Yesterday, we took a day trip to Lake Magadi, about three hours’ drive down into the Rift Valley.
The lake was a funny one, filled with soda ash with a company town grown around the factories and machinery used to extract it. From high up, it looked like an ocean: shades of blue, gray, green, even pinkish, with white streaked across like cresting waves – but still, like a painting. From closer, you realized that in some parts the water was shallow enough for sandpipers to run across it, and all the colors (even the white) were just mineral deposits. We pressed on until we found ourselves with a flat tire in the middle of a dry lakebed:
After fixing it, we drove 2 more kilometers in pursuit of the “hot springs” only to realize it all looked the same, so we stopped for our picnic (but stayed in the car because there were people around who we didn’t want to eat in front of). But this meant that when my parents went walking out further into the lakebed, all the kids appeared and pressed themselves into my open car door, so I talked to them instead of eating lunch. (“Where are you from? Did you come to bathe? Are there many Maasais in Nairobi?”)
Thankfully, Magadi had a (small) Total station with a “Tyre Mending” (where they didn’t actually mend our tyre) and lots of local color.
On our way home, we stopped at Olorgesailie, a site where a ton of prehistoric handaxes (aka piles of rocks?) and one prehistoric human brow bone have been discovered. So we got a tour of the rocks and elephant bones:
We finally made it home to Nairobi by dinnertime and were rewarded with Java House. Yay!