Posts Tagged ‘Nairobi’

Nairobi Kenya …

Posted: October 30, 2010 in africa overland, Kenya
Tags: , ,

After about a 300km ride from Isiolo on decent tarmac roads crossing the equator in Kenya we reached Nairobi … big city and hitting rush hour traffic at 17h00 …

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In the southern hemisphere

I was still feeling very rough, coughing in my helmet constantly, headache, sore chest …. sometimes when we stop it feels I just want to get off the bike and lie down for a bit.

Lindsays bike started overheating in the chaos of traffic so he waited for a while we carried on towards Jungle Junction.

I love Nairobi … in a good and bad way. I guess I love it because it reminds me so much of back home (South Africa) … same kind of shops, petrol stations, things are just a little bit more developed here than the northern part of Africa …. but then again, is that why we are doing the trip ?

Jungle Junction is really cool … nice system they have going here, full use of lounge, internet, kitchen, nice clean and hot showers. Rooms are a little expensive, but camping is only 500 KS .. around 5euro per night. It is just a big house on a big yard and you pitch up anywhere. There is a fridge on the porch stocked with water, beer and soft drinks. You just tick a sheet everytime you take something and pay for it later … I like it here and I plan to stay at least until I feel better.

I also need to do a few things on the bike like oil change and the side stand needs serious attention after it was badly damaged on the truck from Marsabit to Isiolo.

Chris at Jungle Junction said they do have the equipment to do it and only about 20 euro, great … tent pitched, cold drink in hand … think it will be an enjoyable stay.

The next day, I bought some 10W-60 oil from a KTM shop and did a complete oil change while Lindsay and Delilah cleaned and worked on their bikes. While we worked on the front yard, some Finish guys came in also in F800GS motorcycles, but who knows what they have done to their bikes …. 4 bikes broken, one missing the complete front end, crazy !

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One of the damaged F800GS’s at Jungle Junction

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Our tents at Jungle Junction

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I finished all the things on the bike and was just now waiting for Chris to work on my side stand … but then he started taking the other bikes that arrived after us. Everytime I ask Chris if he can look at my side stand .. he just says, “We shall see” .. with a sneaky grin on his face … never a Yes or No, but I don’t mind, I think we will still be here for a day or two.

Yesterday we went to a shopping mall just up the street, called The Junction shopping centre … nice, looks like any shopping centre in South Africa complete with Mr Price and a Wimpy 🙂 We spend most of the day there, had lunch and did some shopping stocking up on breakfast bars, etc …

On our return to Jungle Junction I found Chris has not even touched my bike yet, even though he took all the other bikes that arrived after us … I soon realized why .. he only does jobs that’s big money and he doesn’t care about the smaller jobs. If I could only have gotten an Yes or No, three days ago, then I would have known and could have made another plan. He is just wasting our time now as we wanted to leave already … us staying one more night means an extra 2000 KS for him in camping.

We went to his office and asked him if he can please look at my side stand tomorrow morning as we really wanted to leave and he just went off on how he is just one man and can’t do all the work himself, I told him my bike has been here for 3 days already before any of the other bike that have come and gone already and then he said the most arrogant thing I have ever heard … in his words “It is not like you can go somewhere else anyway” … how cocky is that? .. like he is the only person in Nairobi that can bend a side stand. I said, yes, I can .. so he said, go then …

So, I did this morning .. rode up the street to some metal furniture manufacturers next to the road and in no time the side stand is bend … and they even welded a little “flat foot” on the bottom for me …. all for quarter the price Chris was going to do it for ….

When this Moyale – Isiolo road is fully tarmac in a few years … he is going to suffer with his business as a lot less damaged bikes will come out on the other side. He needs to learn some manners and treat his customers better …

Anyway, here now … all fixed and almost ready to go. Next stop will be Uganda somewhere, I think …

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 …