Never give up, and be confident in what you do. There may be tough times, but the difficulties which you face will make you more determined to achieve your objectives and to win against all the odds. – Marta
Those were words that used to ring in my mind when I used to go for my morning run, or when doing laps in training (when I used to play that lovely game), but not today. Half past one, with 7 hills to concur, with a group of ‘picnic enthusiasts’ I had misled into hiking, wasn’t an ideal situation. It was already a long afternoon. “Can we just sit here, take selfies and then go back?” – not sure whose words, but Pauline, Yvonne or Linda wouldn’t be a farfetched guess.
The first hill was simple, short gradient ascent and a long gradient slope. That was done with smiles still on our faces and the cameras clicking. The stories and laughter still very loud. Frank still had his stale (we still laughed) jokes. That was needed though, the next hills weren’t as forgiving. The second hill prepared us for what was the hardest climb you will ever experience (not unless you are a serious hiker). Steep, slippery, long…full of gulleys. The climb to the top of the third hill was tough, a mis-step and you are tumbling down the slope. Richard made use of that Primary school knowledge we all think is absolute and useless, walk in zigzag while going up a hill. I’m not really sure if it helped, but that was what we needed for our psychological strength.
The view was spectacular, but our bodies were having none of that. The memories of Elephant Hill(Aberdares) Hike http://wp.me/p5k7fe-1J flooded back to my mind. That ascent to the top of hill 3 drained us, we had to rest. Oh, and take in the awesome view. It made us forget the pain we just underwent, for those few minutes we rested (half an hour). Talk of ‘Sweet Pain’.
We could see Nairobi from our location. Rongai too, and Kiserian. Marvin even saw home, in Syokimau (this was a sign of the brain lacking oxygen I think). It was wonderful, you only see this in photos done by those #IgKenya guys on instagram. The thirty minute break was over in no time. Took us, ‘us’ to refer to nani and nani, almost 20 minutes to get up. The Red bull cans we carried was almost done, the water was what remained. We bought waffles from the local kids who tirelessly had been walking with us since we started our hike. I had missed those things. Those boys though, nice strategy…they knew we would get hungry.
It was now mind vs body type of struggle, the mind wanted but the body was giving in. Those who had made bets about getting to the last hill were not sounding as hopeful. Frank had been so hopeful to reach the last hill, now was just a shadow of himself. The many stories and jokes had dried up.
We basically went up the last two hills quiet and in a long file. Linda was already up the fifth hill while Marvin was still doing the fourth. The hike was taking a toll on us. We decided a rest on the fifth would be a good idea, and consequently that was decided to be the end of our hike. The guys who had gone further and were coming back did not helping the situation of trying to convince the tired feet and mind that it was doable. The comments made as they walked past were not encouraging at all, “Wueh! Sirudi huku tena”*, remarked one lady. That was it, no way could you convince guys to go on.
We rested for probably an hour or more, watching as the rain pondered on the homesteads below us. It was so spectacular to watch the aerial view of the rain. You could see the patches of sunshine and where it was raining, so awesome. Soon it was time to go back, not because we wanted to, but because it looked like it was going to rain heavy. That wasn’t as bad as we had expected, but not easy all the same. We still had to go up and down the five hills we did.
So it wasn’t so bad after all, we all completed the challenge. A DAY WORTH IT!
|Distance from Nairobi||About 22km. Use Ngong Road to Ngong Town|
|Starting Point||Ngong Police Station or Ngong Hills Gate|
|Ending point||Kona Baridi(Complete hike, but not safe), Ngong Police Station or Ngong Hills Gate|
|Walking Duration||4 – 5 hours|
|Terrain||Initially a dirt road till the radio masts, then trails over the rolling hills for the rest of the way.|
|Difficulty||Moderate. Can get very windy.|