Thursday, December 21, 2006

Kenya calling #2

Tuesday, 1st August.

FArm - Kalahari. NOT the desert, but a small swamp on a patch of Uncle's land. Peaceful and surrounded by game. Tawny and Batteleur Eagles, wildebeest, bee-eaters, buzzards etc. A pair of vervet monkeys were scared away when we approached.

We returned to find the farm abandoned, harvest having been halted for the day. Turned out Askari-puppy had been locked in the office, and Carla tried to break her out when the plane arrived. Askari was fine and loved the attention. It's Askari's 'big-brother' Ndofu I love - huge, gentle rottveiler, who comes and leans on you. Lovely big dog.

Wednesday 2nd August

Rest day on the farm. Went down to the field and saw two tawny owls fighting. Amazing.

57 tanks harvested for today. Harvest record for this year.

Thursday 3rd August

Flew into Nakuru twice - over the lake and the national park. The lake is a salt lake with a soda crust, clouds of flamingoes like rose petals scatter across the margins. You don't know where the airstrip is until you come round a hill, and then you have to drop to it quickly. It's short.

On the 2nd trip rhinos were seen, one with a calf.

You fly at 7,000 - 9,000 feet and still you're skimming trees over the edge of the Rift. We hit 170 nautical miles on the return journey with five people and 100kgs of plastic - whooee.

The first trip included buzzing a land rover at head height. Aaaaarrrgghhhh!!

Beautiful way to see Kenya.

Bloodied sunset.

Friday 4th August.

We went scrub bashing this morning - chasing each other through the bush. Was left wrecked and scratched and bruised but deeply satisfied. Gorges with crumbling sides and useful roots and thick undergrowth and taking the most impossible way - too much fun to handle!

Cooked in the pm. Cake and brandy snaps.

Have discovered that sleeping with no pillow solved my neck problem.

Saturday 5th August

Lazy days. [Carla's mum] remarked taht I looked like I was becoming rested. Only too right - it seems I am repairing the damage of three years. Not to say I didn't enjoy it and wouldn't do it again.

I seem to have acquired the nick-name Anaconda, which suits me fine!

This afternoon in the fields we saw tawny eagles, steppe eagles and peregrines (possibly sakers) scrapping, while their prey, the quails, hung illusive like mobile clumps of straw.

I'm browner than Carla, but this holiday is the last of my tan chasing, I think.


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