08 December 2019

Feeling restless from all the rain, #1 - Lake Elementaita, enjoying a hike, bird watching, and GeoCaching

Lake Elementaita, viewed from a spot between the lake and the lodge

An old ox-wagon formerly used by Egerton Cole, now preserved at Lake Elementaita Lodge 

Galbraith Lowry Egerton Cole (1881-1929) was a pioneer settler and farmer of the East Africa Protectorate. Cole's widow had this obelisk erected near where his remains were buried, but sadly the marker was stolen many years ago. Part of Cole's Kekopey Ranch at Lake Elementaita has been preserved as the Lake Elementaita Lodge.

Because it had been raining in most of the country for weeks, I had no idea if my trip would succeed. But I was feeling somewhat restless and thought a GeoCache adventure just might do me some good.  

After a quick 'chai na mandazi' (tea and fried bread) at my favorite spot, Noma, I walked to the Nakuru stage. Sure enough it started to rain - - ugh. But I kept my fingers crossed and two hours later, shortly before I reached the stage near Lake Elementaita Lodge, the rain had stopped. Needless to say, I was quite pleased!

When I arrived at the lodge, Zachary volunteered to escort me around the property and even all the way down to the lake. He wasn't familiar with GeoCaching, but caught on quickly. One of the GeoCaches I was looking for was no longer at its hiding place, so we re-hid a new one. We succeeded in finding all four in the area.

After leaving the small forest, we headed down to the lake, where I discovered Zachary is very knowledgeable about birds.
The fascinating hill on the left is called 'The Sleeping Maasai'

Because Zachary is a well-read and knowledgeable bird guide, I really enjoyed our time together. We managed to find a dry spot just near the lake's edge and spotted all ten of these birds, as he told me about their various characteristics:

The Greater and Lesser Flamingo, African Spoonbill, Cattle Egret, Great White Pelican, Great Cormorant, Egyptian Goose, Black-Winged Stilt, Pied Avocet, and Black Smith Plover.

It was quite a climb up from the lake to the higher plain, but Zachary kept a quick pace trying to avoid the nearby rain.

I did my best to keep up with him, and we got back to the lodge just minutes before the rain came!

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