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Hugging Mt Kenya peaks from inside a small aircraft

Our pilot flew low over the white caps of ‘Kirinyaga’ and rainforests soon came into view on our way to launch the Big Brunch in Nanyuki town 

Faith Kyoumukama @martkinel

This year, I have been lucky to explore so many destinations, enjoy several travel escapades and experience different cultures in general. Don’t envy me yet, for it’s just the beginning of my travel diaries, hopefully.

I was recently invited for the launch of Big Brunch in Mt Kenya region by Eat Out Kenya in partnership with White Cup Lager, a beer brewed by Kenya Breweries. We left Nairobi for Nanyuki late in the afternoon.

I like surprises and this trip felt a lot like good vibes. I like to travel light, so when I saw some people with heavy luggage, I kind of panicked. Had I underestimated the trip?

Four hours on the road can be tiring, but thank God for good neighbours. I was fortunate to sit next to two interesting people; one who loves his beer and another who likes to share sentiments when it comes to food, love and life. Meaning my entertainment was sorted, making the ride feel a bit shorter.

We arrived in Nanyuki as a thick darkness enveloped the town. We checked into the Maiyan Hotel, took time to freshen up then drove to Soames Hotel for a barbecue and chilling session.

That’s when I realised what the heavy luggage was about— I had underestimated the weather. This place is so cold!  Luckily, the organising team had provided us with bags packed with Maasai shukas.

Airborne

I love the way people bond over alcohol, in this case, beer to be specific. There is always a strong sense of freedom; you suddenly unmask your shy self and dive into conversations.

So the night was filled with meaningful, non-meaningful, funny, humorous conversations around the bonfire until it was time (or we got sufficiently tipsy) to go back to our respective rooms for the night.  It was just a 30-minutes drive to Maiyan and off we went.

I’m not a morning person. So catching the morning sunrise around Mt Kenya will for me remain a tale. But I must say I caught a bit of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) after seeing some pictures of the caps of Mt Kenya.

So we had quick morning preparations before heading to the airstrip ready to explore Mt Kenya. We had many creatives in this trip and the cold Nanyuki air was already pregnant with expectations. The photographers were to ride on helicopters while the rest of us taxied away in small planes.

It is safe to say that I don’t need full gear and camp for days just to see the White Cap, because that ride was enough experience for me. Captain Easton from Tropic Air Kenya was our captain for the day and he made sure he gave us meaningful talks through the whole ride. 

It gets cold as you get closer to the ‘cap’- the peaks of Mt Kenya. It was great timing because the morning was not too cloudy so we could see it all. Ever heard of Discovery Channel?

We caught glimpses of the Top Four glacier lakes on the northeast of the mountain, namely lakes Alice, Rutundu, Ellis and Michaelson. It was a blissful venture, I thought to myself.

Seated right next to me on the charter plane was yet another interesting character, who got a bit shaky on our return trip. The turbulence was too much for her. “It’s scary,” she said, clutching to the sides of her seat.

Captain Easton used a different route this time, so we got to see proper forest vegetation around the mountain instead of steep cliffs.  The difference between the mountain climber and I is that they use a lot of energy and time; they are the biggest winners I might say.

But in my selfish defence, I felt the flight was just enough adventure for me. And before you shut eye, please remember I’m not into the bush and its cousins, but I like such wild experiences.

Eating festival

After the 20 to 30 minute ride (I really was timing it, blame it on my fascination), we landed back at Nanyuki airstrip then headed to Soames for brunch. I would like to compare the menu to high tea. 

Not necessarily a dainty meal of tea, scones, finger sandwiches and sweets, but finger foods such as sliders, salads, beef cuts and the likes. As cool music playing in the background, tension from the helicopter and small plane ride eased away and the afternoon eased quickly away.   

And so we launched the Big Brunch in Nanyuki town. The eating festival will now be extended to over 30 participating restaurants, cafes and hotels on the weekend of November 24-25 in Nairobi.

Participating restaurants will offer brunch lovers complimentary White Cap Lager, enticing brunch menus and beer bucket offers throughout the weekend. So, be ready to attend a branch near you.

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