Very slow internet here so will add pictures when I can
The Zanzibar adventure over I worked my way out of Dar Es Salaam, 100 k west then turning north. The country became dryer with many large fields of sisal used to make twine. Some new fields going in so plastic twine is not out competing the natural fiber. At Mombo I was getting tired and saw a sign for a hotel. 46k later and 1100 meters higher I was at Lushoto. This is wonderfully beautiful place and much cooler than the low lands. The road was a little harry being very narrow in spots and two way traffic. Got a really nice room at an older place for m/l $30, breakfast has been included in room rate as standard practice for awhile now. Gives me one good meal a day at least. I could just hide away in this place it is so nice.
Met a New Zealander who was there with his wife and new baby. He has been in the country for three years putting in power lines, (grant from USA government, good to see my tax money put to good use). The next morning I met a guy from British Columbia who has been there for four years teaching teachers how to teach blind and deft children. Great discussions with both about Tanzania and the people.
Well new day and back down the hill to the valley below for a ride up to Moshi. This is where you would book a safari into the Serengeti or a climb up Mt Kilimanjaro. I was really thinking about climbing the mountain. But after sleeping on it I decided to pass, not sure how motorcycle boots would do hiking and I came to Africa to ride. It would take five days to climb the mountain plus one on each end, this would cut me short and I would not have time to ride to Uganda. Maybe in my next life.
From Moshi I went north and crossed into Kenya. Easy crossing, $50 for visa and $20 for road permit and $150 for insurance that will cover the rest of the trip through Egypt. Kenya is way ahead of the last three counties, (at least in the south), signs indicating property for sale, large ranches, chicken broiler operations, green houses, and even nursery stock being grown and sold. It is obvious that a different economic system is in place here.
Into Nairobi, traffic is a disaster, and I am wanting to find Jungle Junction, a gathering place for overland travelers by truck or bike. This electronic age is amazing as I was able to stop, order a sandwich, and while waiting for it I used my phone to find location and get it punched it into GPS. That was the easy part, it was ll k away and took 1and 3/4 hours to get there. I am going to stay here a day and get some things sorted out on the bike, talk to those who have been where I want to go and make a plan. There is a poster here for rafting in Uganda, maybe.
Jungle Junction was a good stop and break, to be able to meet and talk with other travelers was good. The work on motorcycles and trucks there and he asked how the GSA was doing. He checked the shock and then showed me the box of failed shocks they have replaced this year. Mine is still holding well but I was told that it is the heat build up that destroys them. Recommended that when I get to the road to Moyale that I stop every half hour and let it cool down, do this and they will survive the road.
Today, Sunday, I rode out of Nairobi fairly easily to good road heading west toward Uganda. About 3/4 the way the good road ended, from there on into Eldoret the pavement was rutted the worst I have seen. Some as deep as eight inches. There was 20k of construction detour so at some time in the future they will get it all fixed.
Overall it was very scenic ride as I went up in the mountains as high as 2850 M. Several areas of forestry with pine and hemlock trees. Some larger farms, saw dairy herds of m/l 60 head and one circle irrigation system. Local produce being sold beside the road included potatoes, carrots, plumbs, sweet peas, green beans, squish, water melon and other stuff I could not id. Also saw three combines and some fields of wheat, a first on this trip. There is more than adequate farm ground to feed the population if production and distribution can be improved.
Crossing in to Uganda at Malaba, was straight forward and being on a motorcycle I did not have to pay a road tax. Many of the boarders want a address of where you are going to stay and do not like it when I put down “where I find a place” so I will go to guide book and write down name and address of one before I get to boarder, it keeps them happy. Got took for $50 by the insureance people. They wanted to see my Yellow Card that covers five countries, then said they filled it out wrong. I got it in Tanzania where they circled the counties that were covered, the instructions say “delete those not covered”. I refused to buy more and proceeded to get passport stamped and carnet processed. When I returned to bike the policeman wanted to see my insurance card and he said it was not good, with the same argument. So I am sure the insurance guy paid him to check and stop me from going farther.
Then on to Jinja where I will raft the Nile. I had not been sure how long it would take me to get here so I am a day early and spend time wandering around town and picking up a few needed items. I bought a pair of shorts that were used from “donated” clothing store. There is a whole industry set up to sell the stuff the world sends to Africa to help he poor.
Tuesday night I get travelers direa and spend most of the night on the throne. I was bunking at the rafting place and when I crawled out the next morning I felt like I had been run over by a truck and did not think I could raft at all but by the time they were ready to move out I thought I could ride in the safety boat that takes the easy why down. By the time we got to the river I was able to climb in the fun boat and off we went.
This is the start of the White Nile where it comes out of Lake Victoria and starts its run to the Mediteranian. Very large river even at its start. The firs rapids were one of the four class fives, a six meter waterfall m/l. We all lived and we were off. Made the trip without flipping the raft but dumped a few on some of the rapids. Rafting a class five river can now come off the bucket list, have done many class four rivers but never had the opportunity to run a five. I was extremely tired the whole way from being sick but made it back and sat down on sofa fell asleep and woke up when it was dark.
Sleep well that night but eat only a banana for breakfast as stomach still felt weak. The road in had been poor with lots of construction so I opted for another route and crossed at Busia. Was a good crossing and this time Kenya said I did not need to pay road tax for motorcycle. I paid it last time so I hop I don’t get in a bind with out. This road had less trafic but was full of pot holes and lot of construction. It took ten hours to go 400k to Nakuru. Today I ride by Mt Kenya to Isiolo.
Posted by Robert Thode at December 21, 2012 04:59 AM GMT