Day 5: Mt Kenya {the foot at least …}

………………… … or truthfully … very, very far from the foot of Mt Kenya!
We started moving at 6:35 am to be precise.
The time when the sun rises in this part of Kenya – at this time of the year, I should add.
Though being this close to the Equator – or are we? – will the sun risshift over the year? I don’t know. I am too lazy to verify this.
Everyone was rather excited about crossing the Equator.
Frenchman Marc in particular with his GPS and Normandy flag – rather comical and eccentric – our very own Mr. Bean, who is endearing to say the least!
L to R clockwise: (a) Marc, (b) lookout point overseeing the Great Riff Valley,  (c) Tess – Canada, Anthony aka ‘Bob’ – UK, Hannah – Denmark, Marc – France, Georgina – Australia, and me in a half squat pose flexing my thigh muscles!!! | Photographed filtered with ‘watercolor’ effects by Penelope Haque | All Rights Reserved
After a false start – I suspect the signboard had said “Equator Crossing Ahead Bloody Tourist!” – we finally got to the real Equator line, as Marc aka Jean Paul had vehemently protested when we had insisted the false start was right and suggested in not so many words that his GPS was crap. I mean seriously, it was a 50:50 of a false start with a board that accorded bragging rights, or the actual Equator line with possibly no board to photograph?
In any case, after monkey-ing around with poses, flags and bribed kids, our trip proceeded with roads that took an almost immediate southward turn post the Equator crossing, as if the man-determined demarcation had a direct impact on God shaping the topography on both sides of the line.
If that wasn’t depressing enough, as predicted, we were lost again!
Stopping at a semblance of a T-junction or to be more accurate a asymmetrical Y-junction with one branch ending abruptly at a bush of thorns, our huge truck halted the onward journey of a small convoy of 4 x 4s heading the opposite direction. Conveniently, directions were seek and whaddya know? It turns out that one of the 4 x 4 had Ms. Money Penny in it!
Hannah asking for directions from a film crew with Miss Money Penny in one of the 4×4! | Photograph filtered with ‘watercolor’ effects by Penelope Haque | All Rights Reserved 
Since we are naturally all way too young to remember Ms. Money Penny with Bond being 50 this year (ahem! what an outright lie!), it took us some 8 minutes or so to figure out who’s who and if the person spotted was actually someone from The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

Nonetheless, accurate or not, we could still claim that some famous British actress beyond our age stuck her arm out in the African plains to point us to the right direction … and with that, we continued to put the suspensions of our truck and innards to test.

Undecided if gravels was better than tarmac with axle snapping portholes for the bladder, suffice to say I was far from impressed and agitated at the sight of almost barren land. As the hours painfully ticked by with seconds timed by each bummed sustained, it was finally decided that come what may, I was going to be exposing my naked butt cheeks to a herd of goats and its shepherd. After all I reckon the shepherds would not have beady hawk eyes to spot me amongst the sparse bush cover and the goats could have a whale of a time for all I care. They are goats!
Samburu Warriors at Hulme’s Bridge, Samburu, Kenya | Photograph by Penelope Haque | All Rights Reserved
But oh boy … {as you would have guessed being my blog, my story, my life … }
I was sooooo wrong!
Just as I stood up to pull my pants up, a Samburu semi-nomadic pastoralist warrior youth comes charging towards me. With long slender legs and strong strides, he covered the ground that separated us in no time; bringing back flashes of my Australian outback kangaroo encounter some years back. Same situation. Same position. Same vulnerability!  
This time around I didn’t make a dash to the truck.
I wasn’t after all in any eminent physical danger.
Any modesty I had left had been drastically compromised. And so, I shrugged my shoulders and thought:
how many people in their lifetime can make a claim of 
flashing indecently to a Samburu warrior?

And with that it was decided that I would take his photo …

the Samburu Warrior who saw my naked cheek butt! | Photograph by Penelope Haque | All Rights Reserved

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