Through my rose tinted glasses
The Longido hike group was such a vivacious and sassy group to be with. When we started the hike majority were strangers but by the time we descended Longido we were friends bound by immense passion for hiking. Behind the scenes yours truly, besides performing security duties had his rose tinted glasses on for round view of all that was around and those around.
Jane was the chatter box of the group.. an endless fountain of hilarious narratives tinged with large doses of humour and uproarious laughter. Never shut her beak for a second. She had a screaming scarlet poncho amid black ones giving her an appearance of the head of the hooded ninja fraternity.
Dominic was the ever sober guy…was main target of Jane’s brickbats of jokes. Took all in stride. He commanded the mountain orchestra with admirable dexterity. He spoke to the siafus of Longido and somehow they obeyed him.
Esther was the ever smiling one. A product of Jane and Dominic. Quietly stoic and resilient. Even at the point of giving up she was always there encouraging others. She was the model poser for those scintillating still pictures.
Kirimi the lawyer par excellent. He spoke the language of the mountain but heavily laced with legal jargon. Tall and elegant, he was the center of focus by the lasses in the hiking ordeal. Time and again he was the knight in shining armour as he came to the rescue of the damsels in distress.
Lance the medic was our able sweeper. Tiny in body stature..he carried a backpack enough to collapse an elephant. Cool as a cucumber even under extreme pressure but always smiling. Did some gymnastics enroute the summit to Ol Donyo Orok that left some gals cooing in admiration.
Marto was the ever quiet one. He seemed to be in deep conversation with nature.Always had his camera ready to snap anything and everything. At a point I found him clicking a pair of mating safari ants. He captured some of the most breathtaking still pictures of the hike. Did I say that he looked like a Batman in his black poncho contrasted against his black complexion? Only his teeth were visible.
Joy the joyous one. She had a body hugging tight that had generous windows that left a boda guy agape while lusciously craving for more…did a head-stand (upside down) stunt parallel to the cross at the summit. Her yoga postures were a sight to behold. Her idea of relaxing was stretching her legs way up to the roof of the van. Maybe she is a karateka.. didn’t stay long enough to find out.
Anne had double trekking pole. Maybe to reach the apex faster. One lost its tip after being subject to intense use. She made a spectacle when descending… did a 7 km butt slide that stamped her mark in the mountain. The trail is now well marked by two parallel lines all the way down courtesy of Anne’s butt stamp.
Carol looked like the quintessential hiker. Her Michelin legs looked to have climbed every hill and mountain globally. Sweet round calves reminiscent of lasses from Western Kenya. She effortlessly hiked up in her hiking attire. But all that was hidden under heavy poncho as we did Longido. Talk of covering the lamp with a debe!
Maggie the petit lady of the mountain. Gregarious and deputy of chatter box association. By coincidence or telepathy she wore similar colored tee like yours truly. In my mind she was the roll- call lass. Always ensuring that all were accounted for. At Longido she nearly brought the mountain down with figure hugging shorts. Her cat walking exploits in the bush were legendary.
Patricia the most quiet of all. Did her hike methodically with very few words in between. The one whom you don’t hear but you see. Radiating warmth and charm that’s complimented by her tall slender figure, she was hard not to spot.
Then there was our lead guide Elijah. He hiked up the massif on akala sandals( sandals from old car Tyres) despite the cold, wet and slippery terrain. All along he had a 10kg rifle as part of our security. A jolly man whose searing pace left many of us panting hopelessly. Curiously as a Maasai he fears not the lions, buffaloes or hippos of the wild but will scamper to high heavens at the sight of siafu. ‘Ero’ hii kitu inaingia ndani na kukula ile sehemu nyepesi nyepesi????????
We are hikers and we all speak the language of the mountain.