You know those things that you long to see them happen? Well, one of those came to be recently. For the almost two years that I’ve been writing here, my family hasn’t really been reading my work. It’s one thing for others not to rally behind you but when it’s your own family- that’s heavy. So when one of my brothers read my previous post and was inspired to travel, that was a major success for me. And that is how we found ourselves going on a random trip to Chania Falls.
After reading that post, my brother David asked when I would be going on the next trip so he could come along. But there was no trip planned soon. Later that evening I learnt that dad wouldn’t be going to church the next day, so that meant we would stay home (he was to drive us there). My other brother Eric suggested we have a day out somewhere near home- Chania Falls, maybe? I wasn’t sure whether to go since I needed to rest. But it had been long since I travelled and the urge was biting.
I confirmed the location on Google Maps. It was quite near home. This encouraged me to rally my brothers to go. They agreed. I just hoped the rain that had been pounding heavily that week would spare us. If not that would mean staying indoors or dealing with mud. None of us had ever been there so we didn’t know how it would be with dreary weather.
We planned to leave home on Sunday at noon and spend the afternoon there. It turned out to be a not-so-good decision as you’ll see shortly. Dad offered to drop us there since it wasn’t far. Great since I didn’t feel like dealing with public transport. We alighted at the turn off to the highway and began looking for the falls. That was the first hurdle. We thought we would see signs leading us to Chania Falls but there were none.
Google Maps had shown the falls were near Thika Water and Sewerage Company (Thiwasco) , so I headed to their gate to ask for directions. Hurdle number two. The security guard looked at me as if I was speaking in a foreign language. “Is that a hospital?” he asked. Since when did ‘falls’ and ‘hospital’ sound the same? We tried asking at a residential estate across the gate and the lady who answered was even more clueless. She thought we were talking about the water treatment company (where we’d just come from). Incredible. How could they be so ignorant about a natural feature right next to them? I then realised Kenyans have a big problem.
We don’t know about the numerous attractions in our country. Even those in our neighbourhoods. Yet foreigners come from across the seas to visit these treasures. This gave me more reason to keep writing- many times I’ve wondered why I do this at all, yet it seems no one reads. If I continue writing then maybe one day Kenyans will be better informed, ey?
Just look at all this beauty!
At this point Eric was ready to go back home but I didn’t want to give up just yet. I turned to Google Maps yet again. We followed the directions as we walked. The location pin showed we were getting closer. Shortly we realised that the falls are located within Blue Post Hotel’s compound. Also if you stand at some point along Thiwasco’s boundary wall, you can see the falls. Remember the clueless security guard? Unbelievable. We walked to the hotel’s gate, found the reception area and paid for the nature walk.
On our way to find a guide, we came across traditional thatched huts where artwork was being sold. There were all sorts of soapstone carvings, beaded accessories, drums, gourds, household decorations…all so beautiful we wished we could buy them all. From outside you can’t tell the huts have interesting stuff.
We finally got to the place where the guide was to meet us. A short while later Theodore came for us. He’s very knowledgeable and has such a lively demeanour. He’s been working here for 5 years but will be leaving later in the year. We began walking towards the falls as he led us. We came to a place where the falls are viewed from an elevated position. I squeezed in some quick shots since Theodore said we wouldn’t come back that way.
We continued with the walk, passing through a thicket. The ground was slippery from the previous night’s rain. Getting to the base of the falls, we were amazed at the sight. Eric was transfixed on the powerful rushing water- he didn’t hear me ask if he wanted photos of him taken. Chania Falls is an amazing display of nature’s might. Just look at the photos in this post. But even photos don’t do it enough justice- you need to be there and feel the gush of awe.
After having our fill of photos, we proceeded towards the second waterfall. We had been joined by a lady and her young daughter. The little girl was tough- she didn’t cry or fuss the entire walk. The route to the other falls is through an indigenous forest, along the banks of River Chania. Theodore informed us that the forest remains undisturbed. Some trees have been there for up to 100 years. Wow! The humidity gave us the feel of a tropical rainforest.
Our guide pointed out a section of the river where hippos hang out. Hippos in Kiambu County? Who would have thought? Walking through the forest was refreshing despite the humidity. If you’re stressed out, try some nature therapy. It works wonders. When we arrived at the confluence of rivers Chania and Thika, the clouds that had been dark from the start of the walk grew darker. Not good. The rain was threatening to cut short our walk. We picked up the pace.
We walked along the bank of River Thika as birds called from their hiding places. The air grew colder. Suddenly we came upon Thika Falls, just as majestic as Chania Falls. Theodore commented that the falls hadn’t had so much water in years. And here we were to witness it. Amazing. As we took photos, raindrops gave us a warning signal. We wrapped up quickly and stated heading back. The rain increased in intensity and so did the force of the falls. How many times have you seen a waterfall swell in real life?
The path out of the falls is uphill and we struggled on the slippery ground. By the time we got to the top, the rain was falling in full force. That was a fun experience, but how would we get home? We hadn’t carried jackets or umbrellas since it was sunny earlier. We waited for some minutes for the rain to subside, bought a souvenir at the thatched huts then walked to the matatu stage, in the rain.
Upon getting home we narrated our experience to dad. He resolved to go at a later time since we had so much fun. At least my family is now beginning to understand why I travel. Small steps but at least we’re making progress. As always, I urge you to go out and see this beautiful country of ours- there’s so much to see. You’re in for a treat with each trip!