by John Fuhring
The expedition begins
After trying out the
horses we went back to our rooms, unpacked, cleaned up and waited for supper.
I hadn't slept for more than a few minutes in the last 48 hours, but wanted
to stay up until local bed time so as to minimize the effects of jet lag.
Unlike some others, I didn't take a nap that afternoon. Late in the
afternoon we all got
Yep, Lake Natron is out that-a-way.
First sunset looking west to the African Rift Valley.
We discussed the trip,
looked over some books in their library and I pulled out my maps.
Tom and I went over the general route and I made some (what turned out
to be accurate) guesses regarding our course. Jan told me about the
problems visitors have been having with those ruthless armed bandits that
come down from Somalia. This put a little scare into me when he told
about how they had recently held up some visitors near the south end of
Lake Natron at a permanent camp down there. I asked him what he thought
our chances of avoiding this kind of violent crime would be. Jan
assured me that we should be pretty safe because we'd be moving rapidly
and by the time the bandits knew we were in the area, we would have already
moved off to another camp. Wow, outrunning dangerous animals and
cutthroat Somali bandits while on horseback, how cool! Everything
about this trip seemed full of promise and I was really warming up to it
by this time. I was really pleased I had come. We had a very
fine supper in the farm's dining room and after a while, retired to our
guest rooms. The first day was over.
Later at breakfast, I noticed that Terry wasn't there, I asked about him and was informed that, mornings were a bad time for him. After breakfast we all strolled out to the back to where the horses were so we could mount up and start our long expedition. Terry was already there leaning on the woodpile near the pasture, dressed for riding, with his eyes shut and looking like "death warmed over" (which is an American expression for looking really shitty). I went up to him and asked if there was anything I could do for him. Poor fellow really was feeling rotten and he told me it wasn't anything personal, but he didn't want anybody near him. OK, so I'm gone already! I was really concerned that he'd not be able to start the trip, looking the way he did, but Lisa told me he'd be OK by the time we were ready to ride out. Eventually he perked up, we all mounted up and started riding westward away from the farm and toward the East African Rift Valley.
Native huts and farm fields below Mt. Maru as we head west.
Riding west not long after leaving the Farm.