Traveling to central Kenya from Nairobi is mostly seen as an easy trip, 2 hrs and you are mostly at your destination. This Friday another 4 am wake-up call and we were en route to Chogoria town, Tharaka Nithi county. Picked up a friend going along with us on Thika road mall, a bit drizzly but subsided as we drove along must have been a passing cloud. We drove along the Nyeri -Nairobi road, passed the turn-off to Mwea Embu road. We got re-calibrated by google maps to some road, though not sure where, but joined the Embu Meru road and proceeded to arrive in Kirinyaga county, Embu town at 6.30 am, stopped over at a restaurant opposite the governor’s office, later to be called by friends following they had arrived at Izzac Walton hotel. We joined them as they had their breakfast, had a chat, and soaked in the morning sun Kenya is a beautiful country.
After breakfast we drove down the winding roads of Chuka then Chogoria, The last I was in both these towns the roads were murky and there wasn’t much to write home about. A decade later and there is a lot of change especially when one gets engaged with the interiors of the town. The weather was hot, lots of vegetation along the way and the roads were pretty clear.
It was another sad trip across the countryside to condole with one of our friends on the passing of her father. Visiting a morgue is sombre and hospitals ain’t places for the faint-hearted. Proudly so the father had donated the land for the Chogoria hospital to them and it was a celebration of life. Went round to get water, the shops are decent, banks are in the area, and major institutions like NHIF. By all standards, if one was to live and do business there, they won’t be the stranger in Jerusalem.
Hurriedly drove back to Embu for late lunch, Izzack Walton Inn was still our host, I managed to call a friend who runs a school in the area to come to say hello. Some other friends from the town joined us for lunch and drinks. A meet-up of childhood friends and socializing. We had a good laugh in the sunset breeze of Embu town in open gardens. One of us inquired about the bumps that were previously on that Embu-Meru road and apparently they were eventually removed since Miraa drivers started using the Nanyuki- Nairobi road. Though rumor has it the miraa drivers may be back.
I have friends in Embu who run business across the central region of Kenya, I have stayed over for a week and realized that one can have a quite life outside the capital city with access to it. A shuttle drive from Embu to Nairobi is approximately 2 hrs. and somebody coming from Rongai/Kiserian can same about the same time trying to get to town. Anyway, to each his own and matter of mindset, one could argue the social scene and caliber of friends in the capital are something to write home about so, I seal my lips.