Set it thrice. Aim it twice. Fire it once.

Travel

Pain and Gain | The Olkaria Experience

How’dy good people!

Oh my it’s been a minute, an eternity hasn’t it! Humble apologies for my erratic and very scattered posts. Let’s just blame it on life and move on shall we?

Now, as we celebrated Mashujaa Day I had the great fortune of being misled to do something I have thought of before, but never really put it to mind until yesterday. Accompanied by 4 other gentlemen, who are also my close buddies in work and life, we psyched ourselves to do something our 5 unfit bodies would later regret.

Hidden in Naivasha, lies a great spa. Kengen have taken the opportunity to begin, and still continue constructing what will be among the best (and probably biggest?) naturally heated spas. Harnessing the condensed steam emitted into the atmosphere  by the natural geysers, the steam is then condensed and cooled into a pool – entering at a searing 300 degrees Celsius – before being channelled into the  vast spa at much lower temperatures (30 – 35 degrees) The naturally heated pool is rich in minerals said to be beneficial for skin rehabilitation and cleansing purposes. For what it’s worth, it definitely is a must go to place, and you can read more about it here.

Back to these 5 unfit chaps who thought biking 28.something  kilometres on torturous terrain was a sound idea. At the day’s end, the only oasis was the spa. The biking experience was very scenic but the murderous pain our backsides are nursing is a testament that prudence sometimes should rule over adrenaline. Or not. The rush, the pain, all led to a single gain.

And so I salute my 4 fellow brave yet in hind sight (no pun intended) not so bright, partners in crime. Let’s do this again amigos!! cc/ Tuja Kimori, Chris Mwenda, Dennis Karingithi and David Muraguri.

The rest as they say, is history. Enjoy the snippets of the trip.

 

Photo credits: Tuja Kimori, Shadrack Mwamburi

Soaring over the Great Rift Valley escarpment..

Soaring over the Great Rift Valley escarpment..

Setting off (for what we thought would be an easy ride)

Setting off (for what we thought would be an easy ride)

Still smiley and happy (unaware of what lay ahead..)

Still smiley and happy (unaware of what lay ahead..)

First gorge..(we thought the destination was near..)

First gorge..(we thought the destination was near..)

..Until we realized Paradise was miles off. Some wanted to turn back.

..Until we realized Paradise was miles off. Some wanted to turn back.

..But we persisted with a smile (even if some places hurt more than others)..

..But we persisted with a smile (even if some places hurt more than others)..

And we finally reached tarmac..albeit bruised and battered in places we shan't mention *ahem*

And we finally reached tarmac..albeit bruised and battered in places we shan’t mention *ahem*

..,and the unfit 5 were forced to take a break courtesy of the steep climb

..,and the unfit 5 were forced to take a break courtesy of the steep climb

Part of the gorges formed along the Ol Karia road..as we recovered :)

Part of the gorges formed along the Ol Karia road..as we recovered 🙂

And we finally got there...and cooled off( actually warmed off) for quite a bit..

And we finally got there…and cooled off( actually warmed off) for quite a bit..

Club house_unfinished

The unfinished club house which will boast an eatery, changing rooms, showers, et al. And it was sadly time to leave. The ride back would be rough, unforgiving.

The first pool that acts as the intake of the super heated water..yep, you don't want to fall in there!

The first pool that acts as the intake of the super heated water..yep, you don’t want to fall in there!

~El Fin~

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Monday Blues | No hunting mood

Monday Blues | No hunting mood

Hey folk,
It’s a drab hot Monday in the +254. Nothing like feeling lethargic..which reminded me of these mature male lions that lazed under a shade, unwilling to expend precious energy looking for prey.

Which is what I’m feeling this Monday too…

Have a lovely week amigos 🙂


From Mara, with….

How’dy do folk!

Hope the start of the year has been kind to you all. Last week some report was published online about how Nairobi is the 2nd worst city in the world to reside in. That article started a major uproar on twitter with many ranting and raving on how inaccurate the report was. And I totally agree. Nairobi, in spite of it’s ups and downs, I believe is one of the best cities in the world to live in. From climate to food to it’s inhabitants; all warm. Not to mention we are the only city to have a National Park at it’s heart, boasting the Big Five.

It is in pursuit of this Big Five that I travelled to the Masai  Mara in December. Now, I have never done wildlife photography before so be gentle on me, but needless to say, the views and wildlife were breathtaking. After 2 game -drives, one of which was full-day, I happily kicked up my feet at what I had seen. Ranging from the majestic pride of lions to schools of elephants to Topis, Gazelles, warthogs, cheetahs, vultures…it was a photography feast out there [sadly though I didn’t spot any Leopards or Black Rhinos].

Hopefully the following pictures will inspire more positive reports about Kenya and in the same breath, encourage each one of you to at least one day make a trip to the Masai Mara. It’s beauty is too lovely to pass off in this lifetime.

Enjoy.

Just grazing..

Grazing in Peace

mara2

Camouflaged. Almost.

who woke me?

“Who woke me?”

"hey baibee.."

“Not today hun”

Motherly Love

Motherly Love

Moving Mountains

Small and majestic

"yaaaaaawn!"

“Is it lunch time yet?”

"Gimme dat!"

Creating the legacy..

Alone

Alone.

Muratina Tree

Muratina Tree

Alone 2

Lone Tree.

We Are Family

We Are Family

we are family 2

..and we move in droves.

Big Momma feeding..

Big Momma feeding..

big momma1

Big Momma

Hidden like a stone..

Slow and steady..

I'm walking away..

“And we’re off!”

Still sleepy..

Still sleepy..

Sleeping King

Sleepy but peeking…

Looking for Rongai

“Going to Rongai. Ciao!”

vulture

I spy..

Chillin'..

Chillin’..

Purposeful poise..

“My better side, no?”

Tall order

A tall, tall, order.

Another tall order..

“You check there, I’ll check here.”

Getting a tan..

Getting a tan..

Head in the grass..

Head in the grass..

Marabou Storks scheming

Marabou Storks scheming

Cloudporn1

Cloudporn

Graceful

Graceful

~El Fin~


Magadi | In Pursuit Of A Sunset

How’dy do folklore!

It’s been ages up in here before I posted something so I beseech thee by the mercies that be to bear with me. It’s been a bit topsy-turvy on my end but I am glad to report that caressing my camera, the feel of it, has not become numb on me.

On to matters forward. Last week I had the privilege of being reunited with my fellow photographers frat – aptly dubbed OneTouch, because with single clicks of their shutters, beauty abounds.  As old and new faces met, the wolf-pack (howl here if you’ve watched ‘The Hangover’) of 17 photographers met at an ungodly hour at the first stop, the public viewpoint at Uhuru Park. Pleasantries were quickly traded as apparatus was quickly assembled, as anticipation of the glorious sunrise neared fever-pitch. And OH! What a glorious sunrise it was!

Next stop was Ngong’, at the Kengen Windmills Power Station. A great landscape unfolded before our eyes as we beheld the beauty of Nairobi. A few pictures and a chilly breeze up our spines later, hunger struck. Hell hath no fury than a woman...photo/videographer starved. 35 chapatis, 17 cups of tea/coffee  and a happy cook later, smiles and a hint of normalcy resumed.

The entourage of 4 landrover defenders [ *ahem*, *cough* *cough* *splatter*?] soon departed Ngong’ town and snaked their way to our final destination, Magadi, with a pit stop at Kona Baridi. In between, our anxiety was sky high as we raced against time on a semblance of a road – incurring minor hiccups, as one landrover defender almost lost its brake pad, while another rammed into the side of a donkey and subsequently killing a bird, which was quickly packed and prepared for dinner by the perpetrator.

Nonetheless, it was a glorious sunset to behold and the following images, I hope, prove to be a testament of the #oneTouchlive roadtrip – Magadi edition.

Side Note: I was mainly shooting with an add-on Opteka 0.2x fish-eye lens to get the larger than life feel, which subsequently gives off the curvatures and skews (and a blurry vignette on the edges of the pics).

Enjoy.

Wolf-pack Credits (feat. 3 vixens) :

@dipwiz, @mwarv, @joemakeni, @jaydabliu, @truthslinger, @SteveKitots, @paulobuna, @profkatts, @sirnare, @Nyingez, @skubi, @kevjapicha, @AmungaTheGreat, @MemyKenya, @SunnyLikeNjeri, @NKatetei and lastly myself, @shaydest

Kindly follow these fine ladies and gents for a wider scope of #oneTouchlive travels, via their personal blogs/websites,  instagram feeds and twitter with the hash-tags to look out for being #oneTouchlive and #ShootingKenya

Thanks and God bless.

~El Fin~


Mbololo.2011

Ola!

Hope your morning has started great (or evening, depending what time zone you are in)

This past week I had the pleasure of travelling with 2 of my mates @tujak and @stanleymuthoka (their respective twitter handles) to Mombasa on some business. The stop-over was in Mbololo, some 2 kilometres just before you get to Voi. To say the place is beautiful and serene would be an understatement. It’s the kind of place you go to and forget your purpose on earth.

So as usual I carried my beloved ‘Liza’ to see what we would share. It was mostly baobab, And of course @stanleymuthoka literally making a meal of it.

Note to self: Baobab seeds (‘Mabuyu‘ in swahili actually tastes better from the source than after all the crappy food colouring and stuff).

So without much ado here we go!

“A good picture is all about making the ordinary look extra-ordinary”

~El Fin~


Beautifully Grand

Happy Nu Year folk! (Is it a New World order yet?)

I again unapologetically apologize for my laziness..ahem, procrastination in putting up this post. Truth is, much has been going on since the turn of the new year. Good stuff mostly so yeah..be easy, inhale, exhale…I’m alive.

Rewind back to December for just a bit and I was on the road shuttling between Nairobi and Mombasa/Taita for 3 out of the 4 weekends. (I slept into the New Year. How lame is that??!!)

So while I was busy gallivanting left, right and centre, my 2 goals in photography were to shoot the landscape/hillscape of Taita (The Taita, the Better they say. Wise chaps me tells ya) and to shoot portraits of my grandfather.
I unfortunately wasn’t able to get the landscapes I really wanted primarily because of lack of time to just get away, set up and shoot. Was too busy overfeeding and bonding with fam (which is very important – Duh!)
So I was able to chat up me grandpa (maternal) and well I managed to sneak a couple of shots of him, while also getting a few of His grandkids (aka my cousins) in their ‘moments’.

..And it all made me realize when I looked into his eyes and how he just zoned out staring at us making fools of ourselves – Here is a man who has lived his life richly and fully. May God add onto his years.

Enjoy the appetizer.

And last but not least who doesn’t have one of these in their Ocha? [Countryside home]

~El Fin~


The Mombasa Story| Sunsets and Beyond

Hey fam!

Just thought I should post this before the Christmas festivities were in full swing.

This is my last post for this year and I saw it befitting to end it on a high.
As many of you (or few of you) know, I’m still a novice blogger and unabashed about that. I like to think that I grew with you my audience, despite it just being 3 months and change.
It’s been a beautiful experience, from the onset when I thought of honing my photography skills to this very moment.
I have been abundantly blessed by many a folk who some deserve special mention.
Firstly to my home boy, a guy I consider a brother actually – David Mutua a.k.a @dipwiz. Here’s a cat who schooled and keeps schooling me in photography. He was photography 101 itself. Mad love bro.
Along the way, I’ve networked, all thanks to #Twitter (the future of social networking and information exchange)
I’ve met gurus in Photography and Blogs  who have now become very good friends – Mutua Matheka (@Truthslinger), Steve Kitoto (@SteveKitots), Rags Kanyi (@ragskanyi),  Natacha (@natishem), Hiuhu Murimi (@hmurimi), Wendy  (@AwinyoPiny), Shuhi (@shuhi), Saitonne (@saitonne), David Sikobe (@skubi), Njeri (@sunnynjeri), Mike (@profkatts), the crazy height-phobic Dee (@dianangila), @wiselar (a.k.a. #1 Fan),  …the list is endless. (If you can’t see your name, even me i can’t see it. I blame my decreasing brain cells)
Of course the most important people of this baby here is YOU. You are the numero uno.
Every encouragement, criticism or simple click on the page goes along way to me knowing I’m not wasting my time. Keep me in your prayers and bookmark the site 🙂

Now on to the post (Here is a hanky..after that oh-so-teary moment)..

As we close the year there’s a lot to reflect on. Both positive and negative. I choose to focus on the positive.
There’s just so much to be thankful for in a world of negativity. There’s life, good health, family, friends, beautiful places..all these (OK, not all, most) freely given.
So as we close the year, slap a smile on, laugh, enjoy the season. Carry yourself like the King/Queen you are.
..And let’s gaze into beautiful sunsets as we hope and pray for better days.

Enjoy.

And some random select few pics..

As we gaze into the sunset and beyond baby!

And it’s a wrap!

 

Have a very Merry Christmas and a Fruitful New Year!

 

Peace.


The Mombasa Story| Fort Jesus

Previously on Picture? Perfect..

(Cue in dramatic background music)

Our day’s  superheroes comprising  your’s truly, @Truthslinger (feat. Wife), @AwinyoPiny, @stanleymuthoka and @natishem were marooned in a haunted Island, surrounded by angry, paranoid apes distressed because we had taken pictures of them and paid them peanuts, so inevitably they went bananas as we tried to give them the slip..

Baah.

(Cue in Reality)

Having visited old Town, which provided us with rich education on culture and history, the next stop was a restaurant called Island Dishes. Now I would be happy to throw in pics of what transpired there but I fear if i do so, some people will be after my life. I have no wife nor children. The End.

It was basically a feast of fury there.Ate Biriani washed down with Ukwaju and Kahawa Tungu. The aftermath of such a battle fought between stomach vs plate was a very lethargic trek up towards Fort Jesus.

Fort Jesus

Fort Jesus is a Portuguese fort built in 1593 by order of King Philip II of Spain ( King Philip I of Portugal ), then ruler of the joint Portuguese and Spanish Kingdoms, located on Mombasa Island to guard the Old Port of Mombasa, Kenya. It was built in the shape of a man (viewed from the air), and was given the name of Jesus, after Shaikh Isa Bin Tarif Al Bin Ali Al Utbi conquered the fort in 1837 after being asked for assistance by Sayyid Said Bin Sultan, Sultan of Oman[1]. The name Jesus in Arabic means Isa, therefore it means the Fort of Isa (Isa Bin Tarif). Isa Bin Tarif, Chief of the Al Bin Ali Al Utbi Tribe, is a descendant of the original uttoobee conquerors of Bahrain[2]. The Al Bin Ali were a politically important group that moved backwards and forwards between Qatar and Bahrain, they were the original dominant group of Zubara area[3], they were also known for their courage, persistence, and abundant wealth.[4]

References

  1. ^ The Gazetteer of the Persian Gulf, Oman and Central Arabia by John Gordon Lorimer p451
  2. ^ The Precis Of Turkish Expansion On The Arab Littoral Of The Persian Gulf And Hasa And Katif Affairs. By J. A. Saldana; 1904, I.o. R R/15/1/724
  3. ^ Arabia’s Frontiers: The Story of Britain’s Boundary Drawing in the Desert, John C. Wilkinson, p44
  4. ^ Arabian Studies By R.B. Serjeant, R.L. Bidwell, p67

(Information obtained from Wikipedia)

End of History class. The rest, my view – in pictures.

And the best for last, @Truthslinger attempting to model in a cave (he’s a natural!)

…Actually what I meant is he looks in his natural habitat. (Forgive me bro, I couldn’t resist.)

~El Fin~

P.S – Keep it locked for the final chapter of The Mombasa Stories. Coming Soon to a blog near you.


The Mombasa Story| Old Town

Wassup ma’ peepo! Mko sawa? (yo’ good?)

I’m splendid and my-oh-my, it’s been one weekend going to the next.

I indicated in my last post that I’d be doing some random travelling down to the great city (or is it county?) of Mombasa (pronounced: Mwah;-Mba;-Sir) and it was one helluva experience. The initial travelling contingent was vast but due to commitments and many other miserable excuses, the number dissipated. The final travelling troop was myself, @Truthslinger feat. Wifey, @stanleymuthoka (my bus mate), @natishem, @AwinyoPiny and @SonnieRox (whom disappeared somewhere into thin air).

Needless to say we had such an awesome time that we all didn’t want it to end. The landscapes were so full of life and color and we visited a great number of places. I flipped a coin to figure what to post first the choice was Old Town.

Old Town (Mji wa Kale)

The “Old Town” is reminiscent of the days when the Portuguese ruled Mombasa. Houses feature ornately carved doors and balconies, which are typical of coastal East African architecture. The town’s inhabitants are mostly of Arab origin; this is evident through the influence on the culture – especially in the architecture and language. Leven Steps, near the waterfront, is the site of an ancient well. The Old Town is well known for its ancient buildings, lavish art designs and shops that sell antiques and Kenyan souvenirs. This area of Mombasa is worth exploring on foot and takes no more than one day to see all the sights.

..Actually No you are NOT there. You are behind your screen and at the end of this post (My longest post so far)

Hope you’ve enjoyed the snippet.

Keep it locked because you know there’s defo more to come.

Shalom.