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  • Kathy Moore & Bev Hooper

Matawtwe River crossing, birthday rides and lots of rain - November 22

Today is Robin’s birthday, a whoppin’ 13 now. He rode the camel today and waved like a birthday boy should! I’m sure the festivities will continue tonight in pure Drover style.

Robin waving away on his 13th birthday 🎉

The guys were up early this morning, as it takes longer to pack up after a storm. Last night, we had two that passed through, one fast with a quick rain that allowed us to jump out of our tents and eat supper when it stopped, and one not-so-fast that dumped rain for many hours, and a lot!

Along the chosen road, there were many prints from many elephants. Even their trunk marks were seen, making dragging patterns in the mud, as those must get heavy every so often.

We travelled through Choke Ranch, where the Rangers keep the wildlife safe and also are involved in mining gemstones (Green Garnet and Tourmaline, we were told), Teita Sisal Estate (where a large Sisal-making factory is, with 4000 employees hired, someone from every tribe in Kenya being represented) and Mgemo Conservancy, where livestock is their focus.

We had to cross the Mwatatwe River today, which was rising fast with yesterday’s rains and the ones that had just started again. It’s always smart to cross a river while the going’s good.

We are now camped at the base of a hill, where we’ve been told there are lions living. Apparently, they like to have their babies up there. We will hike up there after lunch. Fingers crossed we may hear them tonight as there is nothing like the sound of a roar from the safety of your tent!

Update on Keno the camel who got stuck in the muddy swamp yesterday:

Keno stood up this morning after being loaded with his saddle and four empty water cans, and was standing four square and immediately started eating - making up for the lack of eating yesterday. It was then decided he would be Okay to move along slowly as far as the office where we'd decide whether to put him in a vehicle or chug on with him. He has completed 17 km today to all of our relief, just chugging gently along amongst his fellow companions. Many thanks to those who have helped him.


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