Distance: 168km (Cumulative: 14 717km)
Moving time: 3:31
Average speed: 48km/h
Road surface: 98% Tar, 2% Gravel
Castle Forest Lodge - R100 p.p
Beautiful Forest and grassy campsites with hot water
We didn’t set an alarm and only got up after 08:00. It took quite some time to pack despite all the packing and planning of yesterday. Finally, at 11:00 we fitted everything inside and on top of the vehicle. We decided to abandon 2 Jerry cans at Jungle Junction as it has been more than unnecessary to have four jerry cans and a 130-liter diesel tank.
Since we didn’t have breakfast yet and needed some last supplies, we stopped at the Galleria mall for lunch at a hip Burger joint. While we waited for the Burgers Caro and Sekar bought some vegetables, chicken and ‘beef sausages’ that looked (and would later turn out to taste) like pork. We wanted some meat to braai, but the Nakumatt didn’t have any.
We left at 13:00 and took the Southern Bypass to the Eastern Bypass to reach the Thika road to the North of Nairobi. The Eastern Bypass is just a single lane road so if you’re behind a truck the going can be slow. In retrospect, the 12 lane Thika highway through Nairobi would probably have been faster, especially in the middle of the day.
We joined the Thika highway where it was still 8 lanes wide and followed it until it also became just a 2-lane road.
The roads were tarred all the way to the Castle Forest Lodge entrance gate. The 3km from the gate to the lodge and camping site is a small gravel road through beautiful tropical forest and over a wooden bridge.
It has been cloudy all day so we couldn’t see Mt Kenya. After setting up camp we hiked to the close by waterfall through thick moss covered jungle. Complete was Tarzan ropes hanging from the trees.
At 18:00 someone came to light a fire, our first camp fire since Zambia.
The massive pieces of wood burned easily, but it took ages to form coals. Coals that you could hold in your hand for few seconds without burning. We thus had to make the sausages in the pan, but the vegetables in foil at least got cooked from being close to the fire for almost an hour. We also made braai broodjies.
We chatted around the fire until 22:00 before going to bed.
Daniel and Sekar had coffee in the Lodge while the Monkeys were still sleeping. We arranged for a guided hike at 10:30, but Hugo decided to rather stay in the tent as he was still not feeling well.
The others hiked to a further away waterfall and only returned at 15:30.
Apparently the hike was mostly on a jeep track and didn’t go into the jungle as much as they would have wanted to go. They nevertheless saw plenty of birds and primates.
We made Indomie (Two minute noodles which the monkeys have bought quite often, which is from Indonesia and a favourite of Sekar and Daniel) for pre-dinner.
Later we lit the fire again and made mieliepap in our black pot almost directly in the flames. We took out all our accessories that we haven’t used for months. The pot, braai tongs, braai grid, the ‘nat-hout-se-gat’ (gas firelighter), braaibak, etc. Caro cooked a whole chicken in a pot before cutting it up and putting it on the fire to just make it crispy and to give it a smokey braai taste. We also opened a can of Chakalaka to go with the mieliepap.
Tomorrow we’re heading for Lake Bogorio and thus went to bed early.