There are many versions of hell in Africa: being stuck on a 5 hour bus ride sitting on a milk crate jammed into an narrow aisle of a northbound bus, wedged between large Kenyans (and their children, goats and chickens) while enjoying the smell of the stifling heat and absorbing the terrible fate of the Kenyan roads directly in my lumbar region. Or: being stuffed into a 11-person matutu (Peugot mini-van-shared-taxi) along with twenty-two (count 'em) other passengers, resulting in my buttocks being time-shared between two lucky African men; meanwhile my destination is not quite reached due to the less-than-honest salesmanship of the matutu driver. (Notice most hell experiences are transportation related).
But that is all part of the adventure, or at least I'm told. The good news is that these arduous journeys are rewarded by some pretty spectacular scenery, and after one hellish journey I reached Hell's Gate. A red rock landscape appearing mysteriously out of the African savannah which houses an incredible gorge. After a 10 mile, sweaty, dusty bike ride (on a pretty nice rented mountain bike) I reached the gorge and managed to crawl around and find my way through while following the coattails of other guided tourists as we passed through some beautiful rock formations which oozed hot sulphiric water.
So I snapped these photos. And I snapped a few more of my journey up and down the coast which I will post soon (Lamu-Malindi-Diani Beach) before I head off to the next continent.
I just spoke to David Kapla who is arriving in Nairobi from Old Fangak ASAP due to a nasty infection he got in his leg. He's loading up on Levaquin, so it looks like he will be alright, but it looks like I will miss him before I fly out. I'm curious to hear the progress in the village, but it will have to wait. We will all carefully watch the results of the Referendum on January 9th, and I'm keeping the option open of coming back soon if it all goes peacefully.
In the meantime, I'm gonna get the hell out of here for a while.