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Old 14 Apr 2008
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In Addis and heading south....Turkana?

Hey all

This is bound to be a ramble so please bear with me...

We (Helen and I) are on an R100GS and F650 Funduro, currently staying with friends in Addis and thinking about the route south to Kenya. We've had various advice whether the Turkana route is feasible (some from HUBB), and on the balance are keen to give it a shot if we could find others who might also be into it. As moderate luddites, we don't have GPS, and by all accounts the weather could be pretty bad... so it would seem more is definitely merrier...

I guess we are thinking about the west side of Lake Turkana... but our research IS embrionic.

Given this, we have two questions:

1) is there anyone out there (2+ wheels, no unicycles please) keen to do the same in the next few days/ week?

(we are thinking of a side trip to Harer first... but this is optional)

2) if not, are there any very lovely and kind 4wd'ers heading to Jungle Junction who might take a wee bit of extra baggage for us? Naturally we will shower you with affection and compliments in exchange. Maybe even s!

If anyone else has any advice, it'd be warmly received.

We are on 011-6-18-10-79, staying in Bole. My email is theprinceofmince@yahoo.co.nz

Lets be careful out there

PS I will post this in the travellers seeking travellers section also...
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Old 14 Apr 2008
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Canada
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Addis? You two are just now in Ethiopia? If you keep travelling at this pace, the Africa continent and Australia/New Zealand will have completey drifted around the world and be re-connected to form the supercontinent Pangaea (Gondandaland) again. You will be able to simply ride across the land bridge home...

You might want to give the east side of Turkana a miss. Beautiful and remote but very rugged in spots. If you like the equivalent of off road riding, it's good fun but if you are more into touring with some adventure riding thrown in, then it's quite a bit of work, especially with loaded bikes. Plus, who's going to find the camping spots or eat all your food if George and I aren't with you?

For a good review of the standard route down, ask the Canucks on similar bikes that you corresponded with previously (Ekke & Audrey). For a recent update on the effect that the wet weather has had on the route, fire and e-mail to Allen (worldrider). He came north a bit ago and was commenting about how the rains have made the road shite in spots. Look him up, he may even be in town and is a great guy.

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Old 22 Apr 2008
jim jim is offline
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Location: Cape Town South Africa
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Hey Gareth,

This info is all dated... I rode the Turkana route (East) in 2004, but some pearls of wisdome may still shine through:

I cant give any advice on the West side option... sorry. The East is some of the best riding I have ever experienced, but it is hard... actually its very hard in places. I also did not have GPS and I found the last bit between Illoret and the Omorate road (I went S to N)especially harrowing as there isnt really a road at all and fuel she is so scarce and water and food eish they to are nowhere to be found (dry season). Sand it is plenty and of the thick winding, cant get out of 1st gear variety...(only in last 50km). Also most of the locals- there arent many- carry AK47's but they do seem friendly. From your side finding the path that leaves the Omorate road will be very tricky, I guess you will have to get local advice... Also, and this is important- I went in the dry season (June) and the roads S of Turkana were very rough but easily rideable. Locals said that in the rain the road is impassable, like helicopter only impassable! I believe them, there are dry river beds there that look like the freakin Nile man and they do flow every year Im told...

OK sorry man, Im really not trying to talk you out of it- like I said it was one of the highlights of my life riding that route and Id love to do it again one day. Im not a pro rider and I did it alone on a 20 year old bike with no GPS and a Michelin map and lived to tell the tale.

"If we don't find something good at least we will find something new." Voltaire
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Old 22 Apr 2008
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I did a report on it here CMGonline.com - home, under the Around the World With Rene section.
Jims advice is still valid. Even more so if there is rain. Have no info on the west side of the lake.

Fuel is possible (from barrels) on the Ethiopia side, on the Kenyan side MAYBE at the police station Kenya, and there is petrol that you can beg the museum at Koobi Fora for. (If you go, and get really sick of the ride, you can take a boat across teh lake from here - on the other side it is tarmac). Keep in mind the road gets worse between Koobi Fora and Loyangalani. After the museum fuel is maybe at North Horr or the other way to Loyangalani. The section from Loyangalai to South Horr is particularily nasty - lots of big rocks on big rocks. Might be easier to go N - S as it is uphill that way for the worst sections.

I have a F650 and used 58 L of fuel betwen Jinka and Maralal.

GPS would help. The campsite at Lake Awassa has lots of entrys from travelers who have gone that way, and normally there are overlanders (in trucks) that stay at this campsite for a while before going south. This is a good spot to start looking for kenyan shillings as well.

And, to mimic Jim, the ride is beautiful. Just a bit of work.
Go slow, be well.
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Old 27 Apr 2008
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Hi Guys
I have just posted links to some pics on the Sub-Sahara fourm, if you click on the second Eithopia and first Kenya albums these have the pics of the east side route. As for the west side, 'ment' to be better road conditions and 'ment' to be bandits-(defently are on the east side) but these are 'ment's as in, I was told by someone who might have never actually been up there,-thats africa all over right?
There was a guy from the Netherlands on a KTM going up that way about 2months ago, and heading into south Sudan called steven I know he is on the hubb somewhere...are you there Steven???

Let us know how it goes-thats if your BMW doest break down before you get that far anyway
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Old 19 May 2008
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Hey dudes

Thanks for your replies... (even Tom, ha!)

We went the Moyale route. Judging by that road Turkana is for people with lighter bikes and less crap loading them up! Next time eh....

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