Tuesday, May 15

Hell's Gate

This weekend got off to a quiet start. Saturday I checked out opening night of the European Film Festival at the Alliance Francaise, featuring a pretty crappy Belgian movie, Quand la mer monte (When the tide comes in). This is the kind of film that gives European movies a bad name.

Sunday I ventured out to Hell's Gate, a national park northwest of Nairobi with a couple friends. The weather was a decidedly unhellish gray and foggy. Hell's Gate is smaller than most parks here, but its attraction is that one, it's half the price of other parks and two, they let you walk around or ride bikes, instead of staying in your safari van. We rented some beaten-up mountain bikes and headed in. The map below provides a helpful reference. You can't read it, but under the elephant at the bottom there is a boast that elephants have been seen "at least 3 times in the Hell's Gate area." Wow. Didn't come across the devil either.

Despite the drizzle, the fire rating was extreme.

The bike ride in is fairly pleasant, past your standard herds of zebras and impala/waterbuck/deerish animals. There was also a nice group of ostriches and a couple giraffes. The real attraction is the hike down the gorge, which reminded me a bit of a miniature Death Valley.

Also, though they try, they don't actually make you take a guide on your hike. We declined the official guide, and the guide that tried to latch on to us a few minutes in, though we did pick up a local kid who took us to some hot springs past the edge of the park.


LeiselB said...

Hey I found your blog through Plaintains and Palm Trees blog and this is fantastic! I love the pics with the story...thanks for sharing...

Arthur Delaney said...

So the park is on fire all the time?

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