Proper Walk 2012
The 2012 Proper Walkers endured high altitude hiking while dealing with 5 days of rain and occasional downpours, followed by high heat desert hiking. In keeping with the Proper Walk rule, no whining was heard.
Before the Walk, they assembled in Nairobi before taking a trip to visit the Makindu Children’s Centre where they experienced the famous Kamba Welcoming Ceremony. This year’s was the largest celebration yet with more children and guardians in attendance. The Walkers were enchanted by the singing, dancing, and chanting – followed by a great feast. For the first time Walkers, this ceremony was an incredible way to learn firsthand what the Cause part of the Proper Walk is all about. It inspired them to commit to breaking the 2008 Walk fundraising total of $110,000.
The next day the Walkers were transported 10 hours north to meet the camel caravan made up of 22 camels, 7 guides, John and Amanda, as well as their godsons who joined the Walk from Scotland. The Walk began near the ancient city of Maralal. Rain was a constant companion during the first few days, causing rivers to swell to dangerous levels. The caravan came upon a river where vehicles were lined up unable to cross. The caravan was undeterred – 22 camels and 20 people plunged into the swift water, viewed by dozens of stranded motorists. The Walk went into mountains where they climbed to over 8,200 feet. They continued to climb and descend for the next several days, testing the conditioning and knees of all participants. At the mid-point of the trek, the Walkers were still camping at 7,500 feet, before descending to the Saguta Valley where the heat dried out the soaked caravan and presented the Walkers a new challenge – staying hydrated while hiking long miles in high heat.
One of the exciting elements of each Proper Walk is engaging with the pastoralist tribes encountered along the way. The 2012 Walk provided the Walkers unique opportunities to meet many Turkana. One group put on a show of traditional dances. A lamb was purchased from one of the herdsmen and the Walkers were treated to the freshest lamb they had ever eaten. As the Walk headed north towards Lake Turkana, they entered into a lunar like landscape made up of extinct volcanoes and frozen in time lava beds. They began the final days hikes very early, rising by 4:00 AM to hike most of the allotted miles before the heat of the day arrived. As they set up camp in the early afternoon, Walkers fall asleep in camp chairs from the exhaustion of over 100 miles of difficult hiking since the beginnning of the Walk.
The afternoon on the 10th day the Walkers arrived at the Jade Sea, the name often used for Lake Turkana. After a group photo (seen on the main page) the Walkers took a swim – first looking for the famous lake crocodiles before entering the refreshing water. Good job mates! You are truly Proper Walkers!!