Last Saturday I joined a group of Kenyans with itchy feet for yet another tembea Kenya plot. It was meant to be a hike which turned out to be more of a road trip with the clearest and longest view of Mt Kenya that I have ever witnessed. I have longed to photograph this magnificent creation but she ( I wonder why the mountain is a she..) has always been shy whenever I have travelled towards Nanyuki to shoot her. The cloud cover and fog are always a shuka covering her.

All that changed last Saturday. She overcompensated and rewarded me with her presence the entire day and way. Thanks, my dear mountain for rewarding my long-suffering. I have driven on Thika road numerous times but have never spotted Mt Kenya. One of my fellow hikers in the bus shouted, “there is the mountain” as we approached Ruiru. Initially, I dismissed her excitement for misplaced enthusiasm and having an over-imaginative mind. I was sure you cannot see the mountain from that far off. I thought she was just elevating Kilimambogo to full mountain status. In the same way, I have doubted guys posting pictures of the mountain captured from Westlands. It was photoshop all along. That was my belief until last Saturday. Kumbe one can see Mt Kenya and even Kilimanjaro (I hear) from Nairobi. Maybe I should try catching it from my house too hehe.

“Timing is key,” our bus driver told us. We were headed to Nagre Ndare forest in Timau and had left Nairobi at dawn. The mountain is often clear early in the morning. As the day progresses she gets shy and hides behind the clouds. But this day was different. We stopped in Thika for me to photograph her before she disappears. Lo and behold we were in for a surprise. She wasn’t going anywhere. She had decided to accompany us all the way. We would drive along Thika road and onto the Nyeri road which is currently under construction. We snoozed and chatted in intervals and every time I looked out the window there she was still in clear sight. I felt like my country was tuning me through my favorite mountain. Aki me I love Kenya. I now need to buy that T-shirt hehe.

We got to the junction at Marwa where the road to Kiganjo, Chaka and eventually to Nanyuki and beyond begins. I love this road because I feel like I have arrived in my favorite town. I was sure that the mountain was out of view by now. I was wrong again. She was still visible and seemed to show us the other side of her. She was now modelling if not showing off. We could see the snow clearly. It was unbelievable this endless display. She had stalked us from the beginning of our trip. We got to Timau and into Ngare Ndare gate and that’s where we lost sight of her. And that was because we got into the forest so the tree canopies obstructed our view. I silently asked her to wait for us once we came out of the forest and escort us back to Nairobi. She did, though was slightly covered at the top, which was ok. It was an amazing road trip all thanks to the mountain, and the good company too.

We had a great excursion, came across the diving pools in the forest and some of us took a dip. The forest is home to the big five except lions. I silently hoped to come across some animals and photograph them. My excitement to see wildlife overcame the fear of meeting them while hiking. Our final activity before we left was the canopy walk thirty feet above the ground on a suspended (and swaying) bridge stretching four hundred and fifty meters. I gave it a go though I was a bit nervous. Maybe I was thinking that I will get closer to the mountain and catch another good shot. It was a fun day apart from the long trip back to Nairobi in the evening.

But that gave me a chance to chew cud (think) and ruminate on the day that was. Does greatness stalk us but we don’t notice? what can we do to see the greatness in us and activate it? These were the questions in my mind. How had I never noticed Mt Kenya after the countless times I have been on that road? Were the worries of this life and the urgency of it blocking my view?  The clouds could have been in my mind first. Maybe she has been there in the past calling for my attention but I just couldn’t see.

Folks, we must try and look beyond the obstacles (in this case represented by crazy drivers, matatus or bodabodas on Thika road hehe) we encounter to notice the beauty that lies huko mbele. What we focus on expands. When we focus on what’s bothering us it becomes a mountain of worry and we can see nothing else other than our problems. The mountain last Saturday stayed with us the whole trip. I felt like I have great potential that I have hardly tapped into. And it’s refusing to give up on me by stalking me. There is a mountain in us that’s waiting to be climbed. You define what that mountain is for yourself but please start climbing. Two things will happen if you do. You will see the beauty up close and even touch it. Secondly the obstructions you leave on your Thika road will pale in comparison as they will appear very tiny and inconsequential. Aim higher, go higher folks. That’s how to live a good life. Your mountain awaits (and even stalks) you.



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6 thoughts on “Stalker.”

  1. Angie says:

    Great piece Lucas!

  2. Gefff says:

    I’ve enjoyed reading this piece. Well done bro!

  3. Rachael says:

    Great piece. The mountain truly stalked us all the way to Ngare Ndare.” Does greatness stalk us but we don’t notice?”

  4. Mwangi says:

    A great piece, and yes you can see Kilimanjaro all the way from Limuru.

  5. Enjoyed reading this, Nanyuki is home for me and yes early morning she look so beautiful outside my childhood bedroom ❤️.
    Thanks Lucas

  6. Mary Muteti says:

    We literally spent the day with her. I love the Interpretation Lucas. Nature has great lessons. I must get passed the obstructions and start climbing my mountain.

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