Day 14 Ė August 11
We are up early as usual packing, hydrating, snacking and are out of camp a little after 6:00. The morning light is incredible as we hike up a lugga. It is a fun hike in this dry river bed. There are a series of holes dug down into the sand for wells. Some of the deeper ones had acacia thorn fences around them to keep out animals or to stake claim to them. The handlers picked one and filled our water containers. Every few days we need to replenish our supply in the 20 liter containers.
After another 5 miles we head out of the lugga and climb to a plateau. The plateaus are always interesting because you can see in all directions; you see mountains, dormant volcanoes, rolling hills, and wide open plains. Today there are some great monoliths that remind me of the ones in Monument Valley.
It is getting hot again. I noticed a heat rash breaking out under my hiking socks. I put some topical ointment Michael has, he said will clear it up in no time. The rain that came a few days ago has begun a spring-like greening. The acacias have new green growth and there are many small little flowers. Itís amazing how a little rain will get things growing again. We are heading back down to the Ewaso Nyiro. As we get close, Roger spots a small herd of elephants across the river. How exciting! We climb up a small rock outcropping to watch this first group of elephants. They are such magnificent creatures. The big female can smell or hear us as she checks us out but doesnít see us as a threat as we have a river between us. We stay and watch for about 15 minutes before following the camelís tracks to find where todayís camp is. We find camp and tell the others about the elephants.
We get our tents set up, change into some comfortable camp clothes and check out the scenery. There are baboons across the river coming to get an afternoon drink. Up the river we see some vervet monkeys chasing each other. There is a monitor lizard on the other side of the river.
We get our tents set up, change into some comfortable camp clothes and check out the scenery. There are baboons across the river coming to get an afternoon drink. Up the river we see some vervet monkeys playing a game of tag. There is a monitor lizard on the other side of the river.
I grab my dirty hiking clothes and head down to the river to do some laundry. I am totally out of clean clothes. The river water is a reddish brown color but clothes turn out pretty clean and they definitely smell better.
Africa Cinema reappears tonight showing ďKing Solomonís MinesĒ but the batteries run out of juice before the end of the movie. No one complains, I guess they had seen enough to figure out how it was going to end. One of the handlers found fresh lion tracks nearby so a large bonfire was lit and stoked during the night to keep the lions from wanting to come into our camp.
We are getting close to the end of Proper Walk 2006. I started wearing my other hiking shorts, the ones that were too small when I bought them. I've lost about 2 inches around my waist and I guess about 10 pounds on the Michael Farley diet plan. It's a great plan, walk 20 miles a day and lose weight. It really works.
I assess how Iíve held up so far and feel like Iíve done pretty well. I am still treating my foot but it has pretty much healed. The heat rash is better but still pretty gnarly. I have scratches all over my legs and hands. I have not been sunburned and I have no blisters - all in all I am doing well. Iíve decided to try and use the fanny pack tomorrow instead of the Camel Bak as I sweat so much under the pack. Tomorrow we get to sleep in and relax in the morning before starting a short hike about 1 PM. A leisurely morning sounds good to me.