I recently vowed not to go on a hike again. I am pretty sure I will renege on my avowal to self soon enough, but for now, my bum is recuperating from all the falls while my clothes are still sordid with mud two washes down the line. But let me start from the beginning. On almost all hikes that I have been to, one can almost draw a happiness graph, where the always unsuspecting me is smiling as the hike starts and almost cry-laughing all caked in mud at the end of it all.
See if you can draw one when you look at the photos. And since I am not one to run away from a challenge, I decided to join Team Hiking Safaris in a hike to Kijabe Hills. In the Whatsapp group, they warned that one should be ready to crawl, walk and slide up and down the mountain. I remember laughing and calling it overly dramatic as I boasted of my cross-fit prowess. That I attended the last class half a year ago is a moot fact.
I remember carrying six pancakes as my snack, then passing by a supermarket last-minute to buy nuts, fruits and yoghurt. I then proceeded to the pick-up point. After prayers, we started off for Mai Mahiu. We stopped at the View Point. I do not know how many times I have stopped here, but I always like looking over the sloping valley and imagining how the people who live there view us tourists, as we pose and take pictures in the fog and buy nothing from the local artisans to boost the local economy.
We then left for Kijabe Hills. Kijabe is one of the oldest towns in the country. It is a mission town, which means alcohol and cigarettes are not sold here. You have to walk to the next town to indulge your vice. The hill is quite some way off. You have to walk through the quaint Kijabe town, where you can purchase sweets or water. From a distance, you can see Elephant Hill, William’s Hill and Margaret Hill. I will tell you about how presumptuous these men who ‘discovered’ our hills and named them after themselves and their leaders are. I have half a mind to go to London and discover River Njeri, but we digress.
As the hike heats up, and after fighting and almost losing to slaps from the bush twigs and underground thicket, you will come across the dark tunnel. It is as described; a short tunnel which people used to cross through with their wares. It opens up to the other side of the hill where the tedious hike starts.
Kijabe is comprised of four hills; Kenton, Kiharu, Reloaded and Governor. This we learnt from one of the people who has had the pleasure of living in the foothills and scaling up and down the hills numerous times. I would like to tell you that we peaked Kijabe Hills, but I do not lie. I managed to be the first one to reach the spot right before the peak – I am very competitive. No sooner had we reached this point than the rain poured down. What followed was sliding, falling and crawling on thorny bushes as we descended the mountain. I cried, called my mother a few times, then vowed not to go on another hike.
I had not carried a change of clothes, so, no taxi back in Nairobi was willing to carry a muddy, wet ball like me. I did eventually get home. I am recovering slowly as I am sure I have lost half my body weight. Maybe when I am less sore I will go for another hike and a good cry down another slidey hill or mountain.