Travel G-spots

TRAVEL DIARY: Day 8 – Marsabit, Kenya

Slum. That’s all it is.

And I am so depressed being stuck in this hole of a backpacker “hotel” which the guide books had termed “an oasis“.

Oasis my {blip blip blip}!

Well, until and unless you took a short stroll around this border town between Kenya and Ethiopia, to really appreciate the concept of relativity, then … oh gawd Jey Jey Hotel is indeed an oasis.

I have 8 hours to kill before I skip town.

And given that I’ve been in really bad places – all in the name of photo documentary and NGO related pro bono work – when I say “I QUIT”, oh yes, this place is seriously bad.

Yes, 7 days into this trip and I am all but ready to start packing and heading home; even if that meant traveling on various propeller planes landing on suspect landing strips to get me to a decent airport with actual wing-ed metal birds to get me back home.

The AIDS orphanage is 2 days from now + Omo Valley is 5 days away. 

None of these two reasons that brought me all this way to a huge open garbage dump have been accomplished… and I am ready to call it quits.

I simply can’t stomach another bad toilet; drop toilet (with bad aims), squats that are just plain disgusting and the if-you-call-that-a-toilet in the bush camps.

It got so bad one afternoon a couple of days back, that at over 43 degrees Celsius, I sneaked my way into the Samburu National Park’s park rangers living quarters to have a quick shower! Precariously hanging my belongings onto nails on the door, avoiding the numerous spider nests on both sides of the frame, the water that came splashing down was icy cold but frankly, a heavenly change to my unwashed body and matted hair of 3 days.

Unwilling to fully shut my eyes as I endure smarting soapy shampoo trails down my eyelids, I kept a keen eye on both vertical and horizontal surfaces around me. Then, suddenly I heard some noises above me. I muted a silent prayer that it wasn’t a snake suspended above my head, separated by a mesh wire that was used as a ‘ceiling’.

Tilting my head up reluctantly and expectantly … there it was!

Holy Molly Heavenly Gods in Heaven! A long bushy tail hangs down through the wire mess with electric blue coloured balls* squashed against the square wire frame. From “{blip blip blip}” my thoughts raced to “{blip blip blip} I NEED MY CAMERA!!!”

I mean it’s E-L-E-C-T-R-I-C   B-L-U-E  freaking B-A-L-L-S

Well, at least besides getting grime off, the shower was an entertaining and educational session for me. Needless to say, I dashed out with two microfibre towels around me (one bundled my mass of wet hair, the other just covering my body) and headed for the truck barefooted forgetting the spider trails to grab my camera. It’s freaking E-L-E-C-T-R-I-C   B-L-U-E  B-A-L-L-S !!!

But Marsabit?

It was the 9 hours of travelling on corrugated dusty roads designed for 4×4 off road vehicles cruising at 90km/hr, accompanied by two armed army officers (one of which is now a friend on my Facebook!) at no more than 20km/hr that got me reconsidering this overland trip.

It was the brown coloured wet wipes used at two hourly distances to clean my feet that ended even the faintest possibility of accepting any one of the four marriage proposals from my Samburu warriors. Why clean feet? – don’t ask. For some inexplainable reason I figured keeping them clean would keep any nasty creepy crawlies, bacterials and viruses at bay. Sure, I recognize this logic is flawed sitting in civilization, and sure, I could have just worn trekking shoes rather than thongs … but who knows?!? It’s the African heat that has gotten the better of me.

But really, when it comes to Marsabit, it was the overall hostility and stares from the town inhabitants that sends a bone chilling sensation down my spine that got me thinking, once I was out of my fight-or-flight motion recovering from epinephrine (adrenaline) and norepinephrine (noradrenaline) blood intoxication.

Coupled with everything that was happening, Marsabit’s poverty, filth and crudeness broke my will to carry on … “I WANNA QUIT!”

I can’t even look at anything around my room. I can’t even rest any part of my body on any surface here … and God forbid that my innards will behave tonight after I what I ate at the ‘dining hall’. If you must know, it’s over 35 degrees Celsius and I am cocoon in my 3-season sleeping bag, avoiding bodily contact with any surface presented by Jey Jey Hotel. I am sure if I inhaled the air openly, my lungs would be chocked with mold by dawn.


* velvet male monkeys develop blue testicles when they mature at age 5



One comment on “TRAVEL DIARY: Day 8 – Marsabit, Kenya

  1. Glamourous Traveller
    December 8, 2013

    Wow. Really sounds rough. I have to say though, that picture of the monkey with blue coloured balls does look amazing though

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