Sunday, July 25, 2010

July 26, 2010. Serena Mountain Lodge

We packed ate breakfast and left the Inter-Continental Hotel at 9 AM this morning. I left one of my bags there as we will be returning in five days.
We drove all day, only stopping once for a bathroom break. There was also a store at the rest stop and Kathy bought a carved bowl and two giraffes. (There was extended negotiating prior to the actual sale!). The countryside is mostly deforested re-vegetation and farmland. We passed through several small very primitive villages. There were a lot of people beside the road just standing around. We saw school children in their uniforms who often waved to us.
We arrived at the Serena Mountain Lodge at 1:30. All rooms here face a giant watering hole for animals. The rooms have big windows and you can sit and watch the animals pass by. We went upstairs to eat lunch and just as we were finishing one of the staff came to tell us that monkeys had gotten into our room and ransacked the place! They went after a small bag of fruit and nuts I had in my suitcase and littered the room with the trash. I discovered later that one of them had bitten through my tube of toothpaste and I had to throw it out. All in all, the damage wasn't too bad. Somehow the monkeys had gotten through the levered windows which had been left unlocked. The monkeys were so cute it was hard to be mad. They kept coming back and hanging around outside the window (a whole family with babies) for the rest of the afternoon, so I guess it was worth it.
Kathy went to have a deluxe massage and I hung around the room in a cozy corner, all wrapped up in a blanket with my camera and binoculars.
The weather here is overcast, rainy and a bit cold. We are at 7200 ft. but so far I am handling it okay - we'll see how I am in the morning.
So, from my cozy corner, all wrapped up in a blanket, I saw bush buck, two fawns, and cape buffalo. But the highlight of the afternoon was the big bull elephant who walked by and lingered around for awhile. This was the first wild elephant I have seen in person. He had two big tusks and was magnificent. I got to see him run and chase a few deer.
We went up for dinner at around 7:00 and got to know one of our fellow travelers, Meanna, who is traveling with her 19 year old grandson, Dylan. She is a retired teacher and shared very funny stories. After dinner one of the staff came around and asked us if we wanted to be awakened during the night if certain animals came by the watering hole. We chose the leopard, warthog, and bush pig - so we may be awakened three times tonight.
There is no heat in the rooms so they brought us hot water bottles.
Tomorrow we go to Lake Naivasha and see hippos.

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