiku. It’s better to get lost in a place with your M-Pesa and language than in another foreign land. You can bet I have made quite a number of wrong turns thanks to Google. I know I will continue making them, but that is how I am learning. I even got coolant added without my dad’s urging. Man I am so grownup!
Do I need to mention that the road all the way to Nanyuki is almost flawless? Makes me wonder why it was even mentioned in the Madaraka Day speech when other parts of the country obviously need roads. That is what I call misplaced priorities. Side note: Juja Mall be a Ghost Mall, I confirmed that. It took me about 4 hours to get here, thanks to a few wrong turns here and there. One it the Nyeri right-turn. I could hear my dad telling me to turn in my head, but Google was quiet. And then she spoke after a few meters and I decided to ignore her. “Take a u-turn,” she insisted. Thrice. So I stopped, took a breather and turned. Lol. I am so stubborn.