Written by Vik Chege.
Everyone is good at something. There’s people that can tell you your weight just by kissing your index finger. There’s guys that can see right into the 7th layer of space. There are 9 layers according to a fiction book I read. The people in that layer think we’re weird. I’m not talking about those people. I’m talking to the people who strap into a speed monster that’s literally an inch off the ground and try to figure out which is the brake and which is the gas pedal.
Go karting my guys. First of all, it’s a rush. Second, I don’t care who you are, go-karts are cool. Motor sports are cool. Except maybe for Nascar racing. I just can’t get excited about cars going round in a circle. It’s like “oh look, a left turn. Another left turn. Yet another left turn.” I drift off sometime when I watch them on YouTube. My last thought before I play the next video is “two wrongs don’t make a right but three rights make a left.
Go karting is not for experts. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying it doesn’t take skill. If you’ve never driven a car you can do it. if you’ve never hit the gas pedal you can do it. A lot of the people on the little crew we were with were popping their driving cherry. There were obviously some people who were wondering if they would have fun. For most of the people it was their first time.
Little kids can do it. Little kids do it. They had to get the kids plushed up with pillows so they could reach the pedals but they did it. You just need to be tall enough to reach the pedals and know which is right and which is left. I don’t get how this orientation can be a problem for some people. Hold a rock in one hand and you’ll be fine. The Whistling Morans website says that they have one of the longest circuits in East Africa. I don’t know how true this is because the number of go karting places I’ve been to is exactly two.
If you can work this out, then you’re in for the time of your life. When one gets into their car, the body gets hyper aware right as the engine is revved up. While still trying to get comfortable with the trail, a car will zoom past you, possibly knocking you and leaving you off course. The next thing that you will do is get right on track, press your left leg on the gas pedal and do the same once you catch up with them. Don’t ask me where the confidence comes from but it’s automatic. The sad thing is that you might revenge on the wrong party as it is difficult to recognize anyone under the helmets but we move on regardless!
On the track there are a few rules just for your safety. The tip we can give you right now is that you don’t need prior experience. When we said “even little kids can do it” we meant that little kids can kick your ass at this. Go karting has always been seen as an inexpensive way to get into motor sports. Anyone can try it out to see how far you can take it. I guess it makes sense because this is how a lot of people get into this kind of stuff early in their lives. As young as 6. It’s safe if you bump into someone. It’s safe if you are wiped out and end up in the grass. It’s safe if you lose control. The only part that isn’t safe is if you end up going the wrong way (Hi Hazel) or if you accelerate into a corner (legit tip about driving). Just as a side note, don’t be reckless and don’t be dumb because they will legit kick you off the course.
The way the track is set up reminds me a lot of the tracks I saw on Fast and Furious 3. The one in Tokyo. It honestly looks like the best place to practice drifting. I actually tried it a few times whenever I saw a corner with a murram extension or a place where I had enough room. All my cells were yelling, screaming, at me to go faster and I did. I don’t know how many laps we did but every one felt precious and incomparable.
The charges for Whistling Morans start at Ksh. 1500 for a single engine kart according to the website. It’s Ksh. 2500 for 20 minutes and Ksh. 3000 for 10 minutes for a twin engine. I suppose the charge also depends on whether you have your own go-kart or not but I figure that’s not a problem for a lot of people. I know what you’re thinking; that 10 minutes doesn’t seem like much. I mean all you can really do in 10 minutes is count to 10 about 60 times, read to your child or listen to Coma by Guns N’ Roses (it runs for 10:16). Doesn’t seem like much at all does it, but honestly I would trade that whole day, that whole weekend, all the seven days of that week, for those 10 minutes. A view shared by many what a rush!
We know we said don’t accelerate into corners but most of us slammed the gas pedal with everything we had. It was thrilling to coast behind the slower drivers. Even just sitting there waiting for the greenlight, you’re going through a checklist in your head like “right leg accelerates, left leg brakes”. My hands were rubbing on that sanitized steering wheel and I’m praying that I got the fast car. I was ready. It was my time.
I honestly hate to move away from all this hot and throbbing talk of mini cars but there’s a lot more that you can do at the place. You can get a room, you can choma a whole goat, you can get drinks, and there’s also a pool. Our DJ of the day must have had my playlist in mind because he was blasting all this great EDM and guys could dance by the pool. Yes, you can take a dip. It can get hot in Athi River so a pool in that environment isn’t the worst idea in the world. Someone told me it was cold in the pool but I didn’t get a chance to find out.
One of the other things we did was try out their amusement park. There’s the regular rides you can try but we were still revved up from the go-karting so it was unsurprising that we ended up at the banana boat ride. The thing about banana boats is that they don’t make you fear heights; they make you fear vertigo because they go all the way round. I’ve been on one before so I kept my mouth shut as my friends paid actual human money to be tortured. It was glorious to watch. We only did one lap but a lot of people had their legs shaking after we rode. Mine were shaking too but at least I had my phone to record their reactions. Plus, I’m only afraid of falling; not heights.
And as the tears from these cool kids streaming eyes washed over me and I stared back at their fear induced screams and eyes now capable of seeing into the 7th dimension; I thought to myself, I’m having a really great day.
Shout out to Sheila! Who never disappoints with a scrumptious cakes every time we sign up for group trips with tour companies! Oh, take note of the message on the post!