Cold romance and broken rules at Kerio View Hotel

Kerio View Hotel in Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet County.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Have you ever been to Iten, in Eldoret, the home of champions? If you haven’t then you should. (News: Kenya Airways now flies down daily). I love Iten because I love the romance of cold and the seduction of fog. I love green rolling hills and the endless mystery of the land.

I love Kerio View Hotel’s main restaurant and bar, how crumbly it might seem for a first-timer, with the painfully obvious African artwork and carvings and the Maasai tablecloths. I love the constant invitation of the fireplace at night, the high ceilings, and the view from the glass windows during the day.

It’s a place where you can sit and work, or sit and stare outside at the distant clusters of villages in the valley and wonder about the lives of the men and women there and if their children dream of anything apart from gold medals and global adoration.

I have broken all my travel rules by visiting the Kerio View Hotel more than once. I was down there for the fourth time last week. I love the short serene drive from the airport, then through the messy bustle of the Eldoret town and then onto the scenic farms, green hills past athletes with zero body fat gracefully running along the roadside like human panthers. It was raining consistently when I arrived - and it would end up raining the whole night.

If you like solitude get one of the cottages facing the escarpment. They are tiny, but what more space do you need when you have a lot of elasticity in your mind, to imagine and to create and to sponge?

Their best feature, their balcony, overlooks the escarpment and valley beyond. A mist rolls towards you in the evenings. It's the place to finish reading books from. Nights can get unsettlingly lonesome in your cold bed but don’t think about it, think about how Daniel felt in that whale.

Sunday morning, as I had breakfast, the restaurant played the best local gospel music of artists I had never heard of; Angel Benard and Christina Shusho. That was uplifting.

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