Posts Tagged ‘Mt. Longonot National Park’


Heather: Mt. Longonot National Park

February 14, 2010

On Friday we only had 2 classes, and we got out really early from the second one, so we the four of us went to Uchumi to get a few more groceries and some lunch before we started the trip to Mt. Longonot. We headed out and waited for a bus to take us into town to get on a matatu to take us to Longonot. Our friend Ruehl, who helped us last weekend with Hell’s Gate must have seen us waiting by the bus stop and he came over and took us to a different bus stop. We finally got on a bus. The bus conductor guy tried to charge me for 2 seats because I had my big packing bag on the seat next to me, but Ruehl argued with him. The conductor called Ruehl a traitor for helping us.

So we finally made it downtown, and thank god Ruehl was with us because I would have had no idea where we were going! And I didn’t know where we had to buy the matatu tickets either. But we got it all figured out and we got on a matatu that was going to Naivasha. Ruehl talked to the driver and told him that we needed to get dropped off at Mt. Longonot because that’s not a normal stop. It’s so nice to have Kenyan friends who can figure everything out!

The drive up to Longonot wasn’t too bad, just kind of hot. We literally got dropped off on the side of the road, it was crazy! We had to walk 2.5 miles to get to the park entrance. Luckily, some park rangers pulled up and gave us a ride. We rode in the back of those green army truck things! The people at Longonot were much nicer than the people at Hell’s Gate. We got in for Ksh650, the same as Hell’s Gate. We walked a little ways to the campsite and started to set up.

We just hung around for most of the night, made a fire and had some dinner. We went to bed fairly early. The next morning we were all up about 6:30-7ish. We weren’t planning on starting to hike until 9-10ish, but we decided to start earlier. The rangers said it would take 6 hours to do: one hour up the mountain, 4 hours around the crater, and one hour back down. We left at 8:30. The hike up was insane. It wasn’t hard because it was a rough climb, but it was hard because it was so difficult to breathe! We had to stop every couple of minutes. When we finally got to the top, the view was amazing!! There were even steam vents from the heat underneath the earth. Some of the rock was still warm if you touched it. This volcano hasn’t erupted in a┬álong time, and I’m not sure when it’s due to again. Oh, if you look at the photo , it actually is a pretty good picture of what it looked like. Except that the rest of the mountain was all green too, not just inside the crater. The bottom right of the mountain you can kind of see the hiking trail up. And then we hiked the whole rim of the crater. The huge steep part on the back side of the crater was a beast. But so worth is when you got to the top. We could see everything..Hell’s Gate, Lake Naivasha, even Mt. Kenya we think. We finished the hike around and started the trek back down. We ended up half running down the mountain because it hurt our knees too much to walk down. We made it down in 25 minutes! We got back to the campsite at 12:30; it took us exactly half the time they told us it would, and we weren’t even going that fast.

We were so drained after we got back that we ate some lunch and took the sleeping bags out of the tent and layed out in the middle of the campsite and took a nap. It felt so good to just lay down! We then packed up and headed to the main entrance and started the 2.5 mile hike to the road again. No army trucks this time…

We got to the road and Cyrus told us to just wait for a matatu that drove by and flag it down. We must have looked so dumb standing there. We didn’t see any matatus come by, but a bus did that was going to Nairobi. We were only waiting there for like 15 minutes, our lucky day! The bus pulled over and we got on. We had a few weird looks as we were walking to the back of the bus, but mostly everyone was very nice. And it only costed Ksh100, whereas the matatu costed us Ksh170 and we had less room and it was less comfortable!

We got back to Nairobi and were definitely in the ghetto of town! We had to walk a little ways to get on the proper matatus to get home. I had to call Irene to make sure we were going in the right direction, but we found the matatu station and got on the 16, the one that would take us right to Highrise.

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