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ZIPLINING! Young, Wild & Free!

Hello Peaches! Are you an adrenaline junkie like me? Do you like the thrill of the adrenaline rush? Well, Zip lining is for you. For the record, zip lining is the big adrenaline adventure to do right now out of Nairobi; an out of town adventure amidst nature at The Forest where you get to zip line on a 2,200 m cable above the Kereita forest gliding above the giant forest canopies.

My zip lining experience at The Forest was off the chain! The Forest is near Limuru in the Kereita Forest in Kimende. They are closed on Mondays except for Public Holidays. For a long time, I had been wanting to jump on the zip lining bandwagon but getting a group was the toughest challenge because I came to realize not every one of my friends is as adventurous and spontaneous as I am. Luckily, one of my very dear friends Ibtisam suggested ziplining as the next adventure plan. Like, hell yea! I was born READY for the long awaited adventure. As recommended, we booked a week early, paying a deposit of kshs. 1000 each to secure our slot. Did I mention that we were the last lucky group to get the last price of kshs. 2,500? The current price for the 6 zip lines is now Kshs. 2,800 this 2018.

In total, we were a group of 5. We all met at the Wilson Airport Shell station where we bought snacks and drinking water for the mini road trip whereas I had to buy an extra energy drink because insomnia had gotten the best of me the previous night.

Nonetheless, I love road trips if the driver is a smooth driver of which he was. It took us one hour and 15 minutes to arrive as opposed to the 45 minutes communicated as the left turn from Total Petrol station to The Forest is actually a good 15-20 minutes. Although the narrow road from that turn to The Forest is tarmacked, it has lots of potholes which slows you down a little. However, the road has sufficient board sign directions which makes it easier to find your way as you enjoy the view of the tall trees covered with lush mosses.

The ForestThe ForestThe Forest

Upon arrival, there was enough parking space since we were among the first people to get there. We walked out of the car with our water bottles following the sign board leading us to the building. We were first welcomed by a tiny horse ranch with four horses and bike trails which are among the activities list.

Bike trailThe Forest The Forest

The Forest building itself is spectacular with stunning art wall frames and quirky colorful kikoi ceilings. The restaurant is also beautiful with amazing view of the lush green forest. Without wasting time, we went straight to the paying counter to clear off our balance. Luckily, we had arrived at 10:30 a.m. which was half an hour early as we were to zip line at 11 a.m. Therefore, we had ample time for a brief training with our assigned instructors, John & Joseph. Two gentlemen from Tanzania joined us so we could be a group of 7. As instructed, we went to fill in the wavers at the little zip lining office outside as our instructors assisted each of us to fit our harnesses and gloves tightened to our comfort.

HarnessesHarnesses

Since we were early, we got to do a 15 minutes quick training on a short and low zip line. Basically, your dominant hand should hold the clip firmly while the other hand holds the rope. You position your body in an upright sitting position with your legs crossed as you lean back. If you get stuck, you can do the monkey business whereby you turn and hold the zip line cable by turning, that was hilarious! Conversely, if you’re going too fast, the instructor on the receiving end will alert you by signaling you to slow down, so you’ll have to remove your dominant hand from the clip and hold the zip line to slow down to your destination for a smooth landing. Our instructors showed us practically on a small zip line explaining clearly safety-focused procedures. We all took turns doing the zip line warm up and we were now ready for the real deal.

Zip liningZip liningZip lining

As usual, I never go first due to ‘fear of the unknown’. So I took my time to let my team mates go first and when I ensured that they landed alive and safely, I was ready to go.

Zip lining

My heart was pounding as if it were a train on the tracks, my pulse quickened as did my breath while my fear of heights was trying to get the best of me but I tried ignoring it so as not to succumb to it. My hands were sweaty but thank God for the gloves I was certain for a firm grip. The zip line carry a maximum of 115 kgs so I was more on the safe side which was a little reassuring. The instructor clipped my harness to the zip line as I sat in our instructed position. ‘Don’t look down.. don’t look down’ I whispered. On the count of 3, I was pushed to slide screaming at the top of my lungs, thrilled, not believing that I was whizzing over the forest canopy.

Zip lining

The view was spectacular seeing cattles grazing on the lush green view of the grazing land. I felt the crispy mountain air taking over my whole body caressing me with the serenity of the lush green forest. Amazingly, I enjoyed the stunning scenic views of the Aberdares valleys and breathtaking landscapes. Overly ecstatic, I felt like Tarzan woohoo-ing all the way like I was made for this.

Zip lining

Still screaming, I was abruptly scared that I was speeding on landing hence slowing myself down without any instructions. My paranoia had gotten the best of me because I was so close to land so I had to do the monkey business. On landing on the wooden platform, I felt so rejuvenated. That’s when I realized that I was overreacting earlier and it was all in my head. That was actually a piece of cake. I envied the colobus monkeys for their amazing life enjoying this every day.

Psyched like never before, we hiked a few meters to the other 5 zip lines. Enjoying the tranquility nature walk, we hiked in between the walks and repelled down in others from one zip line to another. Donkeys and cows were peacefully grazing which was lovely to see.

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Donkeys

Thankfully, I had worn my Nike sport shoes which had firm grip so I didn’t slide on the muddy land as some parts of the ground was wet and mucky. Not so fast though, I had to slow down as I started running out of breath. Clearly, I realized how unfit I was am. My heart was palpitating as I could hear it thudding with an alarming speed almost coming out of my chest. Nonetheless, I stopped to catch my breath as I drank water to stay hydrated and breathed in the fresh air while swooning into the Breathtaking view.

The Forest

The Forest

Finally, we got to the second zip line. I got it right the second time which made me so euphoric when my feet landed straight on the wooden platform that I almost fell backwards. I was over the moon. The rest was now a walk in the park. Tarzan had nothing on me! I would do it over and over again. The experience was Amazing!!!! Hilariously, one of our team members stepped on boggy cow dung and everyone was superstitiously like, “Oh someone’s going to be rich”. He was like ‘Shit! no man, not shit.’ ‘Well, you won’t be cursing when you start cashing in,’ I teased.

The Forest Ziplining

So thrilled, I felt super light and brand new. It was such a great feeling. Words are redundant to explain the thrill of the experience. We all made it to the 6th zip line safely with a bang!

Zip lining at The Forest

You could tell by the smiles on our faces that we enjoyed the ecstatic adventure; euphoria was in the air.

Zip lining at The Forest

The Forest Restaurant

However, we were fatigued for hunger pangs started attacking us. We thanked our instructors for the commendable job giving us the best experience and we immediately headed straight to the restaurant. They had a variety of meals and drinks menus with pocket-friendly prices. In essence, the options were: A La Carte, Indian Cuisine and Buffet. The buffet which costed kshs. 1000 looked more convenient as we wouldn’t have to wait to be served. Furthermore, there was a variety of delighting options and you could serve to your satisfaction. I served salad with season island sauce, kachumbari, coleslaw, veggies, barbecue chicken, and lamb which was made from the fresh produce of The Forest. The chicken, lamb and steak was being served by the chef straight from the grill while the naan bread was also being prepared and served freshly hot out of the oven. The food was surprisingly delicious as we enjoyed the amazing view of the super rich green Kereita forest. We finished off with fruit salad dessert. Lunching with that picturesque view was super relaxing.

By far, that was one of the best adventures I ever did. Needless to say, I was so sleepy that I couldn’t do any other activity so Ibtisam and the gang went for paint balling and archery while I was being a kill joy taking a nap in the car. Paint ballingTherefore, I vow to get enough sleep the next time I get to visit The Forest and go ham on all the activities and attractions it has to offer. Who’s with me?!

In a nutshell, my Zip lining experience was AMAZEBALLS!

Zip liningZip lining

Close enough? 😜💃🏽 Live|Love|Laugh

Bucket list checked ✔️

Safety Zip lining measures

DO IT IF.. you love nature, and have a thrill for adventure.

DON’T DO IT IF… you have alarming medical conditions like asthma or heart problems.

CARRY.. A small backpack for storing your phones, cameras and water bottle safely while zip lining.

Until next time Peaches.💃🏽

NYAMA MAMA XPRESS

Hello Peaches, I hope you are all kicking it well this festive December. Let’s get started on the foodie shenanigans with Nyama Mama Xpress; an African diner with an urban eclectic twist of the local dishes. I’d recommend everyone who has curious taste buds like myself to give it a try.

So this is how I found myself at Nyama Mama Xpress. It was a sunny Tuesday afternoon when I had to attend for a casual meeting at Yaya Center Mall in Kilimani, Nairobi. I met the staunch Hon. Madam (identity withheld) for the meeting on 2nd floor near Standard Chartered Bank (you know I’m indirectly giving you directions, right?). We then decided to sit at the nearest restaurant that would catch our eye. Alas! Pizza hut was the first fast food restaurant we spotted just a few steps ahead. Luckily, it was packed so we moved to the empty table on the far end and that’s when I noticed the indoor Nyama Mama sign, of which I have always wanted to dine from. “Perfecto!” I sat readily for my brief meeting. First of all, I felt honored that she actually took her time out of her busy schedule to come meet me. Once the meeting was done, I thanked her for her precious time and stayed back with the intent of going ham on the menu. That’s when I discovered all these interesting modernized African hearty dishes.

The menus and take away bags are everything the Kenyan Government would be proud of following the plastic bags ban, as they are Eco-friendly solid hard paper. The ambiance is commendable. The prices of the meals on the menu are quite reasonable. Also, the menu is not boring at all, if anything it will strike up some more curiosity and you’d want to try everything in one sitting. Not that I was unaccustomed to the food, but the creativity is what tantalized me. For starters, I ordered fried plantains simply because I was craving for them. To me however, the spicy ugali fries stood out as they sounded scrumptious (Thanks to Hazel for suggesting it to me on my Instagram poll). I was so intrigued to order that just to tickle my exotic taste buds because it’s not the usual Ugali; a staple food in East Africa made of maize flour with boiling water stirred to stiffness. I’ve always had ugali served with cabbage, sukuma wiki, kachumbari (veggie salad) and fish or stew. This was a whole new meaning of Ugali.  Another one of the meals that got my attention other than the spicy Ugali fries was the Mama’s Matoke Burger. “Mhh.. that sounds odd,” I thought to myself. However, Matoke – cooked (peeled) green bananas – being one of my favorite African meals, I was ready to risk it all.

The drinks menu had some interesting smoothies and shakes too. I like minty drinks so I ordered mint & white chocolate shake which was different from my usual pineapple mint order which I’d consider it to be my signature drink.

The plantains came earlier served in a cute plate, needless to say, the portion is quite small. However, I was as hungry as a bear hence I snacked them like potato chips.

Then voila, the spicy Ugali fries plate was served accompanied with my mint white chocolate shake. The serving of the Ugali fries was top notch and creatively cool in a hash tag pattern. The garlic sauce they served with was so delicious as I dipped it and sent it straight to my mouth. Ummm.. The taste was like nothing I’ve tasted before. I could taste the ugali and chilli yes, but the mix was just weird, good weird I guess. It’s not something I would eat frequently though. Anyway, I ate like a bird that day in disbelief of how filling those few chips of ugali were. It’s either my appetite was low that day or the ugali fries were extremely filling that I did not have room to neither experiment the matoke burger nor any other meal on the main meal menu.

The mint and white chocolate shake was so delicious and simply orgasmic. You will not want to finish it because of the perfectly blended mint mix. Just let it drink you, nice and slow. I was so pleased and satisfied with the shake that I could eerily be a junkie from it; I rebuke the temptations of the diabetes devil!

While I was lingering waiting for my food to digest well, I noticed a food Magazine published by Eat Out. I perused through only to be fascinated by all these food articles and new untapped restaurants in Nairobi that I’d definitely be interested in exploring. Since I was alone, it was more of an eat-and-run situation. So I requested for my bill and a portion of my untouched food to be wrapped as take away.

Their bill folder is artfully folded with colorful African print ankara material which gives it that proper African vibe.

To wrap it up, I’d add that Nyama Mama Xpress is one of those restaurants you eat-and-run, well, according to me. As in, the food is delicious but it’s not somewhere I’d be fond of other than maybe fulfill my curiosity of tasting the different meals in their menu. Oh, and for that shake! I’d definitely go back for those drinks. On the bright side though, the meal was my money’s worth as it was very filling.

Since I couldn’t have anything from the main meal, mind telling me if the matoke burger is a good idea? Rather, anything else on the menu? Please let me know by commenting on the comment section down below.

For now, that’s all Peaches.

Indulge!