Monday, June 6, 2011

Another glorious weekend in Keirio valley

Saturday morning Grant phoned me and asked if I'd like to go for a ride with him. He had to drive to the main road to meet a low-bed truck which was transporting his new grader.
The low-bed can't manouver the twisty gravel road so we'd drive to the main T-junction between El Doret and Marigat.  Grant's agent who was already there, would drive the grader back to the mine. It's only about 20 kms to the intersection, but as normal, the trip takes about forty-five minutes.

An early morning drive through the African bush? No contest!   By the time Grant arrived to collect me, I was dressed, had washed the breakfast dishes and was waiting at the door armed with my camera and binoculars!

This battered sign points to the dirt road which leads to the mine. Note the spelling. The company's name is Fluorspar! The tarred road stretching into the distance leads to El Doret; while behind it leads to Marigat

My husband's type of toy while on the mine . With this machine at work,  we'll have better road conditions around the mine
With Grant and the agent busy, I climbed into the grader to see what it would be like if I had to drive it. Note the many gear levers. I imagine they're gear levers.  While living in West Africa a few years ago, I had the priviledge of  drive a CAT 773. It was huge truck with 15 gears, but being automatic was very simple to drive . You can read and have a ride in this monolith. Click here if you wish!

Grant looked for me around our vehicle and in the bush where he'd left me taking photos . Eventually he found me "testing" his machine!

This is a common sight in Kenya. Women carrying heavy cans of water or huge bundles of wood. They tie a leather strap around the item and hook it over their foreheads. I cringe in sympathy when I see this. Note how the young girl walking behind the older women is also carrying a can of water. To the left, off the photo, a young boy was walking with these two. He carried nothing.

Back home, I took Shadow out for a walk. He's been walking on a leash since we took him to SA from Khartoum and now since arriving in Kenya. Walking a cat is vastly different to walking a dog. You don't go out with an excited animal straining on the leash, tail wagging and rushing to sniff at trees and lamp posts! A cat walks out sedately, surveys the surroundings and sits down. A few minuted later it spots a lizard and dashes off to try and catch it with you just managing to keep hold of the leash. Fortnately we have a brake and release control  on the yoomen end of the leash which is a help. Cats also like to socialize and Shadow often flops down near where Ginger is sunning himself. I then also flop down and wait...

While baking my weekly two loaves of bread (one for Johan and one for our use), I made a batch of fruit scones. I took them down the lane to Shabani who'd  arrived from Pakhistan and was visiting her husband for a month.  She'd flown in while we were still in SA and I didn't want to miss seeing her before she flew back next week

Ginger was waiting in the lane for me when I returned and followed me back into our yard. Isn't he a sweetie?

Saturday evening Johan arrived to watch an important rugby match between our team, the Cheetahs (Free State) against the Sharks (Kwa-Zulu Natal) The Sharks only just beat the Cheetahs. I made meat curry, vegetable curry, rice with all the sambles and chutneys. I also made Naan bread. This was a first and I was thrilled with the results. I had so many dishes to prepare, that I forgot to take photos! Hat's off to Indian ladies who cook these many dishes every day. I was exhausted!

Sunday morning Grant and I went birding. He always has the binoculars while I take photos. Can you see who's who on the photo?

d'Arnaud's Barbet - one of the many birds we sighted on Sunday
We saw no less than than two dozen birds, including a lifer (new bird). I will definitely do a post on these and last week's sightings this week. When Grant got ill last week, I just couldn't manage an indepth post about the incredible birding we enjoyed last weekend. There will be a double-dose on birding this week!

Yesterday we decided that Sunday was the day we'd slip Shadow's leash. And we did. Here he explores the garden on his own for the first time ever!

Ginger was thrilled to see his friend without a yoomen attached to him and jumped up onto the raised flower bed. Shadow is a little suspicious here

Shadow and Ginger socializing near the rose garden

We still don't leave Shadow to wander around alone outside. I don't relish hacking my way through the thick bush around our fence trying to cajole a cat back home! We've brought a cat-flap from South Africa and this week the carpenter will fit it. This should make things a lot easier and the cats can enter and leave the house at will.

Have a lovely week everyone!




  1. Oh, I'll be waiting to hear how the cat-flap works out. I would love to be able to help you catch Shadow in the bush. LOL
    Glad Grant is feeling better. I'm sure the new toy will help, and I can see you're itching to drive it!
    Luv — K

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

  2. It is great to see the cats socialising. The new big toy looks like fun for the big boys. the Indian meal sounded delicious. The scones too.

  3. Imagine what other small African creatures might use the cat flap. Skunk for instance? Just a thought.

  4. You sure do have the adventures over there. You look like a natural on that big Toy. Shadow seems to be settling in very well and it's nice to have Ginger as company.

  5. AMAZING! First time I've ever seen a cat on a leash. And you are surely some talented lady - driving the road grader, cooking curry - with naans - birding - photography - and many other talents.


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