Casting a wary eye across the line-up of assorted bikes on offer, I knew we were in for an interesting morning mountain biking in Hell’s Gate National Park in Kenya. And not just for the wildlife we would be cycling past, including the chance to spot some of the “Big 5” from the saddle.
Looking like a second-hand jumble sale at the local school, the mountain bikes for our expedition into the heart of Hell’s Gate National Park ranged from barely working to scrapheap worthy.
Mountain Biking in Hell’s Gate National Park
Not ones to be easily put off we grinded away up the road.
Sticking to the back of the pack as we set off for the 4km ride to the Game Park entrance it quickly became apparent that my initial assessment of the bikes was spot on. As our “Guide” cycled away into the distance I maintained a steady stream of riders who were stopping to fix slipping gears, lost chains and stuck brake pads. Luckily by the entrance our bikes were somewhat sorted and initial nerves settled.
Cruising under the park gates, the crew from my 75 Day tour through Africa with Oasis Overland continued a steady pedal up the slight incline into Hell’s Gate National Park.
Known for its beautiful landscapes (scenes for the Lion King were inspired here) rather than it’s huge array of wildlife, we were initially struck by the beauty of the cliff formations leading us into “Hell”. The limestone cliffs of various shades of red, yellow, white and black have been shaped by Mother Natures hand over thousands of years with glaciers, wind and rain slowly whittling away tiny particles like a wood carver tuning a piece of ebony.
Eroded limestone towers and fingers strike up out of the earth creating perfect climbing routes for adventure seekers looking for rock climbs to conquer.
It wasn’t long before we began to spot out first signs of game either.
Impala, warthogs, zebra and even a lone Giraffe strolled between the valley walls as we pedalled on and on. While we had been closer to the animals while exploring Lake Nakuru National Park, cycling alongside herds of game animals is another experience entirely.
Stopping to snap pictures at regular intervals while trying to keep your distance from these wild animals is something I’m not sure I could ever get used to.
Watching a Water Buffalo stare you down from just 50m’s away while sitting on a mountain bike, and knowing that if you had to run then there was no way that you could outpace it if it was annoyed is enough to get the adrenaline pumping. As well as those tired legs rotating a little bit quicker.
After 11kms our guide decided to let our butts rest but keep our legs working.
We began a zig-zagging descent into one of the tightly winding canyons. Carved from rivers and thermal activity, these canyons split the earth in two during periods of heavy rain.
Scalding water pours from cracks in the limestone walls causing steam to rise up out of the canyons which gives Hell’s Gate its name.
Leaping from stone to stone and scaling the walls like mountain goats we had to resort to various Parkour manoeuvres to make our way deeper into the canyon. While not for the faint-hearted it wasn’t terribly taxing and there were easier routes we could have taken.
Scrambling back out of Hell’s Gate into the blazing Kenya sunshine after the relative cool shade within the canyon just meant that we would soon have to be back in the saddles to ride back past the wild animals. But not before we were rewarded with a stunning view across the length of Hell’s Gate National Park which we hadn’t yet ventured into.
Since it had been a while since I had a bike seat clenched beneath my thighs, the return ride back was tender to say the least. But with tired legs we were able to travel slower across the rutted trails allowing more time to view the animals in their natural surroundings.
Most of which paid us barely any attention at all.
Information for Mountain Biking in Hell’s Gate National Park
Located 2.5 hours north of Nairobi in Kenya, it is a worthwhile stopping point if you are making your way to Uganda or Rwanda to trek with the Mountain Gorillas.
The entrance fee for Hell’s Gate National Park is $20, while Mountain Bike hire costs range from $15 – $25 per person.
The mountain biking in Hell’s Gate National Park is endless and it is also one of the only Game Parks in the world where you can cycle through. Our ride took 4 hours and included a lunch at a local restaurant with delicious local cuisine.
While our local guide provided bits and pieces of history, information and pointed us in the right direction, we would have appreciated a bit more of a hand with the bikes. Self-guiding is definitely an option.
Best Traveling Escapades
So you may be wondering what can you do for your three day weekend or just want to get away with the fiends for a few days. Camping could be fun, but then that requires a lot of work and heck its a vacation your on, right?
Well if you are looking to get away for the weekend and want to have a bit of fun while you are on your vacation then why not head out to a fancy hotel and experience a live casino?
Live casinos offer a wide array of entertainment and activities that are not solely confined to gambling.
Live Casino Atmosphere
If you are like most people being entertained is what you are after. It brings out your little kid. Live casinos can do this. There are a hat of activities and entertainments to watch and experiences landing from five start meals cooked by some of the best chefs around to city tours that show you some of the best landmarks in the city to magic show that really makes you question reality.
Criss Angel, we are talking about you.
Aside from these fantastic events there are also live music that can make any concert feel like a kiddy show in comparison.
Looking To Get Away?
Work can be a draining experience, and we all understand that we need to get money in order to make a living but sometimes getting away for just a few days can be the remedy to cure your rising anger or depression and there is nothing, like being able to just simply cut loose and enjoy your time – even if it is for a few days.
Traveling Can Be Fun
It probably goes without saying, but if you plan on heading to a casino then this isn’t a vacation o a family friendly location to visit – but f you and your friends are looking to just get away for the week then this could very well be the destination for you and your friends.
Sit back and relax in your hotel until the nightlife comes – and then let your inner child come out and enjoy life; free from the chaos of at the real world.
You may spend a lot over the next few days, but your mind and heart will most definitely thank you in the extended scheme of things.
Best traveling escapade ever, enjoy!
Byton’s Autonomous Tech Is Just 2 Years Away
An Introduction to Byton
With Tesla being in the news for all the wrong reasons these days, it seems like a good time for its rival Byton to introduce its own autonomous driving system.
The label, which is owned by the Chinese manufacturer Future Mobility Corporation, unveiled its new concept car by the name of K-Byte at an event in Shanghai last week.
Byton is fine-tuning the K-Byte concept by collaborating with Aurora in order to bring its autonomous systems to life. The company informed the event’s attendants that the mutual efforts are going to culminate in Level 4 autonomy, which in layman’s terms translates to an automobile’s ability to drive without any human assistance.
The Autonomous K-Byte
K-Byte, the first car which is touted to house this technology, will be driven through multiple sensors that have been placed strategically throughout the model in order to give passengers a smooth and safe driving experience.
The concept revealed K-Byte as a three-box sedan with a modern exterior design, and with a few accessories that one cannot see in regular cars at all.
K-Byte holds a distinctive side mirror design which also holds its LiGuards sensors that will allow it to navigate within the world while being in self-driving mode. Other notable embellishments include the front and rear sensors on its roof, which will incorporate the LiBow and LIDAR sensor concept which once again will be adding to the autonomous driving experience.
These design choices make it clear to anyone who takes a look at the K-Byte that it is not your run of the mill engine growler but holds much more in terms of capabilities.
According to Byton, it is already in the process of finalizing the concept car for K-Byte and will be ready to unveil it by 2020. It was also mentioned that the company will be launching a test fleet in China before rolling out the production line, letting the world experience what truly autonomous driving can mean for the human race. Between autonomous driving and easy parts availability to your door from online retailers like wWw.BestPartStore.Co.Uk, having a car is going to become a much more pleasant experience.
This all comes amidst Tesla’s various issues with its own well-publicized but under-delivered Autopilot system, which gives Byton a clear opportunity to delve into the autonomous driving sector, and who knows, we might just be foraging for Byton’s automobile parts in our end of the world instead of current giants such as Mercedes or BMW.
If Byton can achieve this feat sooner than its more popular counterpart, then it will certainly get it to the top of the list of automobile manufacturers of the future.
5 UK festivals to visit this summer
The UK is so beautiful in the summer, why go abroad when you have thousands of fun things to do right here? People travel from all over the world to see our beautiful country, so get to know the UK better.
These are some of my favourite festivals for summer 2018. They are family friendly with entertainment for both parents and children.
BLISSFIELDS 5-8 July 2018 | Winchester. Whilst you’re getting your groove on, your children will enjoy making woodland fancy dress costumes in the Angel Gardens Family Area, having paint fights and dancing their socks off at the onesie disco and everyone’s in their happy place. Address: Vicarage Farm, Woodmancott, SO21 3BL Website: blissfields.co.uk Tickets: Adult weekend tickets from £100; youths £85
LATITUDE 13-15 July 2018 | Suffolk. Latitude must be the closest grown-ups can get to a real festival experience with the kiddies. You can enjoy yourself while your cuties hang out in the Enchanted Garden where there’s circus skills classes, screen printing and wildlife craft sessions. Address: Henham Park, Nr Southwold, Beccles, Suffolk NR34 8AN Website: latitudefestival.com Tickets: Adult weekend tickets from £197; accompanied teens from £132.50; children from £15
GIVE 13-16 July 2018 | Leicestershire. This tiny celebration of soul, house, funk, reggae and blues, grew out of a series of club nights started by a gang of warehouse ravers in the 80s. While it is not a family festival, many regulars now bring their kids, who love it. This year, watch British Soul singer Corrina Greyson and then head to the treehouse, bouncy castle, karaoke and magic forest schools. Address: Stanford Hall, Lutterworth, Leicestershire, LE17 6DH Website: houseofhoney.org Tickets: Adult weekend tickets from £175; under 18s £55; under 13s £30
DEER SHED FESTIVAL 20-22 July 2018 | North Yorkshire. Kick off the school holidays with this weekend of fun at Baldersby Park in Yorkshire, combining music, cabaret, comedy, theatre, book readings, family films, science workshops and lots of scampering in the woods. Address: Baldersby Park, Topcliffe, North Yorkshire YO7 3BZ Website: deershedfestival.com Tickets: Adult weekend tickets from £135; 6-15 year olds £45; 3-5 £10; 0-2 free
CURIOUS ARTS FESTIVAL 20-22 July 2018 | Hampshire. It’s all snail racing, midnight bat walks and bee-keeping lessons at the Curious Arts Festival, in the grounds of stately Pylewell Park. The film and poetry workshops for kids are a must. Address: Pylewell Park, East End, Lymington, Hampshire SO41 5SJ Website: curiousartsfestival.com Tickets: Adult weekend tickets from £128; 5-13 year olds £23; under 5s free.
Sometimes one can get tired of driving all over the country to the festival of your choice, then you also have to think about how much alcohol you consumed the night before and whether or not you’re ok to drive. Why not ‘coach it’? Travelling by coach means you don’t have to worry about driving at all, you can just sit back and relax and enjoy the ride. Click here for some excellent discount offers and have a fabulous festival summer!
Meet Cole and Adela
We have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...
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