At a few minutes to 7pm on Saturday night, I find myself staring at a beautiful chicken sandwich. It’s almost as beautiful as the view; Mount Kenya is in the background, but before you get to the mountain, there’s a beautiful patch of grass that rolls to a pool that should be heated but isn’t. We’re at the Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club.
I should be eating my beautiful sandwich, I am not. If this was a regular meal time with V, I would be photographing my food but I am not. I want to blame it on my phone’s poor performance in low light but that wouldn’t be completely honest…
24 hours before my staring contest with the sandwich, I am sitting at a restaurant that I am slowly growing fond of. I am nursing tree tomato mojitos while I geek out on the relationship between artistry, spirituality and consciousness and the interaction between these three and structure… logic.
I’m not sure what they put in these mojitos, but damn!
There’s a lull in the conversation and we’re watching tail lights mingle with the light drizzle when my company asks what I am doing for the weekend. I just stole a copy of Zadie Smith from my best friend, I’ll read that and if the weather permits, I might attend a concert on Saturday night. But who knows, I might also just bum away the whole weekend… they’re equally plotless, but they want to go on a drive. Nothing too wild. Any place within a three hour radius should be fine.
Naivasha is cancelled out almost as soon as it’s mentioned.
If you drive at 80/100 kph, you can make it to Nanyuki in three hours, give or take.
I spent half an hour, earlier in the week, gushing about how scenic Nanyuki is, my company has never been. So just like that, it’s decided. Who’s hitting the road? No, not Jack. Us! (great song though.)
I am a notorious overpacker. I’ll pack for a whole week, when going on a three day trip. I somehow always end up with an extension cable in a bag, if no one is looking, I might also throw in an iron box… but this time round, I am determined to be lightest traveller in the history of well, travel. Another thing I determined to do, to be is to live in the moment.
This trip is not, will not serve as a content creation op, I’ll just live and let myself bathe in Nanyuki’s grace.
Cruising down Thika Road, beyond the existence of the dual carriageway at Kenol, I am convinced that I am winning at this ‘being in the moment’ thing. In fact, the only time I have touched my phone, was not to open the camera but to switch the playlist from UK Grime to Jay Z, the car is a Niggas In Paris concert. Until one of us falls asleep and the DJ switches to something more soothing and the rest of us spend the rest of the trip pointing out scenery to each other.
Allessia Cara is crooning about being ‘Here!’ when we pull up at the Nanyuki Sports Club, in another hour, we’re well, here at the Fairmont Mt. Kenya Sports Club. And in yet another, we’re well, here- well rested, seated on a couch outside the bar, watching clouds shift around the Mt. Kenya. It’s not freezing (yet) but I wish for a beanie still.
The hour before we order for sandwiches and fries, we walk into this beautiful suite and everything in me says ‘Turn on the lights and snap away…’ but I left my camera behind on purpose, so I really will have to live in the moment. Standing under a scalding shower, with the scent of grapefruit clinging onto my face and what feels like grime flowing down my body, I am convinced that the itch is gone. And it is gone. I really am living in the moment, that bloggers’ curse has been lifted.
7pm finds us driving down, back to the Sports Club. Too Early For Birds is staging there, if I am in town, I might as well watch my people, right? My company has never seen the show before, so this meld of three editions is perhaps the best way to introduce them. They’re ecstatic, they love it. (that just means, I’m getting them to buy a ticket to every other show we ever stage.I don’t know if they know what’s coming to them.)
I cannot be bothered to take photos at dinner. I am tired. My butt is tired, but it’s my eyes that feel like I threw a handful of sand is in there. At breakfast though, boy do I go HAM! I steal muesli from their plate, I draw in jams and butter, even though none of us is having toast. Just one photo. Just one for the #FeedingV tag then I’m done. I take three, choose one then I really am done. What’s never done though, is my breakfast portion; I have the worst appetite ever and I am forever eating in rat sized bites; I can’t recall the last time I cleared my plate in one seating.
We have about an hour before checkout, we’re pushing it to an hour and a half though because we asked and the receptionist was really cool to us.
I want to roll in the grass and feel my shirt absorb the dew, I might fall into the pond though but that doesn’t scare me. But I only packed enough outfits for 2 days and one night, so we go for a walk instead, after they’ve made me seat on a couple benches and joked that I photograph terribly.
The Millenium Maze is a find we knew was coming but are still pleasantly surprised when we find it on the grounds. There’s a map at the entrance, we take a photo of it then cocky us goes in, convinced we can’t get lost. It’s too easy, walking is no fun, so we run… the maze is a town and we’re reenacting the Jay Z, Kanye, Rihanna song… then we get lost, or I do. I can’t tell where we are on the bloody map and it’s driving me insane, they say it’s fine; we’ve got this. Three minutes later, maybe less, we’re in the middle of the maze. We’ve made it, we’ve conquered the damn thing!
It’s time to head back to NBO, but first, we stop at Tree Trout and eat the best char grilled tilapia of my life.