Saturday, August 16, 2014

Mount Longonot - The Hike That Didn't Happen

Kenya is a land full of volcanoes.  They are beautiful and a little frightening and they've covered the whole country with all types of amazing volcanic rocks.  When we planed our trip back to Naivasha we decided it would be fun to hike Mount Longonot.  The last time it erupted was in 1863.  Our guide in Hell's Gate told us that the reason that area is called Hell's Gate and the Devil's bedroom is because during that eruption a village of Masai people were wiped out in that area.  Luckily the mountain has been silent since then but the hike is still pretty steep and when we told Max we wanted to hike it he told us we were nuts.  Koash, our drive, also told us we were crazy but said he'd drive us to the gate where we could decide.  By this point we were used to doing things that people told us were crazy so we figured what was one more thing.  We took these pictures before we headed toward the gate. This little bit was the last bit of asphalt.  From here to the mountain it was dirt or maybe I should say the finest dust I've ever seen.  We made it almost all the way, less than a mile to go and we got stuck on a huge sand/dust bar.  The car was going nowhere.  Dr. J and I got out to push while Koash tried to  back us up.  Some little kids got off their bus and had a good laugh at the crazy mazungus.  Then they tried to help dig us out.  We were going nowhere.  Then a kid on a motorcycle drove by.  He stopped and came over.  Turned out he was a guide for Mount Longonot.  He told us he thought we could make it, but not with the car stuck.  So he and Dr. J and Koash started trying to device ways to get us out.  We dug, we lifted, we place stones under the wheels, we pushed, we pulled, repeat like ten times.  Finally two big buses came by.  A bunch of men unloaded came over and that group got us pushed off the dust.  At that point our taste for hiking the mount was pretty gone, plus we were worried we'd get stuck again.  Koash carefully got us back to the main highway.  And then the rains hit, torrential rains that brought visibility down to zero and flooded the roads completely.  Can I just say that at that point we all did a little silent prayer of gratitude that we hadn't made it up to the mountain.  It would have been a nightmare to be on the mountain at that point and even if we'd still been in the car the road would have become impassable.  Lucky break folks, but it did look really cool so maybe so other day at some other time we will try it again.

Here we are terribly stuck.  

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