Naivasha Travel Blog› entry 47 of 81 › view all entries
Our expedition continued westerly into the Aberdare Mountains. Coffee beans were Kenya's main export and we snaked through lush valleys where that valuable crop was grown. Peasant farmers labored the rich red soil of precarious hillsides. Women struggled steep pathways leaning forward to drag lengthy bundles of firewood weighted to their backs. Children paused lesser chores to wave and grin as we motored past.
A heavy rain was falling when we entered the Aberdare National Park at the 8,000 foot level. Climbing higher through bamboo and coniferous forests we were surprised to not only see the muddy tracks of elephants crossing the road at those elevations, but to see them lead treacherously steep into thick green brush. The agility of those enormous beasts was beyond our comprehension. A cape buffalo timidly backed-up into a thicket of bamboo to watch us pass. A rhino openly relaxed in a valley clearing below us, bright and shiny red after wallowing in new mud.
We reached the campground situated near a new lodge being built at the 10,000-foot level. Lions had been molesting tents in the area so a park warden said we could camp inside the new structure; provided we pitch our tents should his supervisor make an unexpected visit. Showing us where to set up our tents in clumpy grass under some pine trees, he also warned of spitting cobras.
The concrete lobby provided plentiful space for our sleeping bags, cooking gear, water jugs, plastic cooler, and food box. As the rain continued outside we clustered around the glowing fireplace. Its warmth penetrated our damp shirts and Levis, kindling thoughts of similar comforts in other times and places. We reminisced while playing card games late into the night.