Tight budget for a road trip? Don’t sweat it, we are on a budget too
By Waithera Mbuthia
It has been a long and unpredictable year, and most of us have been stressed out. My girls and I decided to take a breather, and do a road trip to Nanyuki- Mwisho wa reli as it is commonly referred to. We hit the road on Friday morning at 9am. The early the better, right? With a full tank of fuel, which lasted us the entire trip and more, we were ready to go.
Our first stop for brunch was at slightly past Kenol at County 2 county grill. They have very nice Mbuzi choma which goes for Ksh.700 a kilo, and mouthwatering chicken from Ksh.1,000. This took us less that fifteen minutes as we ordered take away, and got back on the road. We were eager to get to our destination.
Our next stop was the outskirts of Nanyuki, where we had booked our accommodation, at AJs The Ranch. Accommodation here is quite affordable if you are on a tight budget. The rooms go for betweenKsh.2,000 and Ksh.3,000 a night. The place has clean and spacious rooms, acommon lounge, and from some rooms you can see Mt. Kenya early in the morning. We dropped our bags and headed out to explore the town.
The exploration took us past Timau, on your way to Meru, at a place called Kisima. There is a lovely coffee joint at Kisima for the coffee lovers, and a gift shop. We parked by the roadside, and danced to some music. We had carried our drinks with us because what’s a road trip with no drinks and music combo? The place is scenic and we took lots of photos. By the time we got back to the Ranch, it was late but we still had an in house party of sorts with the other patrons, till late.
Nobody warned me that the sunrises so early in Nanyuki, and the place is very warm during the day. But, I was lucky to have a view of the peaks of the mountain in the morning.
On Saturday, we went to see the ’end of the railway’ or ‘mwisho wa reli’, which is a walking distance from The Ranch. This is where the Thika-Nanyuki railway comes to an end. Legend has it that the map was lost, and hence the rail could not go all the way to Meru. How true that is, we may never know.
Later we would drive to The Fairmont hotel for lunch, only to find that the place has been closed since COVID-19, as with all Fairmont hotels. We met a welcoming guard who explained that there were plans to reopen this December. He allowed us to drive all the wayto the gate, and turn back.
After that, we went to Soames, which is a few kilometers from Nanyuki town, as you head to Chaka. There were few patrons here, but more came in as the evening went by. The place is quiet,and very beautiful. They have a varied menu, from food to drinks. We spent sometime here, taking coffee, and cocktails before heading out. Cocktails here go for Ksh.500 upwards. Our last stop on Saturday was Comfort gardens at Ol Pejeta conservancy. We got here, to find the place packed. There was a birthday partygoing down, and we did not stay long. The prices here are a bit high compared to other places we had been to a bottle of regular wine goes for Ksh.2500. They have accommodation, a restaurant and also a swimming pool.
Sunday was spent visiting friends before heading back to reality. Some of our friends had rented an Air B&B near the Trout tree, and we passed by for sightseeing. The accommodation here is also pocket friendly especially if you are a big group of people. The price for the Air B&B, is an estimated Ksh.30,000, especially during this festive season. The prices may vary at other times. They even had a whole mbuzi to roast.
All in all, we had fun before heading back home. There are many places where accommodation is affordable, and also many places to visit while in Nanyuki. Am sure I’ll be back soon. It felt nice to be away from the City’s hustle for a moment. If you’re looking for a quick getaway this season, then you should consider Nanyuki.