Don’t you just love road trips? Especially those that involve smooth road and changing scenes that allow you to take in so much of nature’s awesomeness, from valleys characterized with steep rocky walls, majestic mountains and alluring lakes to baboons carelessly crossing the highway. That’s my usual view whenever I am visiting either of my grandparents. However, the Saturday before last, I got to experience something totally different. My parents had been invited for a dowry paying ceremony in Eastern Kenya and yours truly got to tag along. There was no time to have breakfast (as it always happens whenever we are travelling) so we stopped at a convenience store to grab some. While daddy was at it, I checked to make sure that all tires had the right amount of air and refilled those that didn’t. Had to make myself useful to ensure I am not left behind next time!
We hit the superhighway and in about 20 minutes or so, the scene had already changed from crowded buildings to vast plantations of pineapple. It was interesting to see how pineapples grow! Shortly after, we spotted a fruit vendor on the roadside with a display of the most irresistibly beautiful mangoes. Each was going for KES 50 (which apparently is too expensive for a mango as mummy informed me) but we ended up buying several anyway. Only to get to our destination and find that the guy had packed one completely rotten mango!! Let’s just say we could not wait for the ceremony to end so that we would catch him before he closed shop!
I dosed off for a few minutes to be woken up by hunger pangs, just in time for some amazingly smelling rice. How wise of mummy to carry food. As I was busy planning how I was going to devour that food, I looked outside and my eyes were met with the most scenic view ever! Endless fields of greenery, which turned out to be the famous rice fields of Mwea that were the cause of the aroma in the car! Would you believe that? There really was no food in the car! I quickly forgot about my hunger as i was fixated on the rice plantations, wondering how they smelled so good and also how those thin green stems eventually become grains of rice.
We eventually got to the home of the bride to be in a place called Embu and while the ceremony was going on, I played with some kids and made a few new friends. Including this guy who seemed to have informants from my house on what I was planning on wearing as he totally stole my look! I must say he looked dapper though!
I spotted a number of kids playing with tires in the neighborhood, it seemed to be the toy of the season. They would give the tire a slight push and then run closely behind it, using a stick to control its movement and ensure it remains on course! I had to take a photo to remind daddy to get me one of those, perhaps from his car.
All in all, the day was totally and literally a breath of fresh air. I really hope my folks can make road trips and travel in general a planned and regular affair. That way, I would have it in my diary and plan in advance on my dress code among other things upon doing proper research. I thought Embu was freezing cold so I decided to wear jeans and boots, and carried a winter jacket! Turned out to be the opposite.
Do let me know the places you’ve traveled to within Kenya that you would recommend to those seeking to explore!