LEMON VALLEY

Nothing like a nice long road trip, nothing like the calmness it brings to you. The air gets cooler and
fresher with each passing breath. The views and calmness naturally engrave in your mind like a soft
warm memory. It’s always something to look back to, to trace back to the way it made you feel. It must
have been the smooth rumbles of the van engine or the trees whizzing by but it slowly drifted me to my
own oblivion wishing each day could be just like this one.
On this most auspicious of days, we decided to head to Elmenteita. Like in true Kenyan fashion we had
to make quick stops in the course of our journey. We stopped for brunch and to take in the terrain from
the viewpoint until we finally made it to Kariandusi pre-historic site. The pre-historic site was discovered
by Archeologist Leaky who uncovered a camping site that was used by early man. He discovered that the
camping site held a vast arrangement of handheld tools that they used in their everyday lives. It was
noted that no bones were discovered as the Homo erectus threw away their dead to rot or to be eaten
away by other animals. Well, that sorts out the funeral costs doesn’t it.

 

The guide further explained how our early selves used these handheld tools to crush, cut and skin the
animals. This led him to show us one of the rocks that he called obsidian rock that was used to scrap and
skin. But we all know its dragon glass, he is just trying to be modest. We spent a reasonable time with
our ancestors and made it back to the van where we drove off to Lemon Valley. We played games in the
van, shouting and laughing our heads off as if we had receded as ten-year-old versions of ourselves. We
did know how to have fun; we might have just pioneered the name.
I believe there are no photos that do justice to the breathtaking scenery that is Lemon Valley. With
every turn and every gaze, you were met with tantalizing views. Be it the makeshift pirate ship, the
teacups made of tires or the tiny windmills on the side of the restaurant, it was like being in a real-life
fairytale. The owner, undoubtedly, had a sense of humor as the gardens had boards painted with puns
that were most definitely intended.
In particular, I was drawn to one of the boards next to the stables, God knows we all need one. We
made our way up the stairs but not without making a few stops just to get that picture perfect photo for
Instagram. It was a true sight and the warm rays of the sun ensured we didn’t miss the little specs that it
held. We all gathered at the restaurant and like kids in a candy store, our eyes were wide open with
excitement, jumping from one corner of the restaurant to the other, admiring the chalet. Everything
seemed to have its own story; the devil was definitely in the details. Every seat was inviting, coaxing you
to cozy up between the pillows and just throw your legs up and take a breather.

 

We had a scheduled guided valley tour with Mike, our lovely guide, who didn’t bat an eye to our wails as
we climbed the hill and navigated our way to the top. That view, that view from the top was totally
worth the hike. The topography seemed to roll into one green lush after the other as the lake reflected
back the sun rays drawing attention to itself.

 

We joined the rest, who chose to swim than to hike, at the restaurant for lunch after we descended
from the hill. As we made our meal orders we got into a really heated bean bag competition. It was the
men versus the ladies and it was brutal. Every man or lady for themselves and God for us all! We fought
and clawed and after all the fun and games, it was a landslide win for the ladies. Obviously.
Our meals were served hot and steamy and we all sat down for a delectable meal. I had my roast
chicken and baked potatoes overlooking the lake while the rest had mutton and ugali or rice served with
lamb. It was like eating on the clouds with a bonus view of the lake and that pleasant tinkling of the
wind chimes which dangled right above the telescope. You know that little dance you make after each
bite of tasty food. I think I did a whole number.
The staff that waited on us decided to turn up the stereo and boy did we dance. Most of us almost broke
our backs from trying to mimic the latest dance moves that the current generation sput out. We made
merry and no one wanted to leave. After several failed attempts to make us leave we complied and
went back to the vans reminiscing on such a great day that we had.

 

 

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Mutindi Mwanzia

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