- Hot showers: 0.5 (out of a possible
View (exterior): v. good
View (interior): v. bad
Up before dawn for a six hour drive to Nakuru, back in the center of Kenya. We arrive in time for lunch, a regretable coincidence. This lodge is the least elegant we have seen or stayed in. The room is decorated in early Motel 6, complete with unbelievably bad art. Seriously, this art could be used as part of a KGB torture session. (Perhaps the local vocational school had some black funding in the bad days of the Cold War?) The site is lovely, though, as we are back in the Rift Valley with its consistently stunning views. The experience of climbing and descending the rift walls is always both stimulating and a bit terrifying given the lack of road maintenance and width.
The afternoon game drive was a bit slow, although a mother/child pair of rhinos livened up the day a bit. We learned why we have chosen not to stay in lodges. The hotel minivans followed the same track through the park, rather like the ride at Animal Kingdom, always well in sight of each other. The sense of scale is lacking. We stop at the lake edge to admire the enormous flock of flamingos. An endless field of pink dots stretch over the lake, with the rift wall green and sheer behind them. The magnificence of the scene is only slightly marred by the aromatic buffalo carcass in the foreground. The minivans are unmoved, and I begin to feel for the underappreciated flamingo.
The evening showering experience presents a heretofore unseen challenge. Admittedly, each plumbing experience has had its own unique character. Arusha had no hot water, Manyara had hot water only after some repairs. Sweetwaters had hot water, but the showerhead was mounted such that the optimal place to stand was outside the actual shower, which would no doubt have made the giraffes even more interested in the process. Mt. Kenya had a tendency to shower the entire room, just in case you weren't a traditionalist and wanted to shower in the bedroom. That or perhaps had an entire tour group in urgent need of cleanliness before dressing for dinner. This one had no shower curtain and another strangely mounted showerhead, which created a slight flooding problem. The water pipes also seemed only able to work in series rather than in parallel. The resulting physical comedy brings to mind Mr. Bean or an unexpurgated Candid Camera. In all, the bucket/gallows contraption in camp seems to be the most efficient.
In the morning, the hotel staff presents us with an evaluation form. Given the awful food, the inexplicable shower design, and the art that defied the Geneva Convention, we had rather a bonding experience filling it out. Parting is welcome, in spite of the long day of driving ahead. Too many days of driving, but we are crossing the country at 50 kph, so I suppose it is inevitable.