Travel teaches you more about life than,…….. just sleeping in the long weekends don’t you agree?
Hey Kare, you up for an adventure next weekend?
Well yeah, you know travel is bae
Okay, my church has organised a trip to Mt Longonot, 300bob and we leave at 6am
Am in, I replied excitedly
Saturday came, I was up by 4am
Wasn’t sure of what to expect since this was going to be my first hike ever, but the fact that I can be a free spirit (in my own unique way) brought me to chill and watch it unfold and be in it.
By 615am we(me n my cousin) were already in Rongai. Rongai is also in Kajiado County and is considered a far location to reside such that, whenever Kenyans make jokes of somewhere far away, they say Rongai. But lately, Kitengela too has been a victim of these jokes. In my opinion, Kitengela is further, am not gonna argue. But hey, I still love my town.
So, to get to Rongai from Kitengela, when using public transport, you have to first get to Nairobi then pick another matatu. Quite the distance, but with no traffic in the morning, we were there in good time.
Joined the others and we were well on our way.
Mt Longonot, which is famous for it’s crater, is located in Kenya’s Rift Valley, on the South Eastern side of Lake Naivasha.
Got there in about two hours and wished we’d carried duvets because the way the top of the mountain looked, we were all gonna freeze to death and make news.
I imagine the evening news would go like “We welcome you to tonight’s news and to begin; Saddening news of the freezing of a little over 90 young adventurous souls who decided to explore The Mt Longonot over this Idd holiday, even though they were Christians. Their families have been called up for recognition of the bodies as they are all pale white.” ………….. Was trying to bring in some humor, did it work? Lol! Okay. I will not try again.
We were given a few energy-giving snacks and water, by the organising team, which we packed in our backpacks. Make sure to carry quick energy boosters like glucose, biscuits, fruits, water while going for a hike. And off we were to the mountains. Yaay! Excitement galore.
We were five musketeers when we started, myself, Nyambu, Edu, Ranja and Francis. Edu who is a dancer, is like a small sheep or a kitten haha; super energetic. Let’s just say for this one, he was our team leader since he would go ahead and have us catch up with him or hold our hands and pull us like carts or even get behind and push us like a wheelbarrow. Anything to get us moving.
The climb up is approximately 3.1 kms. 3.1 kms sounds easy but try walking it up a mountain. Some areas were so steep we had to crawl, others, we would walk, and stop after every 2 steps because well, there’s so much the legs can take.
We found Edu and a few others already there having already rested for like 20 minutes (he got tired of us and left eventually). Claimed he was the first one to get there, that I do not doubt for a moment. Told you, he is a kitten.
After eating almost all of my glucose and apple and water, trust me you’ll need all that after such a serious hike, I was ready to go back down. But chill, Edu had more on his mind. To go round the whole crater. Are you crazy?! We asked.
Oh well, a few of us “tuliingia box” and started the round about the crater. After all, this is what we came for, the full experience. You should know, the fun of going to Mt Longonot is hiking around the crater. Getting super tired, feeling both extreme temperatures (really hot after some sort of strength training climb, cold because the higher you go the cooler it becomes), being left behind, leaving others behind, making new friends who at the moment are moving at your pace, being on the verge of giving up because your legs can’t take it anymore, but there’s no chance to go back because you are already far into the hike and also because the road gets super narrow whereby two people can’t comfortably pass together.
The view, including Lake Naivasha, gets more breath-taking the higher one goes.
Different angle views of the inside of the crater where animals inhabit, and part of it is a campsite too which you note by how fairly green it is compared to the rest of the vegetation.
So the image am tryna put in your mind is, first a 3.1 km climb including crawling, then rest for a while, followed by a strenuous walk around the Longonot crater, 7.2kms, then back to the place we’d rested at, then a very gravity influenced climb/run down. I can hardly squat without squinting my face.
I would compare the climb with life; sometimes it’s easy, other times hard. Sometimes we need to be motivated, other times we motivate others.
enjoy every minute of your adventure.
Pics courtesy of adventurer Jack