Africa - Day 2 - Nairobi to Lake Nakuru

We started the day with a nice breakfast before attempting to get our bags in the lockers. I don't know how every other person managed to pack much lighter than us especially when a lot of them have been traveling around beforehand or are staying longer. Luckily being only 12 of us in the group there was extra room in the larger lockers where we could store them. We did a quick introduction but still being tired and full of cold I can't remember anyone's name.
The weather was not as I expected, it was overcast and raining and cold. We stopped en route to get a picture over the valley but there wasn't much to see with the cloud.
Our first full stop was in a shanty town called gilgil where we were visiting a children's orphanage. The children are left abandoned to die at the side of the road from as young as 2, others are rejected by family after their parents died from aids. Luckily this project runs many programs to help the children in the village from providing food for those who still have families but can not afford to feed them to looking after and providing a family for the abandoned children. Some looked shy when they met us, others were excited. They sang a couple of songs for us then took us by the hand and showed us their home. I met two little boys aged 10 and 8 who were eager to guide me around. When we saw the doctor they told me how they get injections and it hurts. When we went outside I gave them some balloons to play with and suddenly I made a lot more friends. I then went to another group of children and asked if they wanted to do some drawing with the pencils and paper I had brought, they were so grateful. I met one little girl called Beth, I couldn't work out if she was just very shy or her English wasn't great. She drew a picture of a little girl and wrote her name. She then was enjoying me drawing various animals for her. I left them colouring and went back outside to find the boys of the group having a football match against the kids. The kids won, that said they let them but I am not so sure :-) As we were leaving Beth came back over to me with a drawing, it was of a flower and above was written "a flower from betty". I gave her a hug and she stroked my hair (it was hard to tell which of the children were girls some of the time as most had there heads shaved). I wasn't sure how I would feel about going to an orphanage, whether it would upset me but the children may not have much but they were happy.
We set back off on our way to nakuru and when we reached the town it was very different to gilgil. There were banks, supermarkets and a host of other shops. We still only had dollars at this rate so found an atm and drew out 2000 Kenyan shillings which sounded a lot but we think it's a bit over $20! The group bought essentials like beer, pringles and chocolate and we headed to the camp.
Setting up the tents was pretty simple and after a quick sandwich for lunch we headed out on our first game drive.
Just as we were setting off a herd of gazelle walked right through our campsite and in the distance we saw baboons jumping over the camp building. When we actually started driving within 5 minutes we were spotting animals all over the place. First came the buffalo just 2 but by the end of the ride we had seen hundreds. Being on a lake there are thousands of birds, the park is described as being a bird lovers heaven. Flamingo, stork, eagle, bush turkey were just a few I could name. Next came the zebra followed by rhino, they were too far in the distance for a really good look. We also spotted some hippo bottoms and hundreds of gazelle (or gazelle looking animals). We stopped for a while to watch a family of baboons grooming each other. The next few miles were empty until we spotted giraffe in the distance, ideally we will see more close up. Driving back to camp the last animal we spotted was a hyena who looked pretty evil.
Tea was soup followed by some meat and rice dish which was ok, by this point the camp was in total darkness and my running torch is next to useless. I headed to the tent on my own to pick up something when I heard something chewing on grass, all my torch could see were two eyes as I looked in its direction. I figured it was one of the gazelle from earlier. I mentioned it to Al who brought over his torch and we discovered it was a huge bison!
I was worried we might be cold in the tent but its pretty toasty, we were all set for bed when Al needed the toilet so out he went. When he got back and into the light he realised he had stood in earlier mentioned bison poo so it was back outside for him to clean his boots before bed. Tomorrow is an early start for a game drive around the opposite side of the lake.