|Co-ords||N 4 53 38.8
E 38 05 26.3
|Fuel||63.7 L 52 429.2km|
After a very bad nightís sleep dreaming of old men dying we woke at 5:30am and headed off. The road to Moyale was not bad and we made good time, arriving at about 9:30am when we went to the petrol station only to find that there was no electricity. We had to wait until 12.
We went to find a juice at a hotel and had breakfast. On the way down I rode over a kidís ping pong ball. They chased me down and demanded 5 Birr for a new ball. Fuck this, they should not be playing in the street. In the end I went and bought them a new one, cost 2 Birr, bastard kids always trying to get money. OK, 5 Birr is only about 80 American cents but still, they hit the ball into the road, I didnít chase it down.
We hung around until 12 and finally got diesel though the owner would not let me fill up the reserve Jerry cans. Oh well. We then went to the border post to find that it was open but immigration would be closed until 3pm. More waiting. I recall a bit of waiting trying to get into Ethiopia too. Anyway, after 3 we got an exit stamp and customs clearing, they started to search the car but got bored after two boxes.
Finally into Kenya. What a surprise. No-one was it but they immigration and customs were soon called. Immigration was easy, fill in the form and get a stamp. Customs was a complete surprise, he filled in the carnet and did not even look at the car. No checking numbers or anything. We camped at the Parkís authority office which was nice but had not water or toilets though. We went for a walk and bought a few things. Itís nice to be camping again.
Relaxed at last Ė no-one hunting me down. Tomorrow we head for Marsabit.
4th July 99
|Co-ords||N 3 31 06.2
E 39 03 02.2
You are supposed to go by convoy from Moyale to Marsabit due to bandits (no attacks for a while now) but there were only two trucks and us. We took our own cop and set off on our own. To be blunt, the road is shit. Full of big, really big dongas which would swallow our car. It also goes across a lava field and the road is rocky too. Luckily it had not rained for a while and the road was dry but the trucks the week before had left huge ruts carved into the dry mud.
At the 100km mark the cop got out. We did get another passenger though,
a lady with a 6 month old baby. Hell, tomorrow I am packing stuff on the
seat. We arrived at Marsabit at about 4:30 and found a very nice camp site
at the park gates. We were surprised too to see other tourists. One group
was on a Kenya tour and they said bugger all to us. Another guy was from
Holland on a motorbike. He had started in India and crossed the Middle
East (even Yemen)!. We had a good chat. During the very bad drive, the
left rear wheel lost one of its shocks. The bushes pulled out and it came
loose. I could remove it and straighten out the bolt. I rigged up a new
bush and put it on again. Thank God I put double shocks on.
5th July 99
|Co-ords||N 2 19 13.5
E 37 59 42
|Fuel||20 L 52 684.9km but not full|
The road from Marsabit to Isiolo is also bad. Ronald, the Dutch guy, also set off today before us and about 40km later we came across him broken down. He bought a motorbike in India but not just any motorbike Ė a copy of a 50 year old Enfield! One or two engine bolts had fallen out. We stopped to help. We took on board all his luggage and agreed to follow him in case of further trouble. None occurred luckily.
The road was bad but uneventful. The scenery is great and there are not too many people. It was also very dusty and each town has roadblocks. These are a different kind of roadblock Ė you have to hunt down the book and fill in your name and details. Not much interest from the cops.
We passed thorough Isiolo to a camp site recommended by Robert. It is
very nice. We had our first shower in days, hot too and ate food at a restaurant
at the camp site. I had goat for what I think is the first time but I canít
be sure. Itís a bit windy and we are in our big tent so hopefully we donít
blow away. Tomorrow we will stay here and I will have a look at the car
and Renee will do some washing.
6th July 99
|Co-ords||N 0 17 37.9
E 37 33 31.5
What a great surprise Ė we met Felix and Alfons again! They had been holidaying in the game reserve near Isiolo and are heading South today. It was nice to see them. We went into town this morning and bought new bushes for the shocks Ė quite easy to find actually. We also went to the market and bought some fresh foods. We were also getting bugged by sellers of bangles and necklaces. In the end we bought 4. I took the car for a wash. The local youth group does this to collect money. They use the money to forward each otherís lives, for example, one of them was sponsored by the group to get his heavy duty license. Quite a good idea.
I then spent the whole day working on the car. The bushes were easy to fit but both our windows are not working properly, the driverís side is worse. The rollers are plastic and have basically shattered. The driverís side even had the arms bent. I tried to glue them back together but no go. Anyway, I straightened it out and re-fitted them. Will have to see what we can do in Jhb.
Had a cooked Ďhome cookedí meal with three courses. Avo, pasta and then
fruit. Good. Tomorrow we will head South West, we will not go to Nairobi,
just head off on the general direction of Uganda.
7th July 99
|Co-ords||N 0 17 37.9
E 37 33 31.5
|Fuel||55.1 L 52 995.3km|
Just 17' from the equator. Bloody close. We had breakfast at the camp site. It was quite good, we had to order it the night before but it was ready for the time we asked Ė 7:30. They brought a table right to our tent and served us like kings.
The road south was good and we made fairly good time. We were going to push on to Lake Boringo but got to Thompson Falls for lunch and decided to stay there. There is camping in the grounds. Lunch was a hamburger and chips which I had not had since Khartoum.
Today was a bad day for Kenya. There was a taxi strike which was country-wide. As with these things in South Africa, it turned ugly with road blocks and cars set alight. One person was killed in clashes with the police. The strikers held a huge rally in Nairobi and ended up calling for an General Strike, starting the next day, to call for the government to step down. We are quite worried and will go directly to Uganda. We do not want to be part of any riots, even unwillingly.
We met an Australian couple who were visiting various parts of the world on a 7 month trip. They were stuck and we offered them a lift to the next town tomorrow where they hope to catch a train to Uganda. Re-arrange the truck to accept passengers again.
Today also signified the crossing of a major milestone Ė the equator. Actually we crossed it twice. Stopped to take a photo and were of course swamped by curio salesmen. So we are now close to being in Southern Africa.
Still pretty relaxed despite the strife in the country. We had a puncture again today, a nail. We fixed it fairly easily with the kit we bought but now we only have one plug left. Will have to try to buy some in Kampala. After fixing the tyre we had to go for a drive to heat up the plug. We stopped to buy potatoes and were nearly ripped off. The bastard ladies around the seller were saying 100shillings for 4 potatoes. The seller lady would only take 40.
The road was strewn with rocks from the demos and marches.
8th July 99
|Co-ords||N 0 02 45.2
E 36 22 03.8
It was very cold this morning. We are at 2360m and this makes it cold even if we are on the equator. Of course I lost the thermometer in Tunisia so canít record how cold.
Went first for breakfast in town, sausage and egg and then set off South, crossing the equator yet again. We stopped to take more photos because now we had passengers to take some of us. I did not want to ask the curio sellers yesterday, I had visions of them legging it. Also took a Polaroid so that we could send it to Rick, maybe he can scan it and put it on the web.
We dropped the Australians in Nakuru and promptly got two more passengers, two Dutch (one English but married to a Dutch) had been stuck there because of the strike. They also wanted to get out of the country fairly quickly, fearing more unrest. We agreed to give them a ride up to Lake Boringo. The road is good so it didnít take long.
We are camping at Robertís camp. Itís right at the edge of the lake and apparently hippos come out at night to browse. Good photos I hope. There is no shop here even though the lonely planet says there is but there is a restaurant. We took a walk into town and bought milk and yoghurt, first time since leaving Europe that weíve bought milk.
Went for a walk along the lake and saw 4 crocodiles up close. It was quite good. We are sitting at the bar writing this. Kenya has a very colonial feel in the camps, there are a few other tourists here, unlike the hundreds around Mount Kenya but no-one really inclined to talk. Most of the people here belong to a group of paleontologists working in the area.
The plan is to get up at first light tomorrow and hit the road. Robert
says we can make Jinja in Uganda in one day. We think itís best to go before
the rioting gets serious. Didnít like the road being blocked by stones.
OK, waiting for the hippo then.