Musings of a Mouse - March 2016
Updated: Mar 19, 2019
Laikipia, Kenya – Fabulous view of Mt Kenya
Last week started with a wonderful stay at Laragai House, with our great friends Valentine and Miguel; croquet on the lawn and riding amongst the game in the evenings, breakfast watching the elephants in the dam, lunch by the pool and evenings with cheese soufflé and mango pie; can it get any better?
And then – last weekend was a wild one… We set up camp at a music festival called Wilder –on Soysambu Ranch in the Great Rift Valley.
It was such a beautiful setting, with massive yellow barked Acacia to shade the tents (which was excellent, until one fell over and landed on a lorry out the back!) and a wonderful view of Lake Elementaita reflecting dramatic skies. Tom, who is one of the owners of the ranch, was most entertained by my insisting that they pull away the carcass of a buffalo that had died just behind camp; it was a hyena haven and very noisy. I wasn’t sure if one of the festival participants might not get lost on the way back to their tent, and walk into it!
Music, camel riding, horse riding, massages, and every type of hippy healing was all available, together with delicious food and lots of drink…
The Nile Project was the main band – a selection of musicians who live on the Nile. Their music was quite varied and I loved most of it – we had great dancing. We were also entertained by all sorts of other bands, DJs and performers from East Africa and beyond.
Back in Laikipia now and yesterday we were invited to a Masai Ceremony – where you go from being a Senior Warrior to a Junior Elder.
We were met at the gates of the village by a group of dancers, which we both felt was rather touristy, until one of the dancing warriors had a fit from hyperventilating with the rhythm of the chant; he went straight over a thorny fence, stiff as a board. No one was very worried by it, and his mate went over and lifted him up off the thorns and held him upright for 20 mins, by which time he seemed to come round – none the worse for wear! We were then invited into a house for smoky tea and a meat feast… Charlie had a glass of honey mead, (tasted like apple juice gone off) – it was actually a great honour and we were very happy to present them with 29 sarongs, for each of the warriors’ mothers.
Last night as I was having my hot shower under the stars – I thought about the delightful Masai lady whose house we had been in, and what different lives we lead, although we live next door to each other. Across the valley I could see the lights of a British Army training camp; young soldiers coming out to learn to fight in hotter and harsher terrains than they are used to – what different lives they have too.