"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime." (Mark Twain : The Innocents Abroad, 1869)

Friday, 9 July 2010

Lake to Lake

The original plan was now to head to camp one night on the shores of Lake Naivasha and then the next in Hells Gate NP. On reflection and discussion, we decided to stay two nights in Naivasha and visit Hells Gate on an easy 'day trip'. The road South was one of Kenya's major trunk roads, so the surface was good enough to enable to be maintained - it even had crawler lanes on the hills.

After a short stop at a farm shop for some excellent ice cream and a Massai curio shop, we found ouselves off the main drag and into the small one street town of Naivasha : we only stopped to top up our supply of kerosene for our lamp. Out the other side we headed along the Southern lake shore, passing a number of massive greenhouse clompexs - one at least specialised in roses. We hadn't decided on where we were to stay - originally we had thought of Fisherman's Camp but subseqently had heard good things of Camp Carrnley.

We confused the gate keepers at both by driving in, looking around and driving out again in quick order. We eventually decided on Camp Carnley and found a likely spot for the tents but decided to have lunch before erecting them. Whilst the others prepared our feast, I went and talked to a group who had seemed to have nabbed the best spot. It had a small shelter under an arch formed by a fallen tree. They were Americans based in Naiobi who said that they were leaving shortly and, if we could wait, their site was ours.

After making camp, we decided to get some exercise and walk down the road to Elsamere. This is now a conservation centre but was once the home of Joy Adamson of "Born Free" fame : hence Elsa-mere. It was set high above the lake with great views Northwards. The draw for me was that they provided highly recommended free afternoon tea on the terrace surrounded by Colubus monkeys - free in as much as it was included in the entrance fee. There seemed to be little indication of any conservation work and to earn your free afternoon tea you were expected to be awed by the small museum about the Adamsons and watch a old scratched film about their work, I'm afraid that I skimmed the first and fell asleep in during the second. Tea on the terrace overlooking the lake was as gentile as it sounds, Not quite cucumber sandwiches without the crusts but close. Savoury mouthfulls, trifle, sponge cake, oaty biscuits - all seemed to have recognisable English origins but the receipies had been colonised over the years,

No comments: