Campgrounds in Kenya are fine for Carol & Ken
The beer is cold and the weather is hot in Nairobi. The journey south through the Ethiopian Lakes district was great after the dusty rough roads of the north. The potholes and dirty dusty detours made the riding interesting and our Swiss travelling companions in the Pajero kept pace with us to Lake Lagano, the only safe lake to swim. Our cooling splash in the murky waters left us refreshed but with a strange soapy feeling. The next stop at Moyale had us preparing for the Kenyan border crossing. Prior to this the Swiss took a detour west to attempt a desert piste so the next leg to Nairobi we would tackle alone.
Border formalities were completed by 9.00am and we joined the convoy as the first trucks carrying livestock, drygoods and people headed off into the heat. The journey was puntuated by two falls one in sand and one in stones both causing few problems with the bike but sapping our energy. We drank volumes of water in the heat but it was never enough. A truck driver who had offered us a ride the day before joined us as the sun went down. Our lights failed so we were forced to travel in the lights of the pursuing truck. Carol abandoned the bike soon after to hitch a ride on the truck.
The ride to Marsabit was fast, rough and exhausting arriving around 9.00pm. The next day was made a rest and repair day with the wiring for the lights sorted and a broken subframe bolt being replaced. (near toolbox) We joined two German lads that afternoon for a beer. Their 20year old Toyota had not faired so well with a leaf spring shackle breaking off the chasis.The next day we headed off in the cool at 6.30am and enjoyed sighting a family of baboons on the bridge south of town. They showed no fear as we passed within a couple of metres. The road although supposedly better was about the same and progress was steady with the preservation of the bike frame and tyrres paramount. Highlight of the day was the sighting of a lone giraffe with very dark colourings about half way to Isiolo. We are in Africa.!!
The last 30kms into Isiolo was a washboard/corrugation nightmare. We later found out that the Germans (Toyota) broke another leaf shackle and had ten flat tyres. We survived the day without a fall, broken frame or flat tyre. The ride to Nairobi was beautiful. It was great to see the green around Mt Kenya after the dry country of the past couple of weeks. The gearbox actually saw 5th gear for many days. At the equator we stopped for the madatory photo. A big moment as we crossed into the southern hemisphere for the first time in almost three years. As we were about to depart alas... a flat front tyre. A thorn collected on the paved roads. We repaired it with the help of a few local Kenyan lads and had a coke with them afterwards. An absolute pleasure with no backsheesh asked for and one lad giving Carol a sticker of Kenya for our screen.
Uphill Campground was smaller than expected but the abundance of travellers with their tales makes this R&R spot most enjoyable. The TLC jobs for the bike are almost complete and we hope to be back on the road to Uganda by the end of the week. Many thanks for the greetings and well wishes from everyone. Important info. Visas... Sudanese was obtained in Cairo. It took 4days, required a letter of recommendation from our Embassy, two photos and US$61.00 each. No airline ticket was required nor did they ask how we were travelling. This was a little obvious though.
Ethiopian..... was processed in one day, two photos were required as well as a return airline ticket which was refunded by Egypt Air for a fee of 15 Egypt Pounds. Visas cost was US$63 each. Sudan need a Carnet de Passage while Ethiopia write out their own for the price of US$1 (wow!!!) Catch you later. Love Carol & Ken.
Posted by Carol Duval at 01:06 AM