Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Kenya Adventure - Day 15

Today we leave the Mara and return to Nairobi for a short break before heading out on another adventure. WOW - what a holiday this is, feels like Christmas Eve excitement every moment without the anti-climax of Christmas Day - we all know the feeling of getting gifts which we don't want then have to look really pleased or spending ages choosing a gift for somebody and they don't react the way you expect - mega stress in my book and one reason we now pretty much ignore Christmas in our home, I buy ‘I love you gifts' for people throughout the year which are also given throughout the year, the ones that when you see them you know are just perfect. When the kids left home I pretty much said good-bye to Christmas, it is far to commercial for me and the spirit of Christmas just seems to be missing in the ‘you must have’ and ‘I want’ culture commercialism has forced upon us. I know one to many people who buy for Christmas then spend the next twelve months paying it off before doing exactly the same again, just does not compute in my brain. Where are the days of homemade gifts or the orange in the stocking, when kids knew how to entertain themselves with very little and were happy instead of being entertained by the toys for a while which are then delegated to the ever increasing pile of ‘not wanted’!!!!! Bit like Christmas cards, don't send them either, decided they were not ‘green’ - poor trees being chopped down and then the postage on top too - no, an email or digital card much better or just a letter. I do make the family special cards but then they are super special people but just don't give out to folks I see on a daily basis or those who have Internet to get their digital version.

I do seem to go off on a tangent pretty easily, was always my problem at school too. Used to be accused of ‘day dreaming’ when a teacher droned on and on about something and I removed myself to a different dimension. Here is an example I still remember, the teacher was rumbling on about the Wars of the Roses (UK History) and somehow I found myself in my mum garden, she loved then and still does, growing roses. Now where would you rather be, in my Mum’s garden with the colours and smells of the roses or listening to somebody who has no enthusiasm for their subject, in a monotone voice reciting facts!!! Easy for me to answer hahahahahaha - it was not an issue in the lesson but alas homework was often challenging, handing in an essay on red roses mixing with white roses to make pink roses was not the sort of thing that was appreciated.

So, as I mentioned earlier, today we leave the Mara. The airstrip we are flying from is about and hours drive away from camp so we have decided to have breakfast in camp instead of a picnic one then head out for a game drive en-route to the plane, no hurry and far more fun. Now for my catchphrase ‘What did we see????’

I know I have taken a few photos of waterbuck but I had to put this one in, what a magnificent guy and I love head shots of animals, especially ones where I can see their eyes.


I think I did pretty well getting such a cracking shot of his head because then he turned tail and scarped - movement shots are pretty cool too in my book :)

Mrs. Hyena, is not feeling very comfortable, bless her, we saw her waddle down, trying to find a cool spot, heavily pregnant. We guess she will have her cubs either today or tomorrow looking at her. She is not a young lass, been in this position before many times more than likely but even so you can’t help your sympathy going out to her.


It really is ‘baby season’ around here, rather good to capture a warthog in this pose, unable to run off for once hahahaha


Kids were quick with their breakfast top up and soon Mrs. Warthog and her young family were off walking again.

We stopped by the river, not far from the airstrip, yep we are early and no point hanging around somewhere when you can hang around somewhere better first. What a large pod of hippo wallowing in the water, keeping cool or it is just a way or relieving the leg joints from carrying around their huge weight.


A quick swing of the camera to capture my beautiful Africa, the plains, the trees, the blue unpolluted sky - the only thing missing here I can’t share with you is the smell, oh the smell of the land, precious, unmistakable, never forgotten once experienced and unchanged.

Can’t forget the river, that would not be fair.

Pete and Alan enjoying the view, happy faces, good friends for life.

Across the river a few crocs are warming up, absorbing the heat of the sun through their thick skins or maybe digesting dinner. I am really thankful I have not seen a kill, no desire to see an animal, or a human, by natural killing techniques of worse still through weapons created by us, such an intelligent species!!!! I turn away from the TV when this sort of thing is happening, no need to see blood, no need to see pain, no need to see suffering. Part of life I know but I choose to put it to one side or else I know what will happen - tears, tears and more tears. I certainly don’t understand violent computer games either, why on earth does one get enjoyment out of taking life or even harming a living creature is beyond my comprehension - what a cold hearted species we can be!!!!

And now we reach the airstrip.

Alan and Pete in the 'departure lounge’

A final farewell photo with William, one awesome guide with a great sense of the land and a fabulous smile.

Our plane arrives, time to board.

Flying over the Rift Valley is not as I imagined. I recall the road, the steep drops, the tight bends before reaching the base of the valley and flatness. Looking down from here one can see it is made up of steps - fascinating stuff.

Alas from here the destruction of the natural land for farming is all to obvious as well. I have seen this so many times on television but somehow seeing like this with my eyes really brings home what we are doing to our Mother Earth, to nature, to our future!!

And the closer to Nairobi we get the chopping up of the landscape get worse and worse to a point I could not longer look or may well have exploded with rage.

Touchdown at Wilson Airport, I can smell a coffee coming on.

When we left Wilson I tried to get a photo of where Alan used to fly from, not very successfully I should add so tried again, don’t know if I have done any better lol.

Late in the afternoon, back at Pete and Mo’s house Mandy and her family came to visit. OK, so you don’t know who Amanda Howson is so I will tell you. Mandy is the daughter of Ken and Pat, very good friends of ours from ‘then’ and I will chat more about them in a later post. On our last day in Kenya we stayed with Ken and Pat, it was Ken who drove us to the airport and arranged for our four boxed to be exported. During the afternoon, Mandy had a pony ride booked so we decided to give Natasha and Nicole a treat too. Our poor kids had been through so much upheaval and we all know they pick up on our vibes. I am sure you can imagine how Alan and I were feeling, leaving our home, leaving Africa, leaving what we knew for an unknown and uncertain future. Natasha and Nicole were fabulous, they trundled along, not playing up, not being naughty, just accepting :)

So here you have either the last photo or the second last photo ever taken as we left Kenya in 1984. Nicole in the background, Mandy in the middle and Natasha to the right (you will have to show Jay this photo Natasha ) xx

Here we have Mandy now with her hubby and two kids, all grown up and what a beautiful lady, inside and out, she has turned into too :)

Time now to sigh off for today and prepare for the zoo visit tomorrow to the supermarket. A different sort of animal viewing and far more stressful lol.

Night night all.


  1. Oh, I feel quite sad that you have left the most wonderful Mara ...The wildlife has been so incredibly breath taking and your very talented photography has brought all these amazing sights right into my lounge.
    Wow, what a stunning photograpxh of the Waterbuck, he looks majestic as her looks directly at you ....then to get him running off like that ..beautiful.

    I share your sadness and anger at how man is destroying this incredible planet. Your aerial photograph have illustrated the ravaging of wonderful natural areas so profoundly.

    Oh, it must be so special meeting friends from so long ago ...and picking up those friendships as if the past 30 years have not happened. I'm so pleased for you treasure .....but then I know what a special and loyal lady you are.

    It was lovely to see both you and Alan in the same photo ....I must say that you both look so well and relaxed ....I reckon you have both lost 30 years since you arrived in Kenya.

    All for now. Looking forward to the next adventure. Love you loads treasure xxx ♥ ♥ ♥

  2. Awesome photography once again. Waterbuck is one of my favourite African animals. Folklore goes that they were the first animals in the ark as the toilet seats' paint was not dry yet, hence the white rings on your bum lol.
    {Doing Life – my personal blog}

  3. Amazing photographs :-) It is a shame that man is ruining the Planet !!! I can see that all becoming a desert before long !! Most sad :-(



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