On the bike trips I’ve done, many of the campsites are called “desert camp” or “bush camp.” Those terms are really euphemisms for “sleep beside a noisy highway with trucks blaring their horns, no running water, no toilets, no lights of any kind…..and some drunk, after too much rum, yelling Captain Morgan! Captain Morgan! in the early hours”. Absolutely no niceties or comforts of any kind. Our tents were tiny, with just enough room to put a bag and sleeping bag in, and scrawny little Thermarest mattresses to sleep on.
In stark contrast, on this trek we glamped. Why has nobody ever told me about this before???
In the mornings, all we had to to was pack our bags, have breakfast, and get ready to walk. Our guides took down the tents, packed everything on the camels, and off we went. Wait…..what?Camels to carry our stuff, instead of having to get up at stupid o’clock, pack in the dark and trying to jam our stuff in lockers or on a truck? What’s not to like?
While we were walking, several guides and camels went on ahead, taking a shorter route so they could set up camp. They did everything – prepared lunch, put the tents up, and made up our beds (with real mattresses, sheets, blankets, and pillows).
As an unexpected bonus we had nearly proper toilets – a tent with a wooden box and toilet seat! No more digging in the ground to bury……..OK that’s way too much information
But the best invention, ever, is a portable shower. It’s a tent, with a canvas bucket filled with water heated by our guides, and all we had to do was turn the handle. The water pressure was beautiful. Bliss after a long day trekking in the heat!
Every morning we had a hot breakfast, usually consisting of eggs, sometimes bacon or sausage, and occasionally even homemade bread. And real coffee, in a real cup, from a press! I was usually the first one up in the morning, and one of my absolute favourite things about the mornings was sipping a hot coffee, in solitude, by a fire, watching the sunrise, listening to the sounds of Kenya as it came to life. It was magical. And then, slowly, the rest of the group came to life, and when breakfast was ready, we sat at a real table, with real cutlery and real crockery!
Dinner was the same, with delicious meals prepared by our Samburu friends, again at a real table, with real utensils, and real crockery. After dinner, we sat around the campfire for a bit, then went to bed. But instead of being kept awake by drunks partying or truck horns blaring, we were lulled to sleep under the stars by the gentle snoring of the camels and the occasional sounds of an animal in the distance.
Glamping – I’m sold!!
Next stop – Iran! I’m not sure when I’ll have internet again, so may not be able to update this for awhile. In the meantime, here are some photos for your viewing pleasure
Here’s what the shower looked like. The bucket inside the tent would be lifted up and it was ready to go
A well deserved snooze after a long day
A member of the First Response Team. The First Response have to act when a poacher is in the area, and they put their lives on the line daily
Campsite. The tripod thingy in front was filled with warm water every morning and evening so we could wash up
Tatian (sp?) points out something in the distance. Tatian was a joy to be around – always smiling, singing or laughing. He had a great sense of humour and was always ready with a prank. Of course we had to prank him back!
Aden doing the jumping dance
Kenya is a paradise for bird-nerds
The camel convoy
Another day in Paradise comes to an end