Our Nairobi-bound bus nearly forgets to drop us in Naivasha town. Or possibly the drop point is always a long way past the turnoff? I track our position on my phone, elbow Eileen: "Can you make sure the driver knows we're getting off in Naivasha?"
After longer than we'd like, the driver lets us get out. We bump our packs all the way down the aisle from our seats in the back row, deflect boda-boda offers, cross the busy road.
"Look, the dirt here isn't red clay!" Eileen and I have been sure we'd never get out of the thick red mud, so I think she's happy to see sandy gray dirt that doesn't stick to our shoes. Flecks of glassy black obsidian wink up: this is volcano land.
It's a long walk into Naivasha town. There's always a shoulder of the road for walking, but the air by the road can be pretty bad. Some trucks emit great clouds of black through tailpipes that point sideways: out to us and all the other walking people instead of back into the vision of following cars.
I hold my breath as the worst trucks pass, but that's not an option in town. There's garbage embedded in the dirt of the streets, belching cars, and a very smoky crematorium at the mortuary we pass.
Eileen is looking for more data for her phone from a Safaricom shop. Stores are confusing in East Africa because every commercial building's walls are painted with advertisements. Just because it says Safaricom all over the building doesn't mean it's a Safaricom shop. We stop at a couple of likely-looking places, only to be pointed onward.
We do eventually find the shop. While Eileen is getting her data loaded, I ask a guard if there's a bathroom in the mall it's in. He helpfully escorts me on a winding path, asking five or six different women for directions. When we find the bathroom, the stalls are padlocked closed, so he goes and somehow acquires a key for me.
Errands accomplished in town, we gratefully walk out of the city. We think we should be able to walk to Fisherman's Camp to sleep before night falls.
We step through sellers' mats of tomatoes, basins of dried mayfly bodies (food), fresh fish carts. The air gets better as we gain distance from the main road. It's nice to walk after the long bus ride, and there's wildlife and trees along the roadside path.
It's time for my Chinese practice, so I put in headphones and make the video call back to where California is…