Hail on the Equator?
I left Aberdeen on a snowy day in February heading for a brief stopover in Amsterdam before the night flight to Nairobi. Despite the hours delay due to snow at Schipol airport and the queue of aircraft at the de-icing area the flight departed to Kenya. The sight of at least 10 large Boeings of different classes being surrounded by steam and deicing machines was bizarre - if you have ever seen the alien machines from War of the Worlds movies then you will understand.
As the Kenyan Airways flight flew over the deserts of Egypt and into Sudan the sky lightened with approaching dawn. It was not too long to reach the airpsace of Kenya and it was then my eyes were opened to the wild beauty of the landscape all the way to Nairobi. The early morning sun put into relief the mountains, the folds of ancient geological movements and some of them looked like huge waves marching in perfect parallel lines across an ocean.
Extinct volcanoes surrounded by minor blowholes viewed from above reminded me of some of the maps of our Moon.
As the plane descended on its approach to Nairobi it flew over Bogoria, Baringo, Nakuru, Naivasha and onward up the Rift Valley. It can only be described as awesome and I have pictures in my head that I will never forget. Recommendations? - Take the night flight to Kenya, window seat on the right hand side starboard.
Jomo Kenyatta International Airport was much the same and I closed down my rush rush mentality and smiled as I stood in line for my entry visa. My fiance was waiting for me through the barriers and my bags appeared within minutes. Now this was a good start to a pefect day!
Courtesy of Bernd and Nancy we stayed again at their luxury apartment just 20minutes from the airport. Website available if you need to look at it. A drive to Nakuru via Delamere to pick up vegetables and back home again. The landscape from ground level is awesome and everchanging. Thomsons Gazelles, Zebra and Baboons graze at the side of the road ignoring the constant flow of traffic. Erratic thunderstorms break over the hills and the colours of the landscape change from brown to green to dark threatening blues.
It was in one of these thunderstorms that I sat in the car listening to Yuri Yuri.... Kenyatta Avenue, Nakuru.
As cars floated past me with no drivers, caught in the flash floods crossing the main street I heard a drumming sound on the roof of the car. HAILSTONES!....PEA SIZED.....WHITE AND HARD.....I had to smile as I had just left Scotland in winters grip and here I was in Kenya suffering much the same.
Who is going to believe me???