My weekend starts last Thursday when we left Nairobi for the final leg of our journey. We drove for five hours on tarred roads filled with traffic: much of it tour busses and vehicles transporting tourists around this beautiful East African country.
A stop that Stephanie, our driver had to make for the mine, was at a butchery/grocery store in Nakuru, quite a large town en route to our mine site. There we stocked up on meat for Grant and lovely fresh vegetables, yoghurt and cheese for me.
Shortly after leaving Nakuru, we turned off onto a dirt road. Phew. And bounced and rattled across bone-jarring gravel surfaces up mountains and down into valleys for the next hour.
Tourist trap? Err, yes I was caught just outside the butchery. This man was persistent that I buy paintings that HE'd done. After I'd bought four diminutive cards, Grant hissed in my ear that I'd just been ripped off. Later alone in the backseat of the car, I snuck a peek at the cards and yes, the "paintings" were badly cut pictures haphazardly stuck onto cheap white paper and sealed in a plastic envelope. Even I don't know what use I can put them too, LOL!
I was surprised and delighted when Sephanie pointed out that we were on the middle of the earth (his expression!) I have often flown across the Equator and even been aware of it because of onboard television displays. But Grant and I have never crossed the Equator "on foot" as it were. I managed to get a photo as we passed (a click on the image will enlarge and enable you to read the boards more clearly)
A few minutes to one, we finally arrived at the mining residential site. Above is my first glimpse of the guest house (and comfort!). The MD's wife, Sue met us and had our luggage taken to our room. We stayed in the Guest House for the first few days as our house had just been repainted and Nico, the MD felt we should wait for the paint smell to disappear. A good expat company (such as this one) also "eases" it's employers and families into life in Africa by having someone cook their meals and see to the basic needs. We were thoroughly spoilt by the Guest House Chef, Wheatcliffe, and his assistant, Caro the Houselady, whom I'll ask for a photo at a later stage. Today after our last lunch cooked by Wheatcliffe and served by Caro, we'll move our luggage and other personal effects down to our house in the corner of the site. The setting is BEAUTIFUL and I'll post all about my NOO HOOS tomorrow.
One of the bends I managed to photograph, although this wasn't the sharpest. Most of the corners made the road look like a paper clip at that point!
On Sunday Sephanie collected for a shopping trip to the nearest town, El Doret. I was trying to think of all sorts of excuses why we actually don't need groceries and cleaning materials for our house. My [late] fifty-somehing body just rebelled at the thought of another long trip on dirt roads. However, my no-nonsense hubby cajoled me into the car and off we went! Travelling to El Doret, 74 kms away, meant we had to climb the mountain surrounding the valley on 24kms of dirt road (not just ordinary dirt road, but rattling, teeth-loosening gravel) with [apparently] 24 hairpin bends. I lost count after the third one as I was TRYING to take photos and trying to stay in my seat at the same time! The view in Africa always makes up for any discomfort! (See below)
On the homebound trip [back down the mountain], Sephanie stopped at a viewpoint for me to photograph the valley W - A - Y down below. We still had more than 50kms/32miles of bone-jarring dirt road to go. Ewgh!
One small fly in the ointment here in Paradise: the Internet connection at the camp is almost non-existent. No sooner do I upload a photo, when the prompt below my post says "An error occured while saving" When I check the Safricom broadband connection, sure enough it's down. *Sigh*. I've had to practice more patience these past few days than ever before in my life! I will be spending some mornings at the mine offices where the Satelite connection is excellent. So for now I'm not able to link to memes and hope to be able to comment and post in the future.
PS As we have no television in South Africa (never have had) we are now connected to DSTV here in our house. Someone (one of the other guests) has left the telly on CNN, I muted the sound but have been horrified to see the chaos in Egypt. I have blogger friends in Cairo and sincerely hope they're OK. Also seen riots in Canada? Kay, is this near you? I hope you're all safe and well.