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Naivasha is always a good idea…

A weekend getaway after a hectic work week to Naivasha has been one of the most popular plans amongst young travelers from Nairobi and  other towns in Kenya.

For a long time, I kept resisting the Naivasha bug, but the defiance did not last long. I have since visited Naivasha more than ten times in less than two years. Everytime I get there, I discover new stuff that I never knew existed.

In one of my visits, I had the pleasure of joining Orange Adventures for an organized trip. This was the first time I went to Naivasha with a tour company.All my other instances have been on solo trips or with a few friends and yours truly got to plan the logistics.

I was flattered by the idea of sitting pretty and having everything organized.

There were a few delays that morning as we waited for every one to get to the meeting point and when everyone else got there and we were ready to leave, there was a bit of drama with Kenya police as one of the organizers was charged for double parking you don’t want to hear the end of it. Despite the bumpy start, my spirits were not dampened.

As a solo traveler, trying out group travel with new people can be a bit of a challenge especially if the other guys know each other. Not to mention when everyone else is a couple!(Well I am exaggerating for effect) Can you imagine it was a Valentines getaway?I was totally unaware… Exit Bonita on Safari,enter Bonita the third wheeler… I wanted to turn back at this point but well, it was a bit too late.

We got to Naivasha slighlty after an hour and a half, made a quick stop at Buffalo mall then headed straight to Crater Lake Game Sanctuary, where we were to go for a two hour hike round the crater, have lunch while at it,then head back to Cray Fish Camp where we were to spend the night.

Surprisingly enough, the group wasn’t as cold as I thought it would be.

I had underestimated the hike but it got me breaking a bit of sweat.

Crater lake is a green volcanic lake at the bottom of an old volcanic crater inside the game sanctuary. Occassionally, a flamboyance of flamingoes can be seen on the shallow ends of the lake, stubborn monkeys, warthogs , zebras and graceful giraffes on the other bushy sides.

The two hour hike was so picturesque, it felt like walking in a virtual world, floating in the clouds above and having an aerial view of the Lake.

 

We stopped to have lunch at one of the highest point of the crater where one is able to see Lake Naivasha and Lake Oloiden. Geographical history has it that all the three lakes was one big lake before a volcanic eruption that ended up splitting them.

 

The route back to the reception was through Crater Lake Lodge, a cosy,lake-facing, romantic getaway that immediately debunks a not so promising picture originally painted by a floating restaurant that looked like it could use a make over and an underwhelming small swimming pool at a corner.

When I checked out the tented camps… I was pleasantly surprised.

 

From Crater Lake lodge, we went straight to Crayfish Camp.

I had never camped at Crayfish until that day. It was all fun and games until it dawned to me that I was going to spend a long night inside a tent in the cold Naivasha night. I showered, overdressed and immediately after the early dinner, I decided to sleep early to keep my space warm.However that was a mission in futility. I woke up at 10:00pm to warm myself in the bonfire because the shivering! I felt my intestines shrink and my organs quivering.

One by one, everyone else went to sleep and I was left there seriously trying to keep myself warm. The sky was clear and the moon shone so bright. An occasional puffing of the hippos from Lake Naivasha that was a stone throw away to the rustling of dry leaves as the night guard did his routine security checks kept me awake. I repeat, I don’t like camping.

A few minutes to 5:00am, I left the fire place and went to sleep inside the van. The warmth in the car was the best thing that happened to me that weekend. Smokeless warmth.

I thought I’d wake up early that morning to catch sunrise but well, lets just say I was so fatigued.

Day 2.

The next morning was so bright and sunny. Everyone else was up, half of the guys had gone to swim, some of them were having breakfast, other were folding up their tents, and a general good vibe in the air could be felt. I walked down the lake hoping to see a few hippos but I captured more than I bargained for!

I guess Naivasha’s never ending to-do list ranks it highly compared to other touristy destinations in the country.

We wound up the trip on that Lazy Sunday afternoon…

NB: Please share with me your camping hacks! I want to be a cool kid too.

 

 

 

 

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Meet Rebecca Amo,the unapologetic globe trotter!

Who is Rebecca Amo?

Amo is a free spirited chic, easy going with lots of energy, selectively bubbly and on the lookout for intriguing adventures. I am super athletic and easy going when in the right mood ~extrovert. I also have this introverted side to balance the equation; That is get immersed in soul food books, solo back packing travels around the world, meditate and soul search in the mix of it all.

Ubud,Monkey Forest in Indonesia.

What inspires you to travel?

My forever young spirit and attitude,history,a yearn to learn new cultures,desire to try different foods, explore villages, meet different people,discover myself and most recently, books!Last but not least, the satisfaction I draw from putting Kenya in the map! Am that patriotic! I enjoy explaining where in Africa Kenya is and yeah, we girls travel solo too!

Egypt.
Jakarta.

Has travel changed your life?

So much! Travel has uncovered in me resilience, risk taking, spot on financial management, patriotism, love, peace, gratitude and awakened my consciousness on living in the now-present moment (Most difficult thing we suffer as humans),can’t leave out the love for soul food books.

Yoga retreat,Bali.

How many countries have you been to?

30 Countries so far adding 4 more this year!

India

What is your scariest travel experience?

Crossing Okavongo delta on a dilapidated ferry that looked like open rafters / dhows used by traders on the Indian ocean in ancient times,with the knowledge that if the caricature of this transport medium gave in, nothing and nobody would survived! Keep in mind, I am not a great swimmer.

What is the most underrated travel destination in your opinion?

In Kenya? Takaungu

Elsewhere? India, especially by Kenyans.

What is the riskiest thing you’ve tried during travel

Shared a room with a stranger (A man) in a dingy hotel at the Zambia border while back packing to South Africa, my first amateur excursion as a solo traveler! This was after I offered my room to a gentleman who was in the same bus,enroute to Zimbabwe, also stranded but couldn’t share a room with another guy! I was so naive! This stranger tormented me with sexual advances that I had to sit up all night watching football.Looking back? This guy could have actually raped me.For some reason, I was soo composed and stuck to my gun and fought back. Crazy! I can’t do it ever in my right mind…

How do you afford travel?

I literally save up for my travels.I work for my travels amongst other priorities…I also have a great network of friends around the world who help in playing host in some of the destinations I have been and will be in future.

Dubai.

What are some of the disadvantages of traveling the world as a Kenyan?

Mmmmh, generally, destinations that need visas can really make it hell because you need good financial proof to obtain a tourist visa, if you do get one, it does not guarantee entry to the destination country.The immigration of the destined country has a right to deny you entry.The other thing is,if you are female, there are some assumptions on why you are traveling alone that can be annoying if not condescending. Being black puts you on drug trafficking scrutiny among other annoying checks that you might just miss a connecting flight if scheduled for one and lastly, the assumption that I am Nigerian?While my passport reads Kenyan?….doesn’t go well with me!

Strangest food you’ve eaten abroad?

Snail and raw meat.

Bush or beach?

Bush!Now that I leave by the beach…..everyone needs a beach front address!

Best book or movie you’ve read about travel?

Motor cycle diaries .

Warmest country you’ve ever visited?

Indonesia.

Angor Wak,Cambodia.

What sacrifices have you made in order to travel?

I don’t have assets like land as most of my peers, at present, I don’t want anything that ties me down physically, I can pack up any time.I believe there is time for everything.Now, travel takes precedence.

What are your future travel plans?

Well, I have split my travels in the 4 quarters of the year and as per my leave days.

For 2017, I plan to go to;

1.Europe- France and UK in May/June for pleasure and watch sevens rugby team in the mix.

2.Pilgrimage-Jordan &Israel in October, this is a treat for me and my mum.

3.Festive season end year-Australia in December, time to make merry right?

I just started working on Jordan & Israel itinerary this month…..it is a challenge to get a Jordan visa while in Kenya.

2018;

1. Tembea Kenya- Lake Turkana

2. Paragliding in Switzerland

3. Explore Barcelona ,Madrid & Party in Ibiza-Spain

4. Explore Morocco and attend Africa largest salsa dancing congress

5. Machu Picchu trek in Peru.

Best items you have checked off your bucket list?

Hahahaha…….

1.Egypt pyramids.

2.Cruise on River Nile.

3.Snorkeling in the Red Sea.

4.Axum and Lalibella BC under ground orthodox churches in Ethiopia.

5.Taj Mahal in India.

6.Auroville in Pondicherry- India.

7.Stayed in an Ashram in Vellur, South India.

8.Climbed and summited Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

9.Ngongoro crater and Lake Manyara in Tanzania.

10.Back packing Road trip from Nairobi to South Africa.

11.Empire State building ,statue of liberty and wall street in New York.

12.Desert safari and desert camping in Dubai.

13.Ferrari world in Abu dhabi.

14.Ango Wak Temple in Cambodia.

15.Full moon party in kho pagan island -Thailand.

16.Floating market in Thailand.

17.Rice fields  and Olowatu Blue point in Indonesia

18.Yoga retreat in Bali

19.Garden by the bay in Singapore.

Tricks and tips for young people who want to travel?

1st. Master your context: This is with regards to your life obligations and what you know is your reality.Be realistic and flow…..Nature will conspire and make your travel dreams achievable.

2nd.  You will never have enough money! So, with the little that you have, move! Start small, domestic tourism,then regional and international travels thereafter. Time is now, remember nothing happens in the future!

3rd. Once you get bit by a travel bug:-Trust me, anything is and will be possible and with the law of attraction, you will surely pull lots of positive vibes to your travel dreams!

 

 

I hope you are fired up to travel as I am!! Rebecca is serious travel goals!

Enjoy till the next post!

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Hotel Review:The Panari Resort Nyahururu

When you mention a daycation,weekend getaway or a holiday in Nyahururu Kenya, the obvious suggestion that usually pops up is ;The panari Resort Nyahururu. I recently returned from a weekend getaway from the resort and have not been able to keep quiet about it. My social media pages have been awash with stories from Panari and I am not about to stop.

The Panari Resort elegantly sits on a twenty acre piece of land against a backdrop of the scenic Thomsons Falls  that waters the surrounding Marmanet Forest as it makes its way effortlessly down stream as Ewaso Ng’iro river.

The Thomsons falls that forms the scenic backdrop of the Panari Resort.
The Thomsons falls that forms the scenic backdrop of the Panari Resort.

Checking In:

There is an aura of class, peace and tranquility as you drive into the resort. The security detail at the entrance gives a clear confirmation of  guaranteed security during the stay.

Entry.
Entry.

On arrival, you are received by the resort’s manager who cordially welcomes you to the establishment as the porter takes care of your luggage that will be taken to your room as soon as you are cleared.

I got there at around lunch time and was directed straight to the restaurant for lunch.

Dining
Dining.

The dining experience was exactly what I imagined and more. The dining room was exquisite with white walls adorned with expensive wall hangings,big windows, sliding doors, black polished tables with cream and dark brown seats that had bits of gold undertones. On one side of the room was an ancient statue made from Plaster of Paris and delicately placed on top of the fireplace.

The tables were set with snow white table cloths, polished silverware that could pass for mirrors and matching table mats. At every corner of the dining room stood attentive waiters and waitresses.

Finally the sumptuous buffet meal was cleverly displayed with the sole intention of spiking one’s appetite. Bliss.

 

Dining table.
Dining table.

 

Interior decor
Interior decor.
Wall Hanging
Wall Hanging.

The Dining Experience.

Chicken and Vegetable soup for the starter.
Chicken and Vegetable soup for the starter.
Red Snapper, Chicken, and carbs for the main dish... Haha I know.. I was hungry stop looking at the size of the portion.
Red Snapper, Chicken, and carbs for the main dish… Haha I know.. I was hungry stop looking at the size of the portion.

When it comes to the dessert, one is definitely spoilt for choice! So much to choose from.

Dessert
Dessert.
Had to settle for something..
Had to settle for something…

Accommodation:

Transport to the room was by these clean,colorful and classy buggy cars. They are available on request. The signage to the different areas  of the resort has been properly done and hence no unnecessary confusion considering the size of the resort and the identical buildings.

colourful buggy cars.
Colorful buggy cars.

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Proper signage.
Proper signage.

A welcome note neatly placed on the hardwood table from the manager of the resort was one of the highlights of my experience.Every guest wants to feel welcomed,taken care of and assured of a comfortable stay…Well done Panari.

panari-0037

As the warmth of the welcome note sipped through my system slowly, something else caught my eye.The room. It had a queen size bed,with white covers and lemon lime pillow sets, a huge floral wall painting with a corresponding colour scheme,an African themed bedside lamp, roof to floor window with drapery curtains that complemented the bed and wall colours. It had a polished wooden floor, furniture made from Mahogany wood (haha I guess) and a beautiful modern fireplace. On top of the table was an electric kettle, bottled water and an assortment of beverages for a quick fix.

The room
The room.
Hardwood Furniture and a fireplace.
Hardwood furniture, polished wooden floor and a warm fireplace.
panari-0047
Thou shall not be thirsty in the hotel room.

 

panari-0191
Modern hair drier.

 

panari-0056
Sliding doors that lead to a panoramic view of the Marmanet forest.
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Details….

I love wall hangings. There were two high quality canvas painting  carefully and thoughtfully placed on the wall facing the sliding door. Products of fine art. Art that takes you back into time.

panari-0039

The room is self contained and  has a modern bathroom that is well stocked with towels and toiletries.

panari-0185
Clean tap and sink.

 

panari-0177
High quality Shampoo and shower gel.
panari-0183
The H tap actually gives instant hot water…no stories…
towels2
Abundant supply of white, fresh fluffy towels.

There was yet another surprise that awaited me when I opened the sliding door that led to the balcony. The panoramic view of Marmanet forest,The gushing water from Thomson’s falls as it furiously made it way down the gorge and the wide angled clear horizon.

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panari-0128

The chirruping of birds and the gentle breeze in the valley added flare to the already perfect picture that nature had painted.

The front porch of the room paved way to the other side of the hotel giving a sense of direction and bearing in case one felt lost.

panari-0132
One view of the resort from the room.

 

panari-0079
Views from the front porch.

Fun things to do:

In case you are wondering what else there is to do in the resort then wonder no more. The resort houses a fully equipped gym, a heated indoor swimming pool that is right opposite a small bar, Eucalyptus Spa and Salon, aerobics and yoga studio. There is a trained instructor on site just in case you need assistance

Swimming Pool
Swimming Pool.
panari-0199
Poolside restaurant.

 

Aerobic Studio
Aerobic Studio.

 

The lemon water at the gym entrance.
The lemon water at the entrance to the gym.

 

Gym
Fully equipped gym.
panari-0213
Eucalyptus Salon.
panari-0219
The Spa.

panari-0218

As you walk away from the utility complex, there is a site to behold. Manicured lawns, no stray grass, an artificial water fall, lovely benches,swinging seats, fresh air and a few ornamental canons.

Manicured lawns.
Manicured lawns.
Swinging seats fro relaxation. Ideal for reading.
Swinging seats for relaxation. Ideal for reading.
Waterfall.
Waterfall.
Do not step on grass :-)
Do not step on grass 🙂
Benches.
Benches,aren’t they cute?
More benches.
Then more benches.
Ornamental canons.
Ornamental canons.
more buggy vans...
More buggy vans…
Kid's play area.
The well equipped kid’s play area.

After a stroll around the resort, I ended my evening at the Silk Oak bar. This is where style meets class. Enough space at the counter, leather lounge seats and a sufficiently stocked bar!

Silk Oak Bar.
Silk Oak Bar.
Hanging wine glasses.
Hanging wine glasses.
Spacious round table and seats.
Spacious round table and seats.
Thirsty merchant making his way to the bar.
Thirsty merchant making his way to the bar.
More space.
More space.

It is true what the say when you are having a great time…Time flies.

It was a memorable stay at Panari Resort Nyahururu and will definitely recommend it to anyone who wants a break from the hustle and bustle of the city.

For more information about the resort, visit their website here.

Or drop them an email on…reservations@panariresort.com

With Love…

Bonnita-sig

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Of Friends,Music,Dance and Swimming at Stanley’s Haven Murang’a


I went to Stanley’s Haven earlier in the year with my production team and it was all shooting and  work.(See the post here).

I promised myself that I would go back there with my friends. They needed to see this little paradise. There was  this particular family house with a capacity of eight and from the onset, I knew this was perfect for  us and just like that …we had a weekend plan!

Checking in:

The family house
The family house, our home for that weekend.
Restaurant and pool
Restaurant and pool.
The house
The house
Veranda
The veranda.

We spent one night at Stanley’s.

Accommodation included:

  • Unlimited access to the swimming pool for residents.
  • A DJ on request(The speakers provided was something else!)
  • Barbeque grill on request too.
  • Full Breakfast the next morning

Here are pictures of our stay.

Friends that eat together stay together.
Friends that eat together stay together,breakfast the morning after.
Breakfast.
Doesn’t Juliet have that colgate smile :-)…
Whatever Sue was saying...
Whatever Sue was saying…
Sly the cool one
Sly the cool one

 

Myra the Diva...
Myra the Diva…
Beryl and Annette ...
Beryl and Annette the cool kids…
Lazy Sunday Afternoon..."beating" stories by the pool.
Lazy Sunday Afternoon…”beating” stories by the pool.
Davy, hard to believe he is hydrophobic! The man who carried the day.
Davy, hard to believe he is hydrophobic! The man who carried the day.
Joe.The Quiet one.
Joe.The Quiet one.
A little dawa goes a long way.
A little dawa goes a long way.
For the first time Chege Voluntarily got into water... Miracles do happen my friends... they do.
For the first time Chege Voluntarily got into water… Miracles do happen my friends… they do.
Getting my tan on. :-)
Getting my tan on. 🙂

Checking out:

Stanley’s was kind enough to let us extend our stay to about 4:30pm. This was possible because we took lunch served from their restaurant and there were no guests checking in that Sunday afternoon.

The girls
The girls.
From us at Bonita on Safari we say asante for your hospitality and we will come back again.
Checking out.

From us at Bonita on Safari we say asante for your hospitality and we will come back again.

Important info:

Cost of Family house: Ksh 20,000.00 a night. This fee includes:bed and breakfast and unlimited access to the swimming pool. It can house eight  people.

A cottage costs Ksh.5000.00 a night.

Double rooms costs Ksh.4000.00 a night.

Meals: You can choose between self catering or order your meals from the restaurant at an extra cost.

*Please note that the prices I have quoted were as per my  the last visit.It is important to call the Hotel and find out whether there are changes before you travel.

Tag your friends along to Stanley’s Haven, you will thank me later.

 

With Love…

Bonnita-logo-revised-350px

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Golini Resort-Diani

Golini Resort-Diani

Diani in south coast Kenya is one of my favorite coastal destinations in East Africa. The long strip of white sandy beaches, clear blue sky, chilled weather, turquoise waters with small patches of sea weed here and there, the sound of sea waves crushing against the shore, not forgetting the humidity that gives a sauna feel makes the haven irresistible.

In Diani, everything is  stylish and elegant. Five star hotels, perfect infrastructure, stylish villas, international cuisines prepared by renowned chefs and world class water sports only to mention a few.

Standing majestically in the midst of all this magic is the chilled Swahili styled Golini Resort comprising of two cottages sitting on a two acre piece of land. The compound boasts of pedicured lawns, trimmed hedges, scented flowers, mature trees and a swimming pool. The resort is nothing short of beautiful.

Checking In:

Just as a home should be,warm clean and welcoming, the resort is all that and more. Graveled driveway, chlorophyllated grass, colourful flowers and an aura of comfort and calm.

The cottage.

compound2

The general plan has the master en suite, living room, well fitted kitchen, and a guest washroom  on the ground floor.

Master bedroom
Master bedroom.

 

 

kitchen 3
The Kitchen.

A personal chef is available on request. This makes for a perfect opportunity to sample coastal dishes and to maximize on that vacation feel when away from home.

 

sitting area
Living room.

Located between the Master bedroom and the living room is a stylish spiral staircase that leads to the other rooms upstairs.

Spiral staircase
Spiral staircase.

The rooms upstairs are nothing short of amazing, discreet and spacious. The snow white walls, huge bathroom and walk-in closet, large windows and a panoramic view of the compound  make the rooms upstairs standout.  This kind of set up is ideal for families with kids or  a small group of friends touring South Coast.

Bedroom one with two single beds.
Bedroom one with two single beds.

The other bedroom that has a single bed.

Upper bedrooms
Bedroom two with one single bed.

Bathroom and Closet…

bathroom 2
Bathroom with an excellent view of the compound and pool.

 

Clean tiles...
Clean tiled floors…

The other fabulous feature of this house that is impossible to ignore are the windows. Wide louvered windows  run from wall to wall ensuring natural light and fresh air in the house effortlessly.

Large windows
Large windows..

The front porch of the house opens up to a beautiful garden of flowers, trees and a pavement that leads to the swimming pool. Hanging delicately from the ceiling in the veranda is a unique hand crafted African lampshades that emphasizes the existing  sense of panache.

beauty
Front porch.

 

compound
Barbecue grill in the garden

 

butterfly
Colourful butterfly in the garden.

 

Peace and tranquility
Of shade and shadows.

 

The best part of Golini Resort is the fact that it located exactly two minutes from the sea front of Galu beach.What more could one be looking for in a coastal  holiday destination?

Diani
Galu Beach!

Golini Resort is available for both long and short stays. The property is also on sale.(If interested drop me an email at bonnita@aluochbonnita.com for more details ).

General info:

  • Golini Resort is approximately thirty kilometers from Mombasa island via Likoni Ferry.
  • It is adjacent to Ukunda town.
  • A small airstrip called Ukunda Airport connects travelers and tourist to Mombasa, JKIA-Nairobi and Wilson airport(Nairobi). The drive from the airport to Golini Resort is approximately twenty minutes.

Places to See:

Things to do:

  • Enjoy a fresh platter of seafood at Mvureni Fisherman restaurant right at the beach front of Galu Kinondo beach.
  • Go for a dhow safari, snorkel and  scuba dive. This can be arranged by operators who are easily available at the beach.
  • Kite surf, Windsurf, SUP, kayak and try many other water sports  at H2O extreme, Kenya’s biggest water sports center.
  • Go for sky diving at Skydive Diani. Best way to overcome acrophobia.

Recommendation: Pack your bags already!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Meet Laura Lazzarino,The Argentinian Globe Trotter.

During my recent trip to the coast for my birthday, I had a unique opportunity to meet Laura. How we started off was simple, we were cooking up a storm with our new friends J and Ferdinand. Ferdinand was so curious about the octopus meal that everyone was so excited about. Ugali was also in the menu.Across the swimming pool at Distant Relatives rumours quickly spread that we were preparing octopus meal and ugali. Soon after our guest list swelled. Part of the guests was one Laura. As we got to know each other and shared our travel experiences, one of my friends called out my name to ask what amount of water was enough for our Ugali…Quickly Laura picked the name and asked with a lot of excitation, “Is this Bonita? Bonita on Safari?” She went ahead to say how she found the blog useful especially a blog post I wrote about Kilifi and Distant Relatives, as they say, the rest is history…

We caught up again during her stop over in Nairobi with her boyfriend Juan as they headed to Nyahururu and here is how our interview went  as she got to tell me more about herself and her travel experiences across the globe.

Me: Who is Laura?

Laura Lazzarino (31) is an Argentinian travel writer and the free spirit behind www.losviajesdenena.com; a personal travel blog which has been active online since the year 2008. My adventures across 50 countries has inspired a new generation of independent travelers. I am also  a National Geographic Viajes Magazine contributor and author of two travel books, including the best-selling Caminos Invisibles. Right now I am crossing Africa overland, from Cairo to Cape Town, looking for new stories to be featured in my next book.

Is this your first time in Kenya?

Yes!

Me:How does Kenya compare to your country? What are some of the similarities, and obvious differences?

L:Well…some landscapes remind me a lot of Argentina, but only for a moment. When a colorful bird or a giraffe appears in the picture, then I know I’m not home! Nature is overwhelming here, people and their traditions are different too. But I think we have something in common; we are friendly and we love visitors.

Me:How do you decide on the places you visit when you go to foreign countries?

L:We read a lot. We investigate, surf the web for hidden spots, plan an itinerary. But we are flexible too and always open to last-minute changes, or recommendations on the spot.

Me:How many countries have you visited so far?

L:Fifty, including Antarctica.

Me:How long have you been travelling for?

L:I started travelling eight years ago, but it was not full time. In 2010, I decided to make my passion my lifestyle. I’ve been traveling and writing ever since.

Me:How do you afford your travels?

L:Mostly, by selling my books online. In 2013, I self-published “Caminos Invisibles” a book about our 36,000Km  hitch-hiking trip through South America. After that, I published a Hitch-Hiking Guide to a Spanish publishing house and other projects. Also through collaborations with travel magazines like Revista Viajes de National Geographic.

Me:What inspires your travels?

L:Cultural differences,their challenges and new scenarios, I like how every travel changes me and the lessons I pick on the road.

Me:Did you plan to travel the world and write about it or it just happened by chance?

L:I never really planned it, but I would be lying if I  said I have never dreamt about it. I just did not think it was possible, at least for me…a simple girl from the countryside, with no contacts, no influences and no experience. It was not easy at first. I had to knock on so many doors, to learn a lot and work for free. But it was totally worthy it! I would have missed a lot if I never gave it (and myself) a chance!

Me:What are some of the highlights in your travels?

L:Before visiting Africa, sailing to Antarctica was one of the most intense experiences I have ever had. Now I have to say that watching free wildlife in Kenya and Tanzania is also something I will never forget. Hitchhiking in Iceland, getting lost in small Colombian villages in the Coffee Axis and looking for my great grandfather’s town in southern Italy would complete the list.

Me:Do you have any life lessons picked along the way?

L:One of the first times I hitch-hiked in Argentina, I met a truck driver who, after carefully listening to my story (I had just given up my job to start traveling and was so full of doubts) told me: “Never regret what you have chosen for your life”.

Me:Do you ever get homesick?

L:Who doesn’t? But tech has shortened distances, right?

Me:What is the longest you have stayed without going home to your family?

L:Fifteen (15) months. It was too much. Not only because of my family, but also for myself. I learnt that after one year of traveling, I lose interest. I get tired and I get to appreciate more a good kitchen and a hot home shower than a new adventure, landscape or story. This is when I go home to get the travel excitement back.

Me:Have you ever been in a situation abroad when you feel like your life is in danger? If yes, how did you overcome?

L:Not really, but I got robbed in Venezuela and was harassed in Egypt. It was not nice, of course, but I always keep in mind that those are random situations which can  even occur back home and that if I leave, then I will always have a bitter memory that might be unfair judgement to the people of that country. So I taught myself to get over it by taking time off,chilling out, not thinking about it and then go for that adventure again.

Me:What are some of the challenges you’ve gone through as a foreigner abroad?

L:I think that interacting with cultures where women take up most responsibilities in the society is always a shock. I can’t help but wonder why I, on the other side have so many opportunities and choices yet they don’t…if we were to be the same.The other Challenge is learning how not to judge,especially when you are confident with your principles.However, I think it is good practice.What we consider “normal” is just a convention. I have learnt to appreciate what I have more and also to question some statements that I have always considered to be true.

Me:What is in your bucket list?

L:I have a bucket list of over 50 items! Just to name some: Fly in a hot air balloon, participate in a flash move dance, camp in Lake Turkana, visit Christmas Island and  live in Colombia for a season.

Me:What are some of the things you’ve checked out of your bucket list?

L:Cutting my hair drastically (I even wrote a post about it, it was so empowering) and paragliding (so exciting)!

Me:Do you miss normal life?

L:Not at all. This is the best I could do with my life, the best decision I have ever made. I don’t regret it, not even in the bad moments of traveling, not even for a single minute.

Me:Airbnb or couch surfing?

L:Both. I like balance. Please add  camping to the list too!

Me:How do you balance life and travel?

Laura!

L:Traveling is my life…

Open post

Olkaria Geothermal Spa-Naivasha

Location: Floor of the Great Rift Valley inside Hells gate National Park.

Distance from Nairobi: About one and a half hours drive from Nairobi.(Approximately 120Km)

Accomodation: No

Restaurant: Yes

Public transport:No

Tour guide: Necessary for first timers.

Main attraction: The natural hot water spa.

Other attractions/Activities: Game viewing, camping,bird watching,sight seeing, cycling,hiking and rock climbing.

Charges: There are two charges:One is for accessing the National park as follows: Citizens;Ksh 350 for adults and Ksh250 children,Residents Ksh 700 adults and Ksh350 for children,USD 30 for adults and USD 20 for non residents.The other charge is for accessing the swimming pool area. Which is about Ksh 400.00*( please confirm with them on this).

Olkaria geothermal hot spa is a unique destination for a days trip to Hells Gate National Park or Naivasha.The facility is owned by Kenya Electricity Generating Company and is located inside the Hells gate National Park.

It is called a geothermal hot spa because of the hot water(hot steam that cools in the collecting pipes) that is collected from the various wells within the plant and emptied into the pool.The temperature of the main pool ranges between 30-40 degrees centigrade.

There is an apparent smell hydrogen sulphide gas(the smell from rotten eggs) in the pool area mainly assosiated with sulphide gas emitted during the drilling process that combines the hydrogen in the atmosphere . This however should not be  a deal breaker (hahaha because fresh air is in abundance too!)

The pool.

The hot water spa.
The pool
A closer look …

Other Pools…

Other pools, but of higher temperatures.(Not open for swimming)
Other pools, but of higher temperatures.This is where water collects and cools before it drains in the larger pool.(Not open for swimming).

 

The pool is big enough to accomodate people in their hundreds :-)
The pool is big enough to accomodate people in their hundreds 🙂

 

The restaurant.
The restaurant.

If swimming and water isn’t really your thing then no worries… you might as well take a nap and  enjoy the warm humid air from the hot steam that is vaguely in the atmosphere.

Chill and nap.
Chill and nap.

Recommendation:

The management should have a cleaner on standby or constantly ensure that the changing room and shower’s floor is dried after use to avoid minor accidents caused by slippery/wet floor.

Also, a few minor repairs like fixing the towel holders would be great.

Overall verdict: Nice place to unwind. A must-visit destination when you visit Naivasha town or Hell’s gate National Park.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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