Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Great Rift Valley

Our first view of the Great Rift Valley was from a roadside stop overlooking the Valley. As in any place with tourist potential, a long strip of road had been widened just enough for vehicles to park. There were various vendors selling everything imaginable. And there was a choo, too.
I believe I told you a long time ago what a choo is (rhymes with show). It is what the Kenyans call their toilet. Most of them are flush with ground (no pun intended) and require you to squat over the hole. The choos we saw while in Kenya varied quite a bit, from the porcelain choo at Paradise Lost to the hole dug in the ground at Mosiro. The choo at the overlook was quite interesting.
I didn’t really need to use the facilities at the time, but Cathy came back raving about it so much that I had to check it out. It was basically a bucket with a hole in the bottom of it buried in the floor hanging over the side of the cliff. To make it even more special, there was a pail filled with water and a dipper with a sign saying something like “please flush as needed”.
Besides experiencing this unique flushable choo, we also saw our first wildlife. Looking straight down over the cliff, we saw a small herd of hyrax. They look like a rodent–type of animal but, even though they resemble a guinea pig, are supposed to be more closely related to the elephant (or that is what Wikipedia claims).
But all of that pales next to the view of the Rift Valley. It is just a huge expanse of land so unchanged by millennia that it takes your breath away. Only pictures can do it justice –well, not really.

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