Day 4 - Nairobi ni baridi sana

Trip Start Aug 07, 2007
Trip End Nov 07, 2007

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Friday, August 10, 2007

Day 4 - Nairobi
It's raining (as it has been since I arrived) and bitterly cold (although I think it may be me as I was the only one wearing ALL my clothes, jacket, hat and gloves last night at dinner).

Hair: Sting
Beard: Designer Stubble
Distance Travelled: 760km
Frame of Mind: Hopeful

So a summary of so far:
Day 1: Didn't actually make it out of Mwanza till 5:30.  A little late meaning I was never going to make it to Musoma by nightfall.  I broke my second rule (the first being the 300km guideline) of never driving at night.  I remember why: impossible to see a thing; cyclops lorries with highbeams on; suicidal kids (both human and caprine variety); and the bugs...soooo many bugs.  An unimpresive 129km travelled.

So I arrived at Ramadi (or Lamadi, depending on the day) and smashed my head repeatedly against the door frames at the 'midget' guest house.  Is now cut and beeding atthe top.  Hair is useful for protection.  No locks on the doors.  Was v apprehensive of my 5,000,000 USD when I went out to get chips mayai for the last time (TZ fast food - is simply a chip omlette but is so much more!).

Day 2: Left for the border early doors.  Tanzania is truly beautiful.  The hazy sunrise lighting the rolling hills as I crossed the Mara river - much like 2 million wildebeest before me - was the highlight of this leg.

Breakfasted in Tarime, 10km from the Kenyan border. Spent 10 minutes extracting goat remnants from  my  teeth then went to the border.

Tanzanian  customs  and immigration a dream (although did try to bypass customs  cos they  wanted to keep my registration docs...then got sent back by Kenya).  Kenyan a nightmare.  Problem in summary is that was told one thing by one set of immigration officials (that I need not pay) and another thing by the guys I was deailing with (I needed to pay). I thought they were on the blag so despite arriving at 9am didn't leave till nearly 2, $50 poorer.  Ahh well..

So only made it ti Kisii.  Which is a bit like Reading in the 80s.  I'll leave it at that.  Still an unimpressive 170km today.

Day 3:  All this morning driving is all very well but it is a bit chilly at 90kmph.  Have started wearing 2 pairs of trousers and all my tops.  Still a bit chilly.  The roads are fantastic. Been on mud for 20km only.  Nearly had a hiccup in Sotik when a truck pulled out in front of me but I Eddie Kidded it out of the skid to rapturous applause and berated the driver in my best (and worst Swahili) much to his bemusement.  Stopped for coffee in Narok.  Felt very much like I was in the French Alps having a mid-morning-ski chocolat chaud.

The sceneryis incredibly varied.  I passed through boulder strewn savannah akin to Mwanza; rolling verdant feudal hills of Rwanda; dense green sugar plantations of Jinja, Uganda; sparse moorland of Wales; even more desolate moorland of Ukraine (minus decomissioned nuclear reactors); and finally to the hedgerow lined farmland of the home counties (very colonial).  Nothing stunning save the escarpment between Nairobi and Nakuru, which was unlike any country I have seen.  I don't know if it is the rift valley but seems impressive enough to be.  Whilst stopping there I almost bought an entire merino fleece for a saddle...before sanitykicked in.

Arrived in time for lunch in Nairobi.  Traffic is scary.  Smelly.  Much as I remember it.  I will have to spend too long here getting visas etc.  Is cold even off the bike. Hair is useful for insulation. Is also raining.  Set up camp at Upper Hill Campsite.  V nice.

Have written too much already but will fill you in on the tedium and frustrations of visa hunting in NBO later....
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amy_n-b on

So am intrigued, where now? And what happened with the whole driver's license situation? Do tell, do tell! And stay warm, okay.

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