October 24, 2005 GMT
The Raft Of The Medusa*

20/8/05. Nairobi, Kenya

The Uganda loop (Jinja - Kampala - Murchison Falls - Kampala - Jinja) is complete. Everyone does it, and they do it because it's great. Uganda is the best African country so far. The people are cool - no-one hassles you, the sights are designed for sore eyes (which I had), the facilities are (generally) working, and the driving is lamentable; although I only lose one piece of plastic from my bike due to an idiot ramming me in Kampala. If only it hadn't been the last complete section of bodywork left.

For the second time in my life I think "Oh dear. I am now definitely going to drown", as another huge pile of water crashes down onto my head. Inhaling the Nile is a very bad idea. Apart from the almost-dying aspect, rafting the rapids at Jinja is a lot of fun. After a lot of instruction/training, we head towards the Grade 5 stuff. I don't really know what Grade 5 means, but we're told that only a criminally irresponsible rafting company would attempt Grade 6 rapids, and I believe it.

*Art gag. Actually the Medusa went down off Mauritania.
---

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Ho! The Equator...

The next day I head back to Kenya. The border is a breeze. However long you're going to be in Kenya, tell the border guys "6 days". Seven days means you have to pay road tax. (I suppose I'll have to pay it later, but hey - that's later.)
Over the border the sky bruises and I get soaked. I stop at a hotel in Turbo (great name) and ask the price. "350 shillings" says the hotel dude and I cringe. In my head, that means $40 US, which means get back on the bike and find somewhere else. I dejectedly smoke a cig in the car park and climb back on. Then I realise 350 shillings is $4, not $40. I'm in.
In the morning it's back to Eldoret and Naiberi River campsite. Beer is drunk and Raj fixes me up with his girlfriend's girlfriend. All very jolly.

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I say... *twirls moustache*

It stays dry for the trip back to Nairobi, and I even manage to buy a sheepskin for my saddle from a roadside skin-vendor for $18.
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24/8/05 Nairobi, Kenya.

A fabulously beautiful day in Nairobi. Warm, breezy, sunny; perfect weather. I'm enthused enough to get a new front tyre (about bloody time), and do an oil and filter change (good 'n' early). The bloated, grinning bluebottle in the pile ointment* appears as I check my email. My tenant is moving out of the flat in London. Oh shittery. Income meltdown.

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Quite good fags

*I do not have piles, thanks for asking.
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Posted by Simon Fitzpatrick at October 24, 2005 03:22 PM GMT
 


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