Friday, January 14, 2011

Rescued by the Masai Warrior and Canada Post

As you probably read in my last post Mom and Dad are here and you can not come to Kenya without going on Safari. So Monday morning we took off for a few days. Tenwek has a deal set up with the Fairmont Mara Safari club which gives Tenwek visitors a deal so off we went.

We were picked up at the hospital by a driver arranged by someone at Tenwek. I had not met this driver but assumed all was good so off we went. A little while down the road I asked the driver if he had been there before and he said yes - we went on a field trip when I was in school. This had me a little concerned but in his broken English (my 8 year old neighbour spoke better English than him) said he knew the way. Drivers are common here as many of us don't drive and every time I have one I simply say go here and they go, no need for me to give directions as they just know where to go, this is good as I have yet to learn my way around here.

Anyway we continued on myself giving the driver the benefit of the doubt, however I was getting a little worried as my Dad said, "we are going to Fairmont, right?" because the sign we just passed said Fairmont. We asked the driver and he responded with no this way is fine - and you have to trust the driver right. So off we went we eventually turned off the highway (at Narok for those who know the area) and headed south it was a paved road with lots of potholes - the same one I think we had taken to Olderkesi. Anyway, we eventually turned off to a bumpy gravel road being unsure I texted a friend of mine at Tenwek asking if going down a bumpy road was normal she responded with yes but we should be there in 10 minutes. Ten minutes later there was no end in sight. We then asked the driver what was going on and he responded with, "I turned late so now we have to detour a little bit." A little bit was an understatement the gravel road ended at a Masai village, an hour or more later. Here I was quite concerned as the Masai  men told us we had a long way to go - and the road had reached a deadend. A decision made was to put a Masai warrior in the car to guide us to our destination. The man climbed into the car and off we went backroading in our little Toyota (car, 2 wheel drive) we went through a river, through the mud and all sorts of other places that would have been a lot of fun in a quad but not the most enjoyable in the back of a little car at 3pm which you have been stuck in since 9:30 am (read no lunch or bathroom breaks). The amount of crazy places we went through it was amazing we made it through. There were many times that we would go through something and I would just pray that God would get us through as I envisioned being stranded and lost in the middle of the mara for a few days. Here are a few pictures of our experience
The Masai man who led us through 100km of bush, without him we might still be there

The Road - this is a better section, we may have driven through the puddle on the left if not this one others like it.
The route I think we took is in yellow, destination in red, all approximate as I had no clue where we were. I know we came from Narok and went through Talek, which there was no road to and I don't think we ever entered the actual park.
This was an adventure we were rescued by the Masai warrior and eventually met by one of the vehicles from Fairmont where the staff member was wearing a Canada post shirt, so he gets some credit in the rescue. We were met at the lodge with a late lunch (it was now 5pm) and showed to our tents. For those of you thinking drive for 7 hours and sleep in a tent - no way, The drive is only supposed to take 2 1/2 hours and as for the tent this is what the inside looked like.

Beautiful - and behind the curtains is the en suite
So the first day of the trip done, we had missed our afternoon game drive although on our round-a-bout trip to the lodge we did see some wildebeest and ostriches. I will blog again soon about the rest of the trip it was exciting as well but a much better form of excitement.

1 comment:

  1. I am so glad you are safe! And what an adventure to tell. Wow. That was only the first day.

    The tent looks a whole lot nicer than the car you've described. Hope it was a good rest. Can't wait to hear about the next day - but I do hope things go according to plan this time.