Green grass and full dams
Milo and I arrived back from our “Grand Tour” and we had so much fun. Something like 15 flights in total, and only one late one - that has to mean travel is getting easier again. The direct flight between New York and Nairobi definitely made things simple. Apart from eating too much, and drinking almost too much, we were very lucky to have met up with so many hopeful safari companions.
Kenya’s three year drought has ended with some magnificent rain all over the country, but especially up in the north where it has been so dry. The elephants have remembered their migratory routes and moved further north and east from us, to areas where there is normally so little water, but now has some running rivers and dams. Our trees here are sighing with relief and throwing all their energy into growing upwards and outwards, thorns and all.
It is so nice to be back on my horse, and as I crossed a dirt road this morning I heard the most extraordinary noise, like a big hot air balloon full of birds, coming towards us. When it came round the corner, there was an old pick up truck, full of beautifully beaded Masai maidens going to a wedding, and all ululating together with excitement. The bride was in the middle with the teardrop beaded headpiece and six inches of beaded necklace, all very suitable to her standing in society! What a happy scene.
Charlie and I were lucky enough to watch a spotted and a striped hyena meet up over an old zebra kill on our western boundary last week. The spotted hyena is much bigger and more aggressive than his stripy cousin, but his stripy cousin has a hair-do of major proportions and when he fluffs all his hair up, he looks enormous. And he was also pretty hungry – so he successfully got to move his spotty cousin away and have a huge feed of zebra. As they normally eat a lot of insects it was probably quite a nice change.
Our hornbills have become accustomed to enjoying their millet at four o’clock sharp. Should I be late, they will come and reprimand me with a sharp tap on the window and a beady glare.
I had a visit from one of the Masai ladies we sponsor in the Lewa Marathon, they do the full marathon, and last year managed to finish in the top 12. She was so happy not to have to dodge too many elephants here, but said that it does keep one alert and aware. She took a friend of ours running who was training for the London marathon a few months ago, who said it was one of the most exhilarating runs of her life, past the zebra, under the giraffe and around the elephant!
On the day of English coronation we were setting out for a picnic tea with some friends, and passed by our Masai gardeners’ little traditional hut on top of the hill. We couldn’t work out where everyone was, but soon discovered that in the small red mud house was a TV, and they had all been watching the excitement from London – golden chariots, prancing horses and beautiful music. It really did seem quite far removed from where we were.
Rocky Hollow continues to progress, and we hope to have a website to share with you soon. On the safari front, the lorries are loading and we are getting things ready for our summer season, with some new tents going up to the Mara, which will now be more of a seasonal camp. Milo has been working out designs and camp layout and what with the brilliant location of the camp, it should be a great place to finish most of our trips.
We look forward to showing it all to you in the future.