I don’t suppose I’ve been much of a “nature” fan. I’ve turned down invites to hike, camp, etc. Half the time I don’t even like walking in dirt and grass. However, I firmly believe that Africa features a different kind of nature. My next adventure in Nairobi involved a brief romance between myself and the land.
The night before, a few of us enjoyed a great meal at Ocean Basket Restaurant (the glazed salmon with veggies and rice was gllllllorrrrrrrrrriiiiiiiiious). Another dinner accompanied by good conversation with great people (including a young woman who made the leap to move to Africa).
Around noon, we went to visit some monkeys that reside in a neighborhood park. We bought some peanuts to entice our nimble friends to come out of the trees and into our space. We were warned not to have the peanuts visible, as we ran the risk of getting “got” for our peanut stash.
Robbed by a monkey.
Much to our delight, their fingers are much like a human’s, but without the fingernails. So yeah, my eyes weren’t going to be scratched out. Game on.
We then made our way to Lake Naivasha, a large freshwater Lake in the outskirts of Nairobi. We left one of the crew at the gas station by accident but that is neither here nor there (we got her back).
The drive towards Lake Naivasha was simply beautiful. From the low lying plains to the high mountains, I felt myself taking in all that the surroundings offered me.
We stopped to take some photographs at a point in the Great Rift Valley. Unfortunately, I do have a fear of heights, so getting close the edge was a bit of a task. After I felt a bit more comfortable, I just took some deep breaths and enjoyed the fresh air of the Valley.which was a spectacular sight.
As we make our way to the lake, we pass by a series of small towns and villages. I found it fascinating to look at the people living their everyday lives, as simple as it may seem to us. I loved looking at the animals, the small shops, the cell phone towers and modern gas stations. It was like witnessing a merger between two worlds.
Two worlds that seem to be living in harmony with one another, for better or worse.
I am ashamed to admit that at first I felt underwhelmed when we arrived at the lake. By all means, from a distance it appeared to be unremarkable. I believed the boat ride we were about to take would be just something to do.
I could not have been more wrong. What a magnificent experience. We climbed into our small little boat and went on our way. Lake Naivasha is beautifully peculiar. Weird looking in the most glamorous way. I was excited to see the plant life, birds, hippos, and gasped when we saw a zebra. I have never seen a Zebra in person (in hindsight, I find it both funny and odd to see just how excited I was).
As usual when I am in a scenic environment, I played my favorite jazz songs and let the music serve as a soundtrack to all the beauty.
I think a lot of people get so caught up in the cosmopolitan nature of large, developed African cities (because Africa isn’t supposed to be developed… *sarcasm*) that they forget that the best part of Africa is exploring the land in its purest, kindest, and most excellent form. With every bird that took flight, every animal that walked so gracefully, and every cloud that moved, I felt a bit more blissful and in tune with what was around me.
Maybe I can get into this nature thing.