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Secret valley

Posted on 2 Jun 2016 | 0 comments

Gerald invites us to join him for a weekend of camping with some of his friends. The place is rather hidden and difficult to find, so we get detailed instructions to find a specific house where we will need to ask for a guide to take us to the actual spot. Anne-Marie had already travelled down with Gerald the day before. We depart Saturday morning early and head down towards Shompole and Magadi.

Once we turn off the main road we use a combination of following our noses and the coordinates to where the house should be, taking any track that appears to be heading in the right direction. We find the house without any problems and soon a guy on a boda boda is showing us the way. We tackle the steep dry waterfall slope which is now part of the track and surprise everybody with our early arrival.

We decide to go for a run straight away and everybody declares us mad. We want to go for about 20km and decide to run the track we came in on as there are no other trails in the area, just thick bush. After 10.5km we turn around and run back the way we came, making it half a marathon before we sit down for lunch with the rest of the crew.

Jude and Anne-Marie on our first morning run (21km)

Ian owns this place and they have been coming here for 17 years. It is stunning and everything you could want on a bush block is here, including a lovely hot shower so we can get to lunch smelling fresh again!

the stunning place where we stayed in secret valley

After lunch we go for a walk further up the valley where they are clearing a track to put in a sundowner spot. It is a stunning location and we just sit and enjoy the view from atop a large boulder.

Anne-Marie, Jude and Gerald on top of the world

the view from the top of the world…

At night we sit around the big rock table for dinner, have a drink around the fire and set the camera traps, hoping some interesting animals will amble past in the night…

setting the camera

The next morning we get up early for another run. We can’t convince Anne-Marie to join us so it’s just us as we head out for another 14km run, back in time for breakfast.

Jude on our second morning run (only 14km this time)

After breakfast we check the cameras, but there is nothing interesting on them. We then head out with the dogs which are all labradors and well-trained. They have an air gun that shoots targets into the distance which they then have to find and retrieve. It is pretty awesome and impressive to watch and we all get to shoot the gun for the dogs.

Jon firing the gun, with the dog patiently waiting for the command to find it

We drive down the track to let the dogs go for a swim as they are all hot and exhausted at the end. When we get back it is time for lunch.

cooling off

Gerald then goes ‘hunting’ and finds a beautiful baboon spider and a large scorpion which we admire before we start the drive back home.

beautiful baboon spider

A few hours later we get back home. That was an amazing weekend in a beautiful spot!

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