Thursday, 6 December 2012

Journey into the unknown

The asphalt road came to an end at the police barrier, the large metal spikes placed across the road stopped us in our tracks. The road police sauntered over to us mzungus and lazily waved us through, slowly drawing back the spikes in the road, manually. We asked where the Chyulu Hills were and they waved us in a non-committal type of direction. So off road we went, consulting the map regularly. Turn by the oil drum, past the the fork in the road. What oil drum? Which fork? There were no signs at all, so we just drove to what looked like hills. And that is where the adventure began.

Less than five minutes into the bush we ran into an ostrich.

And then we nearly drove over a giraffe.

At which point we were laughing so hard we could barely breathe. You know that hysterical laughter between friends? We nearly drove over a giraffe. How very absurd.

The zebra were next, alongside some skittish wildebeest, a few impala hid in the long grassy plains. Or perhaps they were Thompson's gazelle. The wildlife was prolific and all around us. We even got out of the car to photograph a dung beetle, nervously giggling and looking over our shoulders for lurking lions.

We drove on like this, having our own private safari for a couple of hours, getting no closer to any hills. Maasai warriors and small boys guarding their thin framed cattle waved curiously as we drove past, some smiled but most did not. A large Land Rover coming the other way waved us down, it was full of men in green uniforms with big guns and large holes in their ears.

"Where are you going?" the driver asked.

I wound down the window and nervously replied. All the men laughed. We were heading in completely the wrong direction.

"Follow us," he said, smiling. His eyes were kind so we followed. But his gun was big.

I was nervous. I thought about my children. Of him. E was silent. We followed the Land Rover into the bush, there were no tracks or roads. The vehicle came to a stop and all the men got out. We slowed down as well.

"Dead giraffe!" they exclaimed. 

E and I were beckoned to admire the huge beast, with a slice of meat big enough to feed a large family taken from its rump. We took photo's, we laughed with the men, the driver insisted his Man United shirt was seen and then they waved us on our way. Turn left at the acacia, by the rocks, look for some zebra...and off we went, to continue to get lost. 

As Greg Anderson quotes:

Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity, but in doing it.


  1. Another amazing post! My heart was in my throat - those men, with guns - I would have been so afraid

  2. Ah thank you Kay. You live on these adventures when cooking the kids tea and washing the school uniforms....