MUSIC & TRAVEL: A Perfect Match!!

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Kinangop Advenchaaaaa

“Where is home?” This is a question that has so many answers to it. Some say home is where you live, others say home is where you have built on the land that you have purchased or inherited………… For me “Home” is where you go, feel comfortable and welcomed. For it doesn’t matter how many people i know, provided it feels comfortable and so welcoming. I got an invitation by a friend to join them as they escorted one of theirs as he headed back to his village that is found at the foot of the Aberdares Ranges along the famous “Happy Valley” that was once a paradise for the white settlers in Kenya during the pre – independence era. The only reason for me to accept the invitation even with no second thought was that we were meant to cycle all the way across the dense forest of the Aberdares Ranges that is known of the Huge African Elephants that roam the forest. Someone once told me, “the world is shaped by two things:- stories told and the memories they leave behind.” For me this experience has got me to appreciate so much, because the time my friends and i spent on our way to our final destination was priceless which is the main reason why i write my travel adventures just to tell my stories sharing the memories. We met in town (having cycled with an extra bag on my back including my camel back that was packed with water and snacks to energize myself as the cycling day ahead was not a walk in the park. The ride went in smoothly as our tyres roared against the mighty Thika Road headed out of the city, it felt like we were in paradise as we grind down the mighty highway smiling while others tried to see how fast they could go. With our pit stop made at Bubbles along the Gatundu road few kilometers from The mighty Thika were we got the opportunity to re – energize with us feeding well on mandazi, chapati to even a cup (some had cups of tea) From this fill up point things started to play wild!!!! The road started to have sharp descents and surprising up hills where the signal was well received with the message of the day delivered to our muscles. Joy only came when we found small kiosks selling sugarcanes or pineapples and nobody was daring to pass them without stopping to enjoy a bite and taste the pineapples or sugarcanes (for me it was a relief since cycling up hills has remain my biggest cycling weakness, please that’s my secret don’t tell it to my team) some people took the advantage to stretch on the ground and relax The cycling on this route is not a “JOKE” (i had to write the word “joke” in capital letters to insist on my point) I was getting to some point where i was in conversation with my bike as the tyres roared i enjoyed the cool breeze blowing on my face then when things turned ugly on notorious up hills i returned the favour and sung sweet melodies to my bike to sooth it to carry me up the climbs. No soon had we got to the forest than things turned ugly with downhills making up of only 1% of the roads, the only energy that got to help my push and not giving up was the sound of elephants as they broke branches of the green trees by the road side which was helpful because i got re – energized automatically as i ran away in fear of being charged after by a wild African elephant (it played a major role of getting me to our final destination even if darkness made a friend of mine and I find an alternative to the final destination) We made it to Kinagop and the home of our dear friend who we had come to see off to his village and got the warmest welcome i have so far received in 2017 . It felt so much like we were truly at home when you get people to call you “…..watoto wangu” (my children) and get to have a new home far from Home. Warm tea and delicious food was served to give us energy that we had burnt down on our ride during the day. Our joy came to our hearts when we heard that in the bone biting coldness of this foothill of Aberdares ranges there was hot water and many warm blankets for our night in our new home. The best part of every overnight cycling is when you are resting sharing the personal experience of the day, laughing and giving advice to each other on how to improve or turn to a better cyclist. This is also a time that you realise that cyclists are not just good o two wheels but they have got hidden talents as jokers to comedians and even the greatest story tellers you can ever know meet. On the next day it was another return journey back to the busy hustle of the mighty city of Nairobi as we were to cycle all the way back to our homes in the city. After a well packed breakfast, we set off with our homes as our set final destination some few kilometres away from where we were (yes very few about 120km away) Off we were enjoying smooth ride on almost an empty road being a Sunday and we took a stomach filling pitstop at Njabini town to refill our stomach in an early lunch break. How i miss that sweet pure milk tea and genuine “mandanzis” that were totally packed not like the air pumped ones that we enjoy in Nairobi. After enjoying our early lunch we set off and joined the main Nakuru – Nairobi highway This shall remain in memory as the coldest ride or section for my 2017 cycling so far . it suddenly became so so so so so so so cold (how many “so” did i mention?) Some friends decided to become “Ninjas” as a way to reduce the cold from biting our eyes leaving out our legs that were enjoying the it being in cycling shorts Our joy was that we bundled ourselves into a line to pace each other along the highway and enjoying speeding down passing people stuck in the traffic which at times made me feel like waving at them as i pass by them looking at us as we disappeared before their eyes We made it back home safe and sound and now contemplating if i should also invite cyclist to my village and they should also enjoy a beautiful countryside ride!!! Above is the team at our lunch stop at “Lebanon Butchery and Hotel” in Njambini town, we are cyclists but above all i can say we are a big happy family who love spending time together exploring this beautiful Kenya on two wheel as we burn fats as others burn fuel in their cars. #ChinkuTravels

Gallery

Why we think a visit to East Africa Rock city is not complete without a stay at Waghill lodge and spa.

LUXURY TRAVEL IN EAST AFRICA

One of those moments your fingers ache to type… Unlike many other times, I am on a roof top restaurant in Mwanza town the R00ck city as the locals like calling it. Rock city is Tanzania’s second largest town. The geographical features around this town are quite interesting and breathtaking at the same time. For a moment I almost forgot my immigration woes earlier after a journey of 650km from Nairobi to Mwanza, the border Immigration officer in Isebania Border made me feel like I was in an interrogation room and to some point I just told Him to give me back my papers and go back to Nairobi; talk of catching feelings hehe! The most annoying thing is, he had already stamped them…and it took the intervention of modern coast management for him to let me go, But now I am brighter, no matter what you are going to…

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Hotel Eron A New Gem

History of Nairobi goes way way back to the years 1800s when It was an admired midway for the Railway as explorers were in a rush searching for the mysterious source of River Nile. The first camps made of Tents were to accommodate the railway workers as they worked to connect Interior of East Africa to the busy Indian ocean coast where Arabs and Portuguese traded with the rest of the world.

In 1900s when Nairobi was nothing more than a remote railway depot built in a brackish African swamp, the hotel industry begun to take a shift and changed as hotels begun to be set up, enduring legacy offering elegant accommodations that provided a level of sophisticated comfort that was uncommon decades before in the swampy small town of Nairobi.

Hotel guests were made up of Game Hunters to Explorers then later to the colonial administrators who came when British took over East Africa as a colony of their own. However this later changed with time, today we talk of hotels as facilities for Conferences and accommodating tourists.

However, for a long time there was a gap for the budget minded travelers or visitors to the city of Nairobi due to growth in number of high end hotels which are international brands that opened from the old days when Hotel Ambassadeur, an 85 room three-star hotel, opened its doors in 1961becoming famous as an important hub in East Africa politics playing host to East African presidents, Senior Government officials and civil servants as well as Elite Africans in various conferences did you it was the first hotel to accommodate Africans to sleep within a hotel in Nairobi when all other hotels were only accommodating White people

However things are changing and new pocket friendly accommodation facilities are coming up. Hotel Eron is one of these few pocket friendly accommodation facilities that give travelers an amazing stay with mind of affordable budget.

located along the Kirinyaga road that is known by long distant travellers as the exit point for the travellers from other parts of Kenya dotted with offices for bus companies along this road.

The rates are pocket friendly for example a single room will just cost you Ksh 2,500 and $35 for non residents while a double is Ksh 3,500 and $40 for non residents.

The best thing is that if you are this person who loves self-catering with an additional little cost you can have yourself stick the fridge and cook your meals for yourself

So if you have had a fear of getting an apartment due to the cost, Hotel Eron can be your simplest apartment and enjoy your stay since the rooms are fully equipped with kitchen equipments giving you the apartment feeling

The rooms give you the true feeling of the famous words “………..Home Far From Home……”

However if you can’t cook the hotel has your needs in mind, for you can order for a meal which will be delivered to your room with the room service just to ensure you enjoy your stay with ease and less movement from your room as you got to look for food, this is because there is no restaurant so just order your food and you will be served at your comfort in your beautiful amazing room

You can be in touch with the hotel for your reservation on ;-

Telephone numbers:

+254 726 223 884

+254 737 220 557

Email: reservation@eronhotel.com

when you need to experience “…..home far from home” Eron Hotel can be the best choice to call your home

#ChinkuTravels

GARDEN OF MEMORIES AND PEACE

Have you ever been to a place, then you suddenly realize that you had not explored it fully? This is what happens to many visitors to Nairobi National Museum. Most visitors only enjoy a tour of the beautiful galleries and displays with very few of setting foot in the garden located along the river bank. Am talking about the Nairobi Botanic Garden, one of the few places in the Nairobi National Museum that visitors pay attention to on their visit to the National Museum. At this beautiful garden is a nature trail that meanders in the midst of well curved and molded sculptures that leaves one with wonders of their great artistic forms pondering on their significance. It is comprised of lawns with some sections under shade of magnificent and diversified tree species. After doing some reading and research, I have come to learn that the garden was a product of consultants from the Royal Botanical Gardens and the staff of the national museums of Kenya who proposed to establish Nairobi Botanical Garden at the Museum hill, aiming at enhancing Botany by having a Thematic Garden display that include:

  1. Grass Gardens: this a section that let one know and learn that most popular foods and drinks are from this class vegetation. A good example is our delicious staple foods like maize, wheat, barley {mainly used in beer making} to the sweet sugar cane.
  2. Herbal Garden: this was never in my mind, but this is the most striking garden display that takes up a circular pattern decorated by a ceramic pattern showcasing indigenous medicinal and food plants with an idea of promoting conservation.
  3. Succulent gardens: This section makes up a complete landscape with rocky layout, a representative of Kenya’s biodiversity, giving visitors information of plant adaptation in dry areas and their importance to local communities.
  4. Quarry Garden: This is my best section in the botanical garden and one of the few sections that visitors have been to or set foot at. It features a small garden with stones visible with rocks giving a sign that it might have been used as a small quarry in some point in time before its transformation to the beautiful garden it stands today.
  5. Memorial Garden: This has been set up and built with dedication to the memory of World War 2. The most dominant plant species is the Rosemary plant, a traditional symbol of remembrance. The garden has brought out well kept nostalgic feeling from the entrance that is graced with a small water pond that is beautiful and full of floating lilies.
  6. Children’s Garden: I believe this is the most loved and preferred section of Nairobi Botanical Garden due to its open lawns covered by indigenous and exotic Trees. Most visitors rest here either reading a book, couples chatting as time passes by. During my visit a group of young men and ladies were rehearsing for play at the outdoor amphitheater.

Aside from the beautiful botanical garden and the museum as a whole, there is one of my personal favorite attractions. It stands in silence but with much respect from myself and the love of the Nairobi History, I am talking about the Ainsworth House {I have always referred to it as the first statehouse of Kenya} Who is this Ainsworth? John Ainsworth is the man who has a good share of history as the Man who built Nairobi. His arrival in Kenya was in 1889 at the coastal town of Mombasa as an employee of the IBEACo {Imperial British East African Company. He was later sent into the interior of Kenya and settled at Machakos {what I call The first Capital City of Kenya} and he was given the tittle Her majesty Queens representative: a top civil servant during the scramble and partition of Africa that led to introduction of Colonial governance in Kenya. Ainsworth was called upon to the swampy Railway camp after Kenya becoming a protectorate of the British, which later became the Nairobi we know today. With his arrival to the swampy camp of the Uganda railway in 1898 (3 years after Kenya was taken over by British) He was responsible for the initial demarcation of Nairobi which made it easier for the apartheid system of settlement and colonial administration. Some of the eucalyptus trees that grace the Nairobi Upper hill and the Central police station in the city were planted by him to help in draining the swampy camp for the Uganda Railways. His house is still found at the Nairobi National Museum a neighbor to the offices of Nature Kenya. Ainsworth office and house were built by Jeevanjee the philanthropic wealthy Indian who was also of importance in the building of the Uganda Railways. So the next time you are visiting the Nairobi National Museum, don’t rush out of the magnificent galleries and the snake park, spare few minutes and go enjoy peaceful and natural environment next to the city, walk along the beautiful nature trails or just have your picnic as you listen to the river flow by the botanical gardens, above all access is free to all , isn’t that a motivator #ChinkuTravels

SAY YES!!

A wonderful thought

PASSION

IMG-20170730-WA0013 Virginia: Hey! Let’s Go! Me: Yes!!

They say all it takes is a yes and you will have an epic experience, but they also say plan your travel for a smooth experience. Which of the two sounds fun? mmh, to me epic sounds epic . It’s important to plan our travel but it’s even more enjoyable to once in a while (if not always) to give in to your desires and engage in unplanned adventure.

From experience, my friends asks me “Invite me on your next trip, I’ll be happy to join you”, I’d say I will. Friday evening (around 9pm) I get info of a day trip happening the next day, and am like, I’m in, ‘ndani, ndani, ndaani!!! I’d say. Being a good friend I immediately call my pal to inform him of the trip all along being positivethat he will jump on the opportunity as I have…

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Come One Come All

When Kenya got the rights to host the World Under-18 Championships i saw an opportunity to be closer to the experience of attending world cup or any world’s major sport event (you can imagine my excitement of doing the mexican wave in the glare of the world and on my home country) and what made me happy was that it was set for 4 days dated July 12-16 at Kasarani Stadium also known as ”Home Of Heros” which i have had a taste of it during the Pedal kart Race where we had 16 hours of fun at Kasarani.

As days went by, more urge came to me to attend this event as soon as i got to know that this event would be the final edition of the World U18 Championships and so great to Kenya, a country that has had a good share and big mention over the last 18 years ( this is like hosting the last world cup in Brazil) how befitting can that be?

As soon as the opening ceremony was on, than our President H.E Uhuru Kenyatta declared it free entrance to all Kenyans ” Come one, come all…….” those were his call to the fans of athletics.


How glad i am to have attended the 1st major track and field event to be held in Kenya since 1987 when we hosted African games. With great visitors coming to Kenya in the past few days and years From The son of Kenya Former president of America Barrack Obama to the soon visit of Jack Ma; the founder and executive chairman of Alibaba Group destined to arrive on 19th of July 2017 , Kenya has become an attractive destination for business and also Travel, i am now happy and will have it in mind for long that i attended an event that made Kenya became the 1st country in Sub Saharan Africa to host this event

It is my wish that we can host more of this and we can continue to fill our stadiums like we did during the IAAF World Under 18 Championships in Nairobi that was a 4 days extravaganza. Now i know how it feels to attend world major event. I now understand why supporters cry when their team wins, i now appreciate and respect our sportsmen and ladies. The experience made me feel so proud for being a Kenyan after hearing the address systems burst our national anthem and our sportsmen to ladies do a lap of honor.

i hope this is the first of the many world major sport events we host with hope that i live to see Kenyans break more records or even setting new ones like the one we did of the largest attendance

Hongera Team Kenya and Well done to all the teams that took part.

#ChinkuTravels