I woke up on Thursday, August 27th to a thin sheet of frost everywhere. There was much more moisture in the air here at Old Moses Camp at 3,400 meters elevation (11,155 ft). I took a walk around and saw a group of Water Buck down in the valley, even at such a great distance they noticed me and started to move away.
David and I had breakfast and put on our packs for the two hour walk down the road to Simiron Gate of the Mt. Kenya National Park. All along the way we could see wildlife, such as these eagles hunting together on the electrical wire.
And there were colorful smaller birds along the way.
We never did see any elephants, but had plenty of evidence they were there. This elephant dung ball was the size of a volleyball. Inspection of wild animal droppings is a favorite past time of guides and nature lovers. There are often discussion of the size, shape, consistency, water content, fur content, and in cases of carnivores, bone fragment size and content. Then there is the final analysis and declaration of what type of animal is was and when they were there. There is no dung like the spherical elephant dung.
As we descended the mountain the eco-zones kept changing. We went through a section of African Pencil Cedar (Juniperus procera).
Compared to what we had hiked, the road was an easy descent, but still quite beautiful.
There were many insects along the way.
As we approached the gate, we found this sign marking the location of the equator.
This is a picture of the whole team, except that John Karumba was in the bathroom washing his hands at the time. I have mixed feelings about the porter team approach, but in the end I don’t know if such a rigorous journey would be possible carrying tents and food for the 6 days. It certainly was luxurious having a team arrive early, set up the tents, and cook and clean up for us. In addition, the money we paid for the trip provided jobs for John Karumba, James, and the rest of the team. They definitely seemed to enjoy the trek and every evening had a good time hanging out, laughing, and chatting.
John, James, and I made the half hour drive down from the gate to the highway leading to Nanyuki. It felt good to be moving while not under my own power. I was looking forward to taking care of some business in Nanyuki, but most of all, a warm shower in my room at Kongoni Camp, along with a good meal in their restaurant. David and I had a wonderful meal with a couple of beers on Thursday night, recounting many of the incredible times we had experienced.
Now it was time to concentrate on my next trek, the teaching position at a university in Kenya. I was told that there was a delay in obtaining the work permit at the Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology. It would be best to head back to Nairobi to deal with the issue. David was kind enough to allow me to tag along with him as a driver took us back to Nairobi on Friday. I was able to see Salif Keita in concert on Saturday. Now it is Sunday, August 30th and I am finishing this final entry about the trek up Mt. Kenya. We’ll see what adventures are yet to come.