Lemon Valley, one of those little heavens I have always wanted to visit. The hill view of the Lake Elementaita and the sleeping warrior is everything. The place is chic and colourful, screaming fun all way. Its cabins are one of a kind, each with its own unique feel to it. What’s not to like about it?
When I got an invite from Xtrym Adventures to the summit party at Lemon Valley, it was a definite yes. No doubts, no second thoughts, if things had to be cancelled, they were definitely cancelled. This was a 1st of its kind – summit party. It was a weekend gateway (one night two days event) to accommodate people’s crazy 8 -5, other biasharas and families.
The event started the minute I read no hiking boots and there was no ‘we leave with or without you’ disclaimer anywhere. Once we were on the overland truck, it was our world. Nothing outside those walls really mattered. The music, the crowd, the games, conversation just took over. We did make a few stop overs for various things but mostly pictures. These Xtrym babies do love to document their memories. At 6pm we finally got to our location. I was in awe; the place was way more beautiful than I had imagined it to be. The creativity was jaw dropping and the views…. lord am not sure which dictionary word to use to describe them with. We all just got lost in the moment going up and down admiring the place. As we did that Duncan the Xtrym godfather, grandfather, father, mwalimu, whichever you please, got down to the tent set up. It comes so easy to him I mean, it’s not work,it’s passion for him. As I roamed around I noticed super amazing posts and little, little sculptures that gave life to this heaven. The place is super scenic with lots of picture perfect spaces. 7pm made a perfect time of a night swim and pool games, Marco Paulo being our favourite. This game got us psyched up and laughing like a bunch of loonies.
Dinner was served ….The chef made some really mouthgasmic food, chapo lovers mko wapi, this is your guy. After the scrumptious meal we got to the climax of the party. This is when I figured out what a summit party really was. Slow much… I know right. It is a celebration of the unsung heroes, people who fought despite the odds that were thrown at them, folks who went beyond the excuses. Ordinary people doing extra ordinary things. These were the people who have seen, touched and had an extra ordinary story about that moment or the journey to a mountain peak. We had with us; among the very few Kenyans to successfully summit Batian, the highest point in Mt. Kenya, countless Mt. Kenya and Kilimanjaro summiteers, people who learnt to walk and summited 4 peaks in 12 months, people who kept recruiting members to team machozi (don’t be deceived the name. They are Xtrym bad ass) and my best group was those who keep pushing themselves when their everything says no. They kept going until they too had a summit story. They didn’t care what time they summited as long as they carried the title. Those ones make me shed a little tear. Their stories are very inspiring, the kind you would read in humans of New York. Maybe I will get to write them someday.
The best part about this is realizing the friendships, the families, the courtship, the disciple, zeal and extraordinary efforts that have been made. The effort of one man following his passion has led to so much more. Hence why we give him such titles, sherpa is just not for him at least not with us. He is so much more.
Now for the campfire … of course we had a campfire it isn’t a camp with no campfire and some campfire karaoke. To say the least, some people didn’t sleep.
At dawn, the usual suspects found their way to the pool until brunch. One of Duncan’s specialty is brunch make sure you don’t miss out on the pancakes and the mango salsa (I never get to see the secret ingredient). The last moments are always the saddest in travel, you seem to want to do everything and so we did but before long it was late lunch and home time. I couldn’t help thinking that, that was the best way I could have enjoyed Lemon Valley. Whenever I had thought of a Lemon Valley Experience this one surpassed any imagine I had ever had. I mean all, if not most Xtrym events, leave such sankaras for me. Thankful for this hiker family that I was blessed with.
Cheers till the next one.
P.S : The pictures are from different collaborators