I think the problem started when we listened too closely to Simon Nyongesa. Aged Mickey Mouse t-shirt, frayed trousers and dusty slippers, the man’s words and charm were in sharp contrast to his appearance. When he nimbly crossed one portion of the scarified rock face to for next, we simply had to follow.
He relayed the tale of Sikele sya Mulya, an innocent-looking (but hard to find) cluster of rocks in Sang’alo, Bungoma. We’d risen early to hunt for a good image from the site based on a recommendation by the Kenya Tourism Board. In Simon we found an engaging orator of the stories passed down from one generation of his family to the next. He’s been telling these tales for 15 years now. No wonder by the time we stirred ourselves to leave, we’d been there for over two hours.
Thing is, the rocks were flat and the crevices had excessive wear. Fantastic to the eye but very hard to shoot.
But wait, could the genesis of our problem actually be chatty boda boda operator David? We’d met him outside our Bungoma hotel (whose taps had turned dry in the morning) and he’d expressed knowledge about how to find Sikele sia Mulia. What happened though is that he got us lost and when we asked a lady for directions and those too were wrong, the joker goes like ‘some people just give wrong directions and feel nothing’.
You don’t say, kettle?
Maybe the issue was that when we got to Kakamega Forest the fees were high thus discouraging a recce. It also didn’t help that it starting drizzling while we sat and plotted our next move.
Fun fact: The skies became clearer the further we got from the forest.
An elderly tractor driver with a winsome smile was too busy to pose for a picture. A massive bull fighting competition (complete with a colourful troupe of shoulder-shaking dancers) had been held the previous day. Various backdrops we tried were just not working out.
Perhaps it was just a bad day and there was nothing we could do about it. But here’s to hoping Monday doesn’t come with the severe case of the Blues.
Meet the entire Capture Kenya 2015 team here and read more stories from the road!