Posts Tagged ‘Marsabit’

Kenyan border was by far the easiest and quickest border crossing ever … 1..2..3.. and we were done and we were on our way. At first I loved it .. off road, Kenya, wildlife, Africa baby !!

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At the Kenyan border, Moyale

All that soon came crashing down … who ever thought they could call this a road … I am sure the surface of Mars is better than this .. corrugation, rocks, mud, sand, more rocks, some boulders … just constant, never ending .. and almost 500km of this, nightmare ! About 100km into this road, I was in so much pain, ankles, wrists, back, just everything … and to top it off, I started developing a nasty cough, tight chest and a headache … not the best place or time to catch a cold.

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On the good section of the Moyale – Marsabit road … soon to get much worse

While in the camp site in Moyale, we met an Australian / ex-South African (Paul and Jan) couple also on bikes which did this road with us … Jan had a few falls and she was shaken up bit as I understand, so they decided to put her bike on a truck all the way to Isiolo while we carried on. Pete and his Land Rover have completely left us in his dust and we haven’t seem them the rest of the day. It was only Lindsay, Delilah, Andrey (Russian), Paul (Aussie) and I left to try and reach Marsabit in one piece.

We eventually gave up to pure exhaustion and pain around 40km before Marsabit, around 210km into the road and decided to stay over in a small village as the sun was setting. All day going on this road and by this time, my head was pounding, chest sore and I was boiling from the inside out … feeling very rough. The “hotel” consisted of just a room with 3 beds, no shower, toilet or running water. Lindsay and Delilah decided to sleep outside in their tent. Paul (the Aussie) realized he has completely lost his bash plate on the bike … completely missing, including his toolbox on the front .. didn’t even notice it .. he ought he just went over a big rock 🙂

Next morning early we left for Marsabit … it was so misty, you couldn’t even see 10m in front of you, no photos sorry, but got it on video … will do a post on youtube one day.

Reached Marsabit, found Pete and the Landy there, had some breakfast and by this time I was ready to pass out … this flu has got me bad … I was wet and cold from the rain as well, not going well for me 🙂

We all (5 bikes) mutually decided that it would be better for us to put the bikes on a truck for the next leg of the journey to Isiolo or at least until we find some decent road … the bikes is just taking too much of a pounding and of course I welcomed this decision as I didn’t know if my body could take another day of these roads, I can barely pack my pannier without being out of breath.

While on this truck journey, I sometimes thought the bikes are even worse off … and maybe they were, all bikes probably suffered more damage on the back of the truck then on the first leg … 3 bikes with bend side stands, 1 or 2 bikes with badly scratched paintwork … nightmare ride. We eventually reached Isiolo well after sunset .. probably around midnight actually .. off loaded the bikes and stayed the night in a hotel .. which was quite decent .. I had an en-suite shower/toilet with running hot water which is a luxury in this part of the world.

Today we are heading off to Jungle Junction in Nairobi for some repairs on the bikes …

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I haven’t been blogging for a while as it wasn’t so easy to find internet connection since leaving Wims House in Addis.

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All of us with Wim and his wife Raheel at Wims Holland House in Addis Ababa

Back: Aisha, Pete, Wim, Raheel, Andrey .. and me

Front: Lindsay and Delilah

Since Wims Holland House (soon after the picture above), Aisha left us back to the UK and then New York for work commitments .. so she is no longer on the trip, but we have met two new friends at Holland House, two kiwis on bicycles who asked Pete for a lift to Isiolo … so they will join us for the next few days.

Well, Pete’s Land Rover got fixed eventually and while at the shop to get fixed and italian/ethiopian guy approaced asking if we need motorcycle tyres. I am sure our frantic search for motorcycles tyres made the rounds between the local KTM riders in town and he had a barely used front TKC80 for me for a price of 80 EUR which I grabbed up … really difficult to find tyres in this country.

Tyres fitted, Land Rover fixed, we headed out of Addis in some of the worse traffic ever, but soon out of the city it turned to a lovely ride. We made some good miles and around 3pm I guess we started looking for a place to camp early around Lake Langano in Ethiopia. The first place we stopped was very nice, like an African Safari Lodge, but obviously with prices to match and no camping allowed, so that didn’t work for us.

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Road just outside Addis Ababa

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Pete and the Landy in the background (with the kiwis bicycles on the roof)

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Bikes at the “pricey” Safari Lodge

We thought we would at least get some lunch or beers, but then we met a really nice couple, British and German (Tony and Gina) with their little boy, Connor. They have lived in Ethiopia for just over a year, we all had burgers and some beers … which they have very generously paid for and to top it off, they even insisted we come back to their house on the lake for the night … how cool is that !

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Us enjoying a beer with Gina and Tony (left)

We left the next morning heading for the Kenyan border town Moyale. On the way, we rode through a town called Awasa, where we made a pit stop at the Time Cafe … yes for some more burgers 🙂

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Time Cafe, Awasa, Ethiopia

We reached Moyale around midday today and with the border customs (to get our carnets stamped) being closed, we have to sleep over to do the border early tomorrow morning and then to tackle the dreaded Moyale – Marsabit – Isiolo road … the worse road in Africa, they say … wish me luck !

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Roads on the way to Moyale, Ethiopia

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