Morning, Kisumu, waking up at Lake Victoria. The technical data of the day: Route Kisumu-Marich Pass, the plan is to spend 3 hours driving, our reality 9h. The distance is around 250-300km. The condition of the road… it’s hard to comment THIS bad road with potholes which is also covered by speed bumps. Even though there are repairworks going on in many places, there are no predictions that anything will seriously change during next 10 years therefore it is not advisable to go by a common car, but rather by an offroad vehicle.
The event’s of the day. We wake up under a sausage tree and walk to look at the bay of the lake Victoria. It is not advisable to swim here as there are parasites which get and start living under the human skin. We leave the campsite at 8:50, then shopping for groceries and beer, searching for a tyre for the car therefore we leave at 11am only.
The route which is long and boring is made ornate only by the life bubbling along the roadside – people who are gathering here always wanting to be together, the small, tiny huts which are not anymore made from sticks’ carcass and clay , but from Marichno aereted concrete bricks, children who always smile and greet us whenever they see us. The area becomes more fertile and when stopping in any place local ladies bring some fruit they want to sell. We would like to buy, but we are just driving and driving. Life through the car’s window and dust since we MUST manage the planned route, otherwise we might arrive late to the place where we will be watching the total solar eclipse. We buy something, however -the only purchase is a long sugarcane which should be peeled and then chewed, and the mouth gets filled by juice as sugarwater. It costs 50 shillings, we buy only half of the cane for 25 shillings, and the length of it reaches over all the saloon of our vehicle.
At the beginning of the day we are driving through Kakamega, we have flown past several possible sightseeing objects, but we manage to catch one – at Webuye village we turn to right and with an advice from the locals arrive at the opposite coast of the valley of Nzoia river. Strong, effervescent, muddy in a bald valley among stones -that’s how it looks.
It doesn’t need too long to look at, in half an hour we have lunch, and our driver Karioki tells about the leaves of Manuakou tree. We notice the tree because of its strange fruits, similar to sweet peppers, but the bitter tea is made from leaves only and it has helped against malaria in ancient times. But the young people nowadays are not using it anymore. The meadow and trees around are full of sounds, insects and birds are making all kinds of sounds.
The big value of Kenya are its people. Kind, very, very kind, with a serious attitude and smiling, happy. On our way, whenever it’s possible they try to start a conversation, shake hands, especially children are trying to touch us for whom our white or maybe colourless skin looks a miracle.
Further our route goes through Kitale to Marich Pass, and along the setting of darkness in the saloon of the car come sharper feelings of potholes and lively conversations. Ilgonis tells about the Solar eclipse. If you would like to know what exactly, you should find out the answers to the following questions:
– how many times the Sun is bigger than the Earth,
– how many times the Moon is closer to the Earth than the Sun,
– why the totality of this year’s eclipse lasts only 15 seconds,
– how do you feel when you have never experienced sex, but know about it, have written about it, and then one day experience it…
Anyway, our road among the potholes tumbles further, runs pat the sunset and the shadow games of sunset where especially beautiful photos get created, past the school children crowds in towns who are gathering on Friday nights, in different uniforms for each school, to go home somewhere by bus. We try to take photos of everything on the run since we cannot afford to stop for a minute, we must get to the designed place. However, if also you go to this red chocolate country, stop for a moment to get a good shot, to have a chat with the bypassers and to greet the children which appear around you from nowhere. Because. It is important to stick to the plan, but a minute of feelings won’t crash it most likely. Much more than a good technical organisation is to feel a good mood and to take care about smile in the faces of companions.
But we arrive in Marich Pass field studies centre campsite and are sleeping in a classroom where beds have been brought in with mosquito nets. It’s the first time we sleep under them and it is very romantic and a bit scary as well. Maybe about the unknown.