Meru Chronicles (Part 2)

Ithee wa Gathoni is back

Adventure continues…

It’s 1 am inside a banda, remember initially we were supposed to sleep in a tent. The bed is a 5 by 6 meaning it can comfortably accommodate three individuals. I had carried an inflatable mattress but since there was no electricity it was rendered useless. We have a worn out driver two ladies who had lodged in the backseats of the van fastidiously all day with no much legroom, who need to sleep comfortably and then the rest of us. We somehow managed to have everyone grab some relatively comfortable sleeping space and we drifted off to slumber world.

I recall hearing lions roar from a distance several times, all this time I am imagining what would have befell us if we chose to sleep in that nylon/polyester material tent. A material that’s even softer than our clothes. Then we hear hyenas in the nearby thicket. These savages are so scary imagining how they devour their prey alive. There are those of us who either have clean and sweeter blood or maybe its that our slender bodies lack enough fat to hide blood veins deep underneath our skin. I woke up after a humongous mosquito bit my arm, rushed to smear some mosquito repellent gel all over me or else am gonna wake up the next morning with loads of mosquito pee and swollen and rough body like Peponi road in Nairobi.
We woke up early the next day to take a cold shower. Were it not for the fact that I was held up in the van all day under the scorching sun and that equivocal google map that made us waste more than two hours lost, I would have waited till I got back to the city to enjoy a hot shower. We still have the car ignition to worry about and driving without a spare tyre in the back. But I was nonchalant all along, after all we survived the night why would i worry instead of enjoying the morning sun. The camp caretaker got a couple that had camped near us to help us jump start our van for the fourth time. We packed our stuff and left as early as 9 am. Traversed the wilderness from campsite no 12 back to Murera gate.

Homebound

Along the way we passed giraffes and as they bid us bye by wagging their tails. There is something so enchanting about the iconic giraffe. It is almost impossible not to lose oneself in its unusual rhythm, which has a hypnotic effect that causes most onlookers to develop a dumb expression of pleasure. How it manages to drift across the savanna with an almost regal elegance is rather baffling as it is in fact quite gangly and ungainly not to mention grossly disproportionate from head to feet. Yet somehow, thanks to the miracle that is nature, the giraffe is a symbol of grace and fluidity. In no time we were approaching the exit and back to the dusty road which is under construction.

Giraffes on their morning graze
The Hills of Meru

I forgot to mention we were using a two litre petrol engine van. We had fueled to the brim and by now the fuel indicator was blinking, we decided to top up some thirty litres which was on the budget. We were to do it on the next petrol station but upon arriving the driver noticed the one shilling per litre difference and he stepped on the gas to look for another filling station. We drove for about five minutes and the car engine stopped. With the previous ignition failure experiences everyone on board freaked out. The driver nonchalantly says “the fuel tank is dry” now we are stranded on an extremely dusty road in a village just because of a one shilling per litre difference. It’s only fair you pay for your mistakes and deeds, the driver had to take a motorcycle taxi popularly known as boda boda back to that filling station he said is a bit expensive and fetch fuel. Once that was sorted we got a good samaritan who helped us jumpstart and we drove off. We decided to use the Nanyuki route since it’s not as hilly as the Meru route. And I also wasn’t comfortable passing by Nithi bridge. Upon getting to Nanyuki town our driver calls out “guys” we all froze since every time he called us out there was something out of the norm happening. He says “the fuel tank is dry again”. I just sat there for a while wondering what to say or do. I was the organizer and had budgeted for everything including fuel, but here we are over a hundred and fifty kilometres away from home with no fuel. We painfully contributed and fueled enough to get this guzzler back home. A two litre petrol engine consumed a freaking fifteen thousand shilling to get us to Meru and back thus the #15 to remind us of this fuel guzzling machine that seems too thirsty. We got back home safe and tired. Interesting enough we were home by 3 pm. A journey that took 13 hours the previous day. I must say this was the most eventful and adventurous escapade. On to the next one soon.

The view: Goodbye Meru.

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