We've still got a 300km drive ahead of us, so we get cracking. The views along the way were pretty spectacular (as has most of the long drives.) The weather seems cooler here, as we head deeper into the Kenyan Highlands
. This, apparently is the agricultural heartland of Kenya. Tea plantations are in abundance here...we're impressed with Kenya already.
The rain gods frown upon us as the sky lights up, and a storm hits, just as we pull into Tea Hotel, our night stop in the quaint town of Kericho. It is located on a large tea plantation, so I guess its name couldn't have been more appropriate. All of us aren't in the mood to pitch tents, so we option for an upgrade to our own rooms, with private showers...great!
Before dinner we find the bar and get stuck into more local brew - Club, Tusker and Nile. Manchester United are playing Liverpool so we watch it on TV with some locals, who all seem to be avid Premier League viewers. Dinner, then more beer, then sleep. We feel pretty fresh the following morning (for a change.)
After breakfast, we're greeted by Hammin, the local hotel worker, who also conducts tours of the tea plantations. We walk through learning about how tea is picked, dried, packed, and distributed. A few photo's later and we're on our favourite truck again driving to Kenya's 4th largest city, Nakuru. We stop for a few hours, and Pooja and I set off to find a few bargains in some local markets
. There were some pretty pushy sales people flogging their trinkets, paintings, wood carvings, wrist bands, maasai blankets, t-shirts, Swahili translation books, Kenyan flags, necklaces, sandals, etc, and they were relentless too. At one stage there was roughly 9 street vendors surrounding us, tugging on our shirts trying to get our attention. Some were trying to put jewellery on us, whilst others were pushing each other to get the best vantage point to gain our attention. It was quite overwhelming, but I think we came out of it with some decent items at bargain prices. We ventured deeper into the town, and found a lot more street markets, but these were for the locals only, which was a pleasant relief as none of the stall owners were pushy, and we took our time wandering through without a care in the world. I'm almost certain we were the only two foreigners in the market...we feel like we're truly experiencing the 'real Africa.' Although we were only here a few hours, it definitly has a good feel to it. We managed to pick up a few souvenir gifts for family, before making the 30 minute journey to East Africa Mission Orphanage, where we'll spend the next couple of nights.'A woman is like a tea bag, you can not tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water'
- Nancy Reagan
Goodbye Uganda, and hello Kenya. The drive to the Kenyan border town of Busia took us barely one hour. Francis informed us this was East Africa's busiest border crossing, and be prepared for a long wait...in actual fact, it was quite the opposite. We managed to get through immigration fairly quickly, and Moses was waiting for us with our truck just inside Kenya. The border itself looked a little like the Rwanda / Uganda border. Locals just strolling through the gates with large sacks of fresh produce plonked on their heads not even getting a second look as they pass immigration officials...not to mention the goats and chickens loitering in 'no mans land' between the two countries. Somehow it works, and I guess we'll never really understand.