Monday, 8 July 2013


The sun was blazing, it was only about nine in the morning but already the oppressive heat of the savannah was making my temples throb. A fine trickle of salty sweat passed my ear and down my cheek. The velvet on my crash helmet feeling very out of place. My skin prickled and my eyes squinted, for now we were on the plains where there was no shade from the thorn trees or baobabs. I was thirsty so reached into the saddle bag to find a cool drink. My eyes seemed to burn but the horses necks yet to break into a sweat, for they were used to this.

"We make long canter? Look out for jackal holes!" said the guide.

And we were off, allowing the horses to pick their way, watching herds of zebra and impala scatter as we approached. Four horses thundered in unison over the hard ground heading for the distance, there seemed to be no end. My legs were screaming, the muscles working hard to keep me balanced and forward out of the saddle, to help my horse. He was called Zulu. The froth began to appear on his neck and waft that intoxicating smell so addictive to horse-lovers. Maasai walked hundreds of head of cattle in the distance, always on the move to find better grazing. I grinned, E grinned, this was good, this was very good. I wanted to remember this forever.

Just as I thought my legs could not carry on, there in the distance was a table with a white linen cloth, being laid under the cool of an acacia tree. We slowed our horses to a walk, allowing them to stretch their necks and reach down. Was this really for us? A table of breakfast overlooking the plains of Africa. Tears rolled down and mixed with the sweat on my cheeks.

"Karibu!" the waiters called to us, someone took our horses. We were relieved to rid ourselves of the necessary hats, our hair stuck attractively to our skulls, soaked.

"Wash your hands here and take a seat!" said the waiter in a soothing African lilt.

"Asante!" I replied in my limited Swahili. And sat down to the best breakfast of my life.

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