May 24, 2010 GMT
"Turned Out Nice Again!"

That's about the third day in a row I've said that, so I left Nairobi this morning for the ride to Kericho, in the direction of the Ugandan border.

It was morning sunshine and blue skies on leaving the capital but there's a long climb up the side of the Rift Valley to almost 9000ft. Up there the clouds were black and threatening, and the bike once again was gasping a little at the lack of sufficient air to keep the fire burning inside.
It stayed dry, and the road then plunged back into the valley with magnificent sunny views of Lake Naivasha followed by Lake Elmenteita. Lake Nakuru completed the trio of scenic features along this part of the valley.
Then another long climb up the other side to Mau Summit where the ominous clouds returned.

This is tea plantation country. Tea bushes as far as you can see in any direction. And so green. A luminescent (when the sun momentarily broke through) bright green, all immaculately laid out and manicured. A topiarist's delight.
Rain is needed for all this of course, so it rained. Just a little, before I arrived at the Tea Hotel in Kericho. The camping there is pretty waterlogged, though not as bad as Jungle Junction at its worst, and the hotel rooms (built by Brooke Bond in the fifties) are fully booked. So the tent is back in service with some more repairs to the floor and we'll see what happens.
But the staff here say it's still the height of the rainy season, which goes on until July.

Oh dear. I knew it would be more rainy here than Nairobi - but lasting until July doesn't sound much fun.
So I'll see what happens, how the weather goes, and probably stick to my immediate plan for now of riding next to a recommended place outside of Eldoret, not far from here. (The last stop before the Ugandan border).
If things stay wet I can always head back east again to take the standard route south into Tanzania and onwards to Lake Malawi from there.

There seems to be some sort of folklore about Jungle Junction, that when people depart to continue their journeys they often return again for one reason or another. That happened with one or two travellers while I was there. Maybe I'll return a third time if the rains persist here.

No photos with this update. Now that Caroline and her camera are no longer here I'll try to remember to use mine now and again. Today - not much to photograph except black clouds.

Posted by Ken Thomas at May 24, 2010 07:49 PM GMT

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