From Nakuru to Isiolo Kenya on mostly secondary roads for a stunningly beautiful day. I would nominate this for one of the top ten rides, some places the pot holes outnumbered the tar but had about 100 k of really good road twisting and turning as it rolled up and down the hills and valleys. Came by some large wheat farms. I do think that Kenya is on the right road if they can get the corruption out of the government.
Nairobi and I could get ice cream
Crossing the Equator
Hotel in Eldoret, first time I pulled in to hotel for parking in Africa
A little about the road to Moyale, it is 500k and normally takes two days. The only section of dirt that you need to take on the Cape Town to Cairo route. I had heard stories of this road with and seen the damage it did to motorcycle shocks when at Jungle Junction where he had a 2ftX2ftX1.5ft box full of shock he had replaced this year. It is not the bumps and washboard that get the shocks per say, but they over heat so I set up a system of stopping every half hour and letting the shock cool.
The first day I was surprised to find 100k of new road. In five years the whole road will be paved and done in an easy day. When I got to the dirt/gravel/sand road it is hard to describe other than to say it was brutal. As physically exhausting as riding this type of road is, it is far harder mentally requiring 100% concentration for hours on end. In Marsabit I pulled into ”Henry’s Camp”. I was tired and only a little hungry so I asked if I could get a bowl of rice, she brought me a big dish of rice with vegetables, beans and sliced tomato on top that was perfect.
I started out early the next day planning on a grueling 10hrs. I was making good time and by 1:30 I was 60k from Moyale and it started to rain. It was a down pour that had the road looking like three creeks. I had the fools hope of being able to get to the other side of the thunder shower but had my first “unscheduled get off” of the year, bike and me laying in the middle of the road soaked to the bone. You can not ride these dirt roads when it rains. The position of the bike made it impossible for me to pick it up even after unloading but a bus came sliding down the road and got stopped with everyone hopping out to help. They made sure I was all right before they went on. I decided to wait two hours and let the road dry some before trying again. As the two hour approached it rained some, not like before but kept the road from drying. The only choice I had was to go off into the bush and set up a camp.
Unscheduled get off
I survived the night and was up at first light and packed to go but waited for the sun to come out and help dry the road. By 10:30 I was to Moyale.
I had been confused as to visa requirements for getting into Ethiopia so had asked two traveling couples and both said I could get visa at boarder. They were wrong, maybe in the north but not in the south. I was told that I would need to return to Nairobi and get visa. The thought of traveling that road two more times was crushing and I did not have the time it would take. Three days (if no rain) to Nairobi then passport to embassy on Friday, lucky to pick up on Monday, then three days back. I did not have ten days.
So time to make a new plan. Plan A is to head back south to Johannesburg and ship bike home. Plan B is to find a place to store in Nairobi then go do some of the things I had to pass on for lack of time like climb Kilimanjaro.
When I got close to Isiolo where I would spend the night I stopped for a coke and something to eat where I met Paul. Paul is from Poland and is running a children's center for street kids. He invited me to come to the center which showed me a side of African life that most do not see. Overall Kenya is doing well but they have a long way to go in some spots. I will long remember the kids at the center and the lives they have led. This type of operation is so much more effective than the large NGOs and aid that is stolen by the government.
Fursa Children's Center
Paul with one of the boys
Dinner at the children's center
Getting ready to leave
I am back at Jungle Junction now in Nairobi. Will go with plan A and ship bike home as this will give me much more flexibility in when we travel again.
Posted by Robert Thode at December 28, 2012 07:31 AM GMT
Jungle Junction, Nairobi