Friday, June 24, 2011

The Great Rift Valley

The Great Rift Valley is one continuous trench about 6,000 kilometers (3,700 miles) long. The Rift runs from northern Syria in Asia to central Mozambique in Africa. Once upon a time the earth’s crust weakened and tore apart, which created this jagged rift. The land on both sides erupted with great volcanic mountains and the valley floor sank into a low, flat plain. The Rift neatly divides Kenya down the length of the country essentially separating the East from the West. The Great Rift Valley is home to about 30 active and semi-active volcanoes and numerous hot springs.

While waiting for the girls, Don and Becky drove me just a few minutes outside Nairobi to see the Rift. Unfortunately, the day was pretty cloudy. What little I could see was beautiful. Although the site reminded me a bit of Estes Park, the size of this valley is beyond compare.

As with any touristy area, the small wooden shops lined the roadside. Rather than actually sitting on the road, though, these shops hung over the edge of the drop off supported underneath only by a few sticks. What a view! I did wonder about the toilet…given that they tend to be pit latrines.