Day 18 – August 15
We sleep in late as the walk is over. We have a leisurely breakfast and pack up one final time. The camels head out as we ride in Teddy to Ol Maisor. It's only 10 miles but it takes nearly 45 minutes. Amanda and John invite us to their house to shower in a genuine hot shower, oh my. They treat us as friends, not clients, which is very nice and greatly appreciated by us Proper Walkers.
When we arrive we see another group of camels, these with saddles, getting ready for a group of British students who have been building a school in Kenya. When the gate swings open, one of the first things we see is Claudia, their pet Cheetah. She is a 5 year old and they have raised her from a baby. One of their dogs is nibbling at her neck and she patiently sits there before tiring of the attention. What a beauty she is.
After showering we are taken to our residence for the next day at Kiboko Camp. We are staying in a cabana alongside a series of ponds that has a family of hippos in it. What a perfect spot to rest after the 170 mile hike.
The next morning, we make the rounds saying goodbye to all of the friends we made during this adventure. The final stop was to Jasper’s home where we are invited for Pinks, a drink made up of gin, water and bitters. His home is like a museum with a large library of books primarily about Africa and Kenya exploration and history. Tribal treasures, old china, family pictures, and camel ceremonial headdresses are found through out this unique stone residence with a view of Mt. Kenya out a double paned window.
As we have a final toast to our host, he hands me a book and asks me to read. It is a book of Rudyard Kipling’s poetry and is opened to a poem called “Betrothed”. I begin reading and realize it is about cigars. He remembered me telling him about the Cuban cigars I enjoyed after a long day of hiking. This poem is incredible and I really get into the reading using all the skill Dr. Bob taught me all those years ago at Wayne State College. When I complete the reading, I close the book and look to Jasper. He is smiling and says, “Well read”. It may be the single nicest complement I have ever received and one I will remember for the rest of my life. Maybe now I can call him Japper, the nickname used by his friends.
This ends the official Proper Walk ’06. It is hard to believe it is over. Time is a cruel master. As I look back on the hike, I am pleased to note that everyone took preparing for the hike very seriously as the conditioning of our group was exemplary. The planning done by Michael and his friends at Ol Maisor was perfect and the walk went like clockwork. Every time Michael was faced with a decision along the route he always made the right one, he is an incredible Kenya safari guide and leader. The hike exceeded all my expectations. I now have a new appreciation as to why Michael has completed three Proper Walks and raised over $170,000 for the orphans of Makindu.