Hi there. The wait is finally over. I am back to regular posting now, after a long time of procrastination and a massive creative block, but as I hinted on my previous post, I have been working on a number of things that will see a change on my blog on how my posts will be structured as well as my work. That said, now we could get back to the exciting topic we have today. The day I went to Mount Longonot with a group, rather part of a family of close to 18 people. Unlike almost everyone I know, I never really got the chance to travel and explore the country when I was young. This year, I aspire to visit as many places in this country as I possibly could. Longonot was one such place. It was my first time there and here is how it all went down. Just a disclaimer, this post will be long, but thoroughly exciting. Enjoy :).
This trip was organised to celebrate the birthday of one very lovely lady by the name of Tendwa. The plan was to leave Nairobi by 8 o’clock in the morning, so that we could get to the mountain in time for us to even circumnavigate the crater. Well, after a number of hiccups involving one of the rides we would use and just general time wasting, we hit the A104 leaving Nairobi a few minutes past midday. After a while on the highway, we kinda lost each other and decided that we would meet up at the Rift Valley View Point along the Mai Mahiu route. For those that hadn’t passed it already that is.
The green escarpments were something that really amazed me as we made our stop. I had been there once before and they were not green. Seeing them with this burst of natural life was something spectacular for me. Well as for my friends, selfies were the order of the day there. I eventually joined them. Partly because I wanted to but mostly because since I was the main photographer in the group, I would have easily ended the day without even one picture of myself to commemorate the day’s adventure. After a number of portraits, landscape shots, a couple of selfies we embarked for Mount Longonot. The landscapes along the road were to die for. Amazing sceneries of the Mountain itself from the ground level and the hills on the opposite side of the road and the green vegetation on the hills provided for stunning views.
It wasn’t long that we branched off into the road that leads to the Mount Longonot National Park. Mount Longonot is a stratovolcano located within the Great Rift Valley. There is a 3.1 kilometre trail that leads from the park entrance all the way up to the crater rim then a 7.2km trail going round the crater. The Peak of the Mountain is at 2780m above sea level.
As we got to the park, we reunited with a group that had already got there way before us. Well because, a BMW on open roads is an absolute beast. As everyone took turns in changing to their hiking gear, the psyche was clearly high as everyone was in high spirits ready to take on the hike. Music booming through the cars’ speakers and the isolated dancing made it evident that the energy and happiness levels were at their peak.
At around 1;30 or 2pm, somewhere in between we were all in the park beginning our hike up the mountain. In a matter of minutes, we were already split into two groups. One had the people that seemed to be in a hurry to get to the top, the other on the other hand was just chilled cool and taking it slow. Going up the trail we met a crowd of people going the other way. The dust on their clothes, faces and hair, gave us a bit of a glimpse of what to expect. Most of them teased us asking if we would ever make it to the top. The hike was comfortable until it started to get vertical. That’s when trouble started as some started to get chest complications due to their Asthma. Regular breaks had to be made, As I took the opportunity to take photos of the views we encountered as we went up the mountain.
After a very disturbing series of stairs that was almost like a relief and at the same time torturous, we got to the first resting point of the mountain where we regrouped with the other group. As we rested, some people decided that they wouldn’t go any further up due to their health. After a while, 14 of us decide to continue with the hike as the other 4 planned on how they would go back to the cars.
After a short while, the steepness of the trail became a challenge. The higher we went, the more exhausted people got. At a point I started to wish that I went back down with the other four but the views we got with each climb made me take back my thoughts an strive to move on.
After a long agonizing, hike, we finally got to the crater. And the excitement of everyone that managed to get up there couldn’t be hidden. For me, it was a tick on my bucket list. Summiting Mount Longonot. Photos were taken, memories were made, personal goals were met. It was a special moment for everyone that got to summit the mountain, including the birthday girl. After about half an hour we started to descend the mountain. The main goal was the delicious cake we would enjoy at the foot of the mountain to crown the day.
Reminiscing those memories as I write this piece brings back the excitement I had on that day. A truly special day it was.
I hope you like this post. Again I apologize for its length. Do leave your feedback on the comment section below. It would be really appreciated. Until next time, Peace.