After Mfangano Island I got back to kisumu just for a few days. I wanted to go hiking in the Monkey rock. It was a quite challenging hiking as it is a fairly small mountain but its full of rocks and so more difficult to hick.
Two days before crossing the border I went to the immigration office in Kisumu (apparently one of the worst and most corrupted in Kenya) hoping for the third Kenyan Visa renewal. Obviously I was just dreaming. After waiting 5 hours for the renewal they said to come back next day because the guy who usual signs the visa didn’t come. Whaaat?? How is possible that you let 10 people wait for 5 hours (there were people coming from far away villages too) and tell them that they are not going to see their visa renewed until next day if they are lucky. I supposed, this is Africa. As my Visa was about to expire I didn’t have this time. If they would reject my visa next day then I had less then 24 hours to cross the border, plus I really wanted to go hiking to the Monkey rock (Dandy Rock). Too short notice in case shits happens. Shit always happens. So I tried to complain a little bit and one of the officer brought me to a superior officer. Who asked me why would I want to be renewed the Visa for the third time. I gave my reasons but apparently they weren’t enough and so refuse to do so. “So can I at least cross the border the same day my visa Kenyan visa expires?” “Yes, you can. You have time until midnight”. I knew I shouldn’t trust a corrupted officer but what choices did I have?
He told me that if I wanted my visa renewed I had to pay him 100$ in order for him to renew my visa. It was a bribe. I refused to pay and left. I was so upset. I didn’t care about the waiting time, but the facts that he asked me money for something that should be done for free by low, really put me off.
I generally don’t like police, but here it’s even worst. They are incredibly corrupted and arrogant.
Anyway after the immigration office I went directly to the easy coach station to book a coach to Kampala for the same day my Visa would expire. I had just one day left to go hiking at the Dandy rock. The following day I would leave towards Kampala. The day out hiking in the Dandy Rock was amazing. I stayed to the closest hostel to the rock which is 20 mins away with a boda boda (African motorcycle. They are called Boda Boda because they use to transport people from the Ugandan to the Kenyan border by bicycle. Nowadays they use motorcycle, indeed.) (Please check my ‘travel info’ if you are interested in hiking the Nandi rock. I provide as well as the exact hiking starting point on google maps).
The Nandi Rock or the Monkey rock (called like this because it used to have a lot of monkey of which the population has been dwelling over the years) is the boundary between Nandi and Kisumu counties . It is an important marker for the two population. The valley of the Nandi rock are surrounded by the sugarcane plantation in the Muhori-Nandi sugar belt. In the past kids leaving in the sugar-belt had to conquer the rock in order to earn the feather in the cap among peers. The rock hosts coarse- grained boulders as well as low-growing vegetation rich and black soil. In the past, this area used to be forested however is no longer the case.
I started to hick about 4 pm as the boda boda brought me to the wrong place (even though I asked a few times if the map was clear). So I lost time going around the mountain. I started very late and I wouldn’t advise to anyone to start hiking so late. My adventure was a real one. Sometimes I do crazy things without thinking about the risks that might occur. So do not hick the mountain so late overall if you alone. Anyway the hiking takes 2.5 hour and coming back about 2 h as the mountain is very steep.
The sunset on the mountain top was breathtaking. I thought why not get undressed and feel the air on the mountaintop naked. I never done something like that in my life and it was definitely a great idea. I was too far from any humans so nobody could see me. As the sun was going down I felt the breeze touching my body. I experienced one of the most sensational feeling. I was alone, on the mountaintop, naked, watching the sunset. I thought how lucky I am to have the opportunity and the privilege to experience this incredible feelings. My body was unarmed, all around. Free. Amused but the power of nature.
I realized too late that the dark was coming. It was biting and latently coming to obscuring my path. I dressed up and rush back down. I couldn’t see anything after just 10 mins of walking. Obviously I had a head light which definitely saved my life. It was passed 7.30 and I had still almost 2 hours of descent. My choice was not clever and i was shitting on my pants. How do I see the path? I mean was already difficult to see it with the light can you imagine without? Anyway I took courage within me and I kept walking. Fortunately I found people on my path but unfortunately they were not speaking english. However they indicated me to keep just going down. They ensured me that there were no dogs on the way. At least what I understood. After one hour I hear dogs close by. It was so dark that I couldn’t see even my fingers without light. Fortunately I had that light. Literally saved my life! Anyway I just started to shout to the house where I heard the dogs barking. People here goes to sleep at 8 pm as they do not have the luxury of electricity and after 7pm everything goes pitch dark. I definitely didn’t see the dogs and this house coming up from the mountain. So was a different path I took. I didn’t even know if it was a path. I just thought I go down, and this is what matter. A young guy came out from the house and stopped his dogs from barking. He was quite speechless to see a Mzungo woman going down the mountain alone with pitch dark. “What are you doing here all alone” or something like this as his english was extremely poor. “I was coming down from the Dandy rock and lost my way. I want to reach the main road and head to Kisumu.” I said. “Go straight down after about half an hour walk you should be seeing the main road.” “thank you!”. I kept walking so fast that my legs where starting to hurt seriously. Finally I could see the main road. As well as the mountain the road was pitch dark. So I start to walk. After 10 mins walking I saw a boda boda coming and desperately wave at him in the hope he would stop. This boda boda was the only human I have seen n the last 10-20 minutes of walking on this desert and rural road. “hello how much for Kisumu? “250”. he replied. “Cool. Let’s go!”. I was finally safe and happy to have had the one if the greater adventures of my life. I was back at hostel about 10 pm.
Next day I was going for the coach that would bring across the border.
Kampala I am coming!