Friday 12th October
Strange noises in the night kept most of the camp awake throughout. An early morning call at 5:30am identified the source of the disturbances as zebra marauding past the camp or the procession of the campers with dodgy stomachs backwards and forwards to the facilities…or both. Our morning ablutions were viewed over by a small group of giraffe on the outskirts of the camp. Porridge for breakfast soon prepared everyone for the days trekking ahead and a prompt pack away meant we were ready to leave by 7:15am. We made excellent progress in the cool air of the early morning and spied a number of animals on our way including more giraffe, Grant’s gazelle and a multitude of birds. We made regular water stops to ensure there was no repeat of the dehydration problems of the first day and by the time we reached the welcome shade of lunch we had covered 17km and only had 1 or 2 more to go before our vehicle pickup to the next night’s camp.
A wonderful lunch of fresh pasta salads and bread was swiftly consumed and after some altercations from a passing hunter in a 4x4 regarding permits we were on our way again for the final stretch. As we reached the non-descript mark at which we were to join the support vehicles and continue on wheels three of us requested to continue further on foot. After a short discussion it was agreed this would be acceptable and so myself, Amanda and Karen along with Armani our local guide and Philemon our Maasai trekked on whilst the vehicles left us and set off for camp. We covered a good 5km in the space of a further hours walking spotting many more gazelle and buzzards before deciding to jump on the 1 remaining support vehicle and drive the final 12km. We had only gone a short distance when we caught up with the rest of the group who were waiting by the side of the road after word had reached them that camp was not quite ready.
Eventually we were on our way and our disappointment at not being able to walk the complete distance to camp (some 40kms in
the day) was turned to relief as we began a steady but significant climb to our camp high in the hills above the village of Gelai and near the sacred Maasai mountain Ol Doinyo Lengai, an active volcano which had in recent months started spewing ash and smoke again.
Whilst the majority of us soothed our feet in warm water and drunk cold beer we were entertained before dinner by somewhat reluctant Maasai dancers from the local village who put on a half-show of sorts. After dinner we again made use of the camp fire before turning in for a good nights rest before our final day of trekking tomorrow.