The staff at Rift Valley Adventures started the year on an adventurous note, embarking on a trip of their very own, not in a canyon, or on the mountain, or even in the Great Rift, but to somewhere altogether different: Diani Beach!
Wednesday morning started off with bursts of excitement and hasty retreats to catch their flight on time. The contrasts were already apparent. Millie was in a basket hat and flowing dress waiting for transport to arrive, while Mark was- well, Mark was at his desk where we left him. We stopped en route to the airport, to liberate him. It wasn’t long before he became the sole proprietor of the music playlist on the drive.
We arrived at the airport with time to spare. We checked in as casually as you would walk into an elevator. Everyday things! We held our boarding passes and gathered for a group photo, or seven...
We were soon on the flight, everyone looking in and around. For some first timers the experience was already worthwhile. The twin turbine engines began to spin and the cabin announcements faint in the background. The flight was in tow.
Take off was swift and memorable, with the powerful engines pulling us further and further from the ground as if never to return. We soared at 27,000 ft, majestic in the skies like kings aloft high castles in the air. For some it was all too familiar. It was the feeling and breathtaking scenery of the mountain high above the clouds at Point Lenana. Before long, the pilot announced we had begun our decent.
We walked out of the air conditioned aircraft cabin into a distinct heaviness and humid air. Even before we had seen it, we could smell the ocean. We arrived at our house residence in the late afternoon. Nick was kite surfing. He seemed to have been going for ages on that massive thing. Nobody would admit it, but I think we were all curiously waiting to see if a gust of wind would lift him up some 27,000 ft. We stood and watched for a while before we gave up and headed back into the house for refreshment.
That night we had a hearty meal and a good laugh with a well-illustrated demonstration of classic English dinning etiquette by Nick. As the tide withdrew and the breeze prevailed upon the wet sandy beach, we decided to wander about. We happened upon a number of resorts along the beach, had a drink or two and called it a day.
In the days that followed, we hardly left the beach. We were well occupied with single and double sized kayaks, stand up paddle boards and a whole lot of beach and water jamboree. We probably only left for meals, and even that is not entirely true for everyone. Some just got carried away.
This is truly a land without time. We would wake up and find the beach, more alive than yesterday, beckoning with alluring glamor. We explored the beach and its artifacts, brought to us by beach boys promising we would never find anything like what they had to offer, be it shells, beads, or coconut milk. On account of the coconut milk, however, it was true.
As the sun set on the last day of our retreat, Nick had plans. We walked down the shadowy beach, a sky full of stars above us, and tall palm trees swaying from side to side, as if waving in a solemn goodbye. We arrived at an exquisite restaurant which must have been Italian. We had pizza, drinks, and dessert, but not before a few of us tried some delicacies. Michael took one for the team and tasted some of the hot curry dishes, except he was learning to use his chopsticks far too efficiently and guzzled an entire mouthful of the hot dose of curry at one go, rendering him perplexed if not bewildered. We had some good chats and more laughs and a good night altogether.
We left with fond memories and promises to return as we headed off. We had gone on mini paddling explorations, glass bottom boat rides and witnessed the novelties and secrets of the reef. It was now time to head back and everyone agreed it was a trip well worthwhile. Just as we arrived, we left, with spirits high and open minds to the wonders of nature and adventure.
It was time to get back to what we do and love: Running Adventure!
01 Feb 16