Naro Moru Travel Blog› entry 51 of 81 › view all entries
Mount Kenya is the second highest mountain on the African continent. Straddling the equator, its three tall and craggy, snow-covered peaks stood sharply above the savannah landscape. Its two highest peaks, Batian, the summit at 17,058 feet, and Nelion at 17,022 were only accessible by experienced climbers. Vertical walls of ice required special climbing gear and know-how. The third peak however, Point Lenana at 16,355 feet, could be reached by anyone reasonably fit so Scott and I set out to meet that challenge.
We sorted out a minimal load to carry for an estimated three days on the mountain; two changes of clothes, canned goods from Woolworths in Nairobi, and the heavy duty sleeping bags which we rented from Ahmed Brothers, a safari outfitter in the city. We packed only one tent. The hundred mile bus ride to Naro Moru took more than seven hours, stopping to pick up passengers at several small towns and to exchange mail bags at each post office. An afternoon rain drenched the savannah landscape during the last ten miles of the trip. Our backpacks, stowed unprotected on top of the bus, got soaked.
With soggy packs we hiked to the Naro Moru Lodge and pitched the tent at the familiar campground where we had stayed just last week during our safari with the Australians. At the lodge we were able to rent the additional gear that we still lacked: long johns, light parkas and gloves. Though Mount Kenya straddled the equator, temperatures would be cold at the high altitudes.
An English couple who were leaving the next day provided a fine bundle of firewood. We appreciated having a fire since the air was cool and the ground damp. We heated a can of beans, cooked sausage, and brewed coffee. An American couple from Boston visited our small fire and offered their rented cabin to sort and dry our wet possessions.