Wednesday 17 November 2004
again the border crossing and paper work went smoothly, thank you Jesus. The only unsure thing was getting 3rd
party insurance for the GS the sales men quote between 8000 & 3500
KSH (US$107 &US$47) a rip off deluxe. Johan
went and spoke to the customs official and he took Johan to another insurance office and
the boss told us that it was not necessary if we had a carnet! So we took the chance and headed for Nairobi, when
we were stopped at a police block we showed the carnet and it was no problem. The closer we got to Nairobi the greener the
scenery. There are lots of masai
herdsmen/boys along the road with their goats and cattle.
We also saw some giraffe and camels and quite a lot of donkeys. We stopped in a quiet area to have a
snack break a lettuce, banana and dried guava sandwich when the Lord sent us
a pizza deliveryman! No jokes! I hadnt
even finished making our sarmies when this guy stopped with his 4 boys, to chat about the
GS. His name is Said (a muslim) and he was on his way to watch some rally drivers but is a
biker and has a Africa-Twin and just had to stop to chat to us. AND he had a spare pizza in his car!! They bought pizza for lunch and got given a ham
and pineapple pizza by mistake being muslim they couldnt eat the ham!! So he gave it to us. It was really, really, really yummy, thank you
Jesus. Said also told Johan about a better
road to take so that we did not have to travel through the town of Nairobi to the Nairobi
National Park Services campsite. A really
nice guy. We found the campsite with no problem and pitched the tent on lovely lawn. It is a real overland hangout, lots of tourist and
about 6 overland trucks. It was nice to see
that some of the tourists were quite senior (60 years +); they had to put up their own
tents, help with cooking and dishes. Praise
the Lord, real adventures folk.
Once again the border crossing and paper work went smoothly, thank you Jesus. The only unsure thing was getting 3rd party insurance for the GS the sales men quote between 8000 & 3500 KSH (US$107 &US$47) a rip off deluxe. Johan went and spoke to the customs official and he took Johan to another insurance office and the boss told us that it was not necessary if we had a carnet! So we took the chance and headed for Nairobi, when we were stopped at a police block we showed the carnet and it was no problem. The closer we got to Nairobi the greener the scenery. There are lots of masai herdsmen/boys along the road with their goats and cattle. We also saw some giraffe and camels and quite a lot of donkeys. We stopped in a quiet area to have a snack break a lettuce, banana and dried guava sandwich when the Lord sent us a pizza deliveryman! No jokes! I hadnt even finished making our sarmies when this guy stopped with his 4 boys, to chat about the GS. His name is Said (a muslim) and he was on his way to watch some rally drivers but is a biker and has a Africa-Twin and just had to stop to chat to us. AND he had a spare pizza in his car!! They bought pizza for lunch and got given a ham and pineapple pizza by mistake being muslim they couldnt eat the ham!! So he gave it to us. It was really, really, really yummy, thank you Jesus. Said also told Johan about a better road to take so that we did not have to travel through the town of Nairobi to the Nairobi National Park Services campsite. A really nice guy. We found the campsite with no problem and pitched the tent on lovely lawn. It is a real overland hangout, lots of tourist and about 6 overland trucks. It was nice to see that some of the tourists were quite senior (60 years +); they had to put up their own tents, help with cooking and dishes. Praise the Lord, real adventures folk.
Oh, I thought it would be really
warm here being so close to the equator (1` south of equator) but brrrr it is chilly! The altitude here is 1800m. We had a busy day looking for the Embassy of
Ethiopia, Eritrea, Yemen and Saudi Arabia. We
got our visas for Ethiopia and they cost us US$20 each (it costs US$70 for Americans -
ouch!!) We got to the Eritrea Embassy as
they where closing for lunch but they did tell us that we would be able to get a visa, the
Yemen and Saudi Embassys (when we eventually found them) were both closed because of
the Eid public holidays for muslims. The
reason we are going to these Embassys is that we are looking for an alternative
route other than Egypt. As our carnet is not
valid for Egypt we will not be able to get the GS into the country without paying about
400% the value of the bike to the border officials!!
We have only had bad feedback on Egypt from all sorts of contacts, overland
travellers' and website chatting, so we are looking at going through Ethiopia to either
Eritrea or Djibouti and across to either Yemen or Saudi Arabia and then up to Jordan.
Nairobi is a lovely city,
beautiful old buildings and also some very nice style modern buildings. The streets are lined with huge trees and under
most are local businesses being nurseries, all sorts of plats, shrubs and
seedlings, really healthy looking plants. It
makes the sidewalks look quite attractive with rows and squares of different colours. The traffic on the roads flows quite nicely
and only slows down near the traffic circles, which form a major part of the road system
here. There are lots of taxis, buses and
trucks but the worst about the vehicles is that there are a lot of very bad
puffers! There was quite a few
times that I felt that I couldnt breath because of the fumes urgh!! You should have seen my face when we got back to
the campsite I looked like snoopy my face was black except where my glasses
had been!! Really dirty. We went on some scenic roads back to the campsite
and eventually got back at 16h40. Now we are heading for Lake Naivasha and the Rift
Through Iten, Marigat and around Lake Baringo, with more stunning scenery. It seems that every country has got some nice biking roads like the Eastern Transvaal. This is Kenya's "Eastern Transvaal" with winding roads through green scenery. That was the last of the tar road and the GS was tested like never before. The scenery down there looks very similar to Namibia and the Karoo. Then came Maralal, the town known for it's racing Camels, yes racing camels! Once a year they have a international Camel Derby. The area is very beautiful and looks a lot like north Namibia, just very much greener, because of all the rain. Then came the interesting day from Maralal to Marsabit. Extremely beautiful scenery every where. The Lord has really made this part awesome. We saw animals we have never seen before in our lives, they got the most beautiful looking Valturine Guinaefowl! We were very tempted to pitch the tent in the middle of know-where but the hyena we saw helped us to change our minds!! Because of the 45 min delay with the flat tyre we rode the last 70km (21/2 hours) in the dark, a pity because of the beautiful area. Actually it was a blessing as we just missed the rain in Marsabit. Unfortunately we did not miss the mud, which is very very very sticky! And slippery deluxe ( Het gery soos 'n regte beginner biker in eerts rat met my voete sleep sleep en my skoene big time vol modder) The mud was so bad that the front wheel couldn't turn freely. This morning we spent a loooong time getting the gooey mud off. Kenya is by far the most beautiful land that we have travelled through. The north of Kenya is extremely beautiful but it is very harsh and you must be tough to travel through it , but it is worth the effort Now the real adventure starts and as many others have said before me. AFRICA IS NOT FOR SISSIES. We can definately second that.
Mail sent: Sunday November 28 2004........Back in Nairobi!!!
Mail sent: Monday November 29 2004
The Yare Club in Maralal is where a Camel Derby is held in August every year and is a wonderful campsite. It was a good place to relax before heading toward Wamba and Marsabit as we had heard the roads are bad in the north. We rode through some of the most amazing scenery we have seen yet, real national geographic and travel channel style stuff, and we were in it , unbelievable! Beautiful! Lots of Sambura herdsmen/boys with their cattle/goats along the roads. Flat open areas with canopy thorn trees scattered in the distance and also some valleys that were quite bushy. Some of the normally dry riverbeds were fast flowing rivers as a lot of rain has fallen over the last week. All the plains are green with little white and blue flowers along the road and there is the sweetest scent in the air. We saw our first Vulturine Guinea Fowls with their amazing cobalt blue feathers - really an awesome sight. We passed many nomadic villages, with thorn bush cattle kraals and very colourfully dressed people, especially the women. They wear huge beaded neckbands with their colourful blankets; beads are also strapped on their head in a fashion and not forgetting their big colourful earrings. They are by far a more beautiful and colourful tribe than the Masai. Apparently there were 2 brothers , one named Masai and the other named Sambura who moved into 2 different areas , the Sambura brother stayed in the north of Kenya and the Masai brother went further south to South of Kenya and North Tanzania, that is why the dress code is so similar. We eventually got to the East African Highway, which is nothing more than a very poor condition gravel road. You would have thought that by now the government of the various countries would have improved the main highways in their countries that would aid the import/export system as well as improve on the tourism. We had to travel quite a bit slower on this road as in some places the, middle mannetji, was huge (sharp rocks, corrugation, sandy, muddy). The road goes through a game reserve and it was like going on a game drive, we saw grevy's zebra, reticulated giraffe, gerenuk (which is a weird looking buck with a long neck and a little head). We saw loads more of the vulturine guinea fowl and loads of little dikdik.
When we got to Laisamis we decided that
there was enough light to go on to Marsabit, so after having a pee over the edge of a
bridge we headed north!! Not even 10km the other side of the town we got a,
porridge, wheel. We had heard about the very sharp stones that cut into the
side wall of tyres from a german/dutch guy on a DR800 who was heading south, he had
left Marsabit that morning and had had 2 flat tyres, besides getting stuck in some mud in
the area. J checked the front tyre and we couldn't see any damage so he used the
little compressor and pumped it up. Op pad na Masabit, 3 of wat km na die foto
geneem is het ons die pap wiel gehad, lyk baie soos Ceres,Calvinia area, Pad net baie
slegter, but it took forever to get the pressure, Johan noticed a slight ding in the rim
and even though he didn't say anything I could see that he was getting worried that we had
a more serious problem, of the air leaking out the side next to the ding in the rim. When
we switched the compressor off we heard a hissing noise, no Kyle and Connor it was not a
snake, and Praise the Lord, Johan found a spot where the tyre had been cut by a stone.
Johan's face lit up immediately, muchly relieved he whipped out the puncture repair
kit and blocked the hole. Thank you Jesus that after about 45 minutes we were on the road
again. Up ahead we could see a huge cloud burst, especially over the mountain areas
but thankfully the curve in the road and the direction of the wind kept us in the
dry. We headed into areas that looked just like the Karoo except there were no big
sheep farms, I wonder why as the conditions look very similar!
We contemplated riding until dark then
setting up camp in the bush (without the tent) until we saw a hyena, that sort of
helped us make up our minds that we would travel slowly all the way to Marsabit! The Lord
blessed us even more as we had a night game drive, we saw hare, rabbit, owls,
gazelle, gerenuk, dikdik, and not forgetting the hyena. We eventually got to a
police road block, long closed for the night, and rode through and not even 50m
further we found ourselves in the worst mud conditions ever. Slippery, sticky
reddish mud!! Poor J, I could feel every muscle tense as we went literally
step-by-step along the road for about 4km. It seemed to take forever, slippy sliddy,
it even caked onto Johan,s boots.
I sat as still as I could and tried to
keep my feet as high on the foot pegs and out of Johan's way. My poor baby was
getting exhausted. When we eventually got into the main part of the town we asked at
a fuel station where Jeyjey's was and it was only another 200m down the road but luckily
this part of the road was firmer. We parked the GS in the courtyard, booked in and had a
good HOT shower and relaxed. The next morning we went for a walk to see what the
road looked like but it had dried during the night so it did not look half as bad as the
night before. We took the GS out of the courtyard and scrapped of as much of the mud
as we could, the photos will explain more about the mud than I can tell.
All while this was happening we saw the sun rising, God really painted the sky with beautiful colours for us. We also started to see how beautiful the area was, that we had broken down in. It was right next to one of the craters in the area, awesome to look down into the center of the (now green) crater. The animal noises were also nice to hear, donkeys, camels, goats and birds. It drizzled every now and then and we also got covered in low cloud at one time. I tried to help Johan as much as I could and when he saw that the GS was beyond roadside repair, Johan put her back together again and we decided to push her to the police roadblock. Boy, am I unfit! Huffing and puffing, muscles straining (did I mention that it was up hill!) we pushed the 350kg GS along the bumpy corrugated gravel road. Some locals passed us along the road and just looked at us as if we were nuts! Then one fella helped for a bit and also gave up and carried on his way. 1.5km later some shepherd boys came along and Praise the Lord they helped us push all the way to the police road block,a total of 3km. I fed them most of Johan's, pad kos, samoosa's and then they went on their way! Thank you Jesus. Johan went to look for someone at the roadblock house but the guy who came from the security area was from the KBC , Kenyan Broadcasting Corporation. He was a very nice and understanding fella. He allowed us to push the GS onto their property and then suggested that we push it all the way to where he stayed. Much safer and further from the road, the police also live there, again thank you Jesus. He also said that it would be safer to pack our stuff in his room, wow, again thank you Jesus. Johan decided to strip the complete wiring harness out of the bike so that it could be sent to Trefco, so the big job began. It took us 3 hours of dirty (because of the mud), nails breaking (for the girls!!!), cable plotting and unplugging (thank you BMW for modern plug connections) and believe it or not good-humoured work!! That can only be from Jesus!! The guys at KBC were very friendly and very helpful. They stood around for the 3 hours watching while we worked, only in Africa! They told us that the first bit of traffic that comes past from Moyale is at about 2pm most days. We were all packed and heading for the road by 1.45pm. We had no sooner walked through the security gate, than a blue landy stopped at the police roadblock and we got a lift (1.50pm). Thank you Jesus!! Back in Marsabit we went straight to Jeyjey's and got the folks to phone us. Boy,do we owe you guys big time, thanx again! Johan spoke to John Carr and it was decided that the GS had to be taken to Nairobi to the BMW dealer, so with the help of Duba (remember his name guys for whenever you are in Marsabit, he is very genuine, honest and helpful, also a very good tour guide for the area) he organized us a lift on a empty truck to Nairobi and a bakkie to fetch the GS from the KBC, for the next day 25th Nov. Well, the bakkie came to fetch us at about 10.30am and we were about 100m down the road when I realized that the bakkie had a roll bar and the GS would not be able to fit under it! We stopped the driver and climbed off, by this time Johan was loosing his sense of humour. We went back to Jeyjey's and explained the problem to Duba, in no time he organized a tractor with trailer, Johan's sense of humour was definitely way out of the window by now!
By 12 o'clock we were
standing on the trailer and heading out of town to the KBC. The closer we got to the
GS the more relaxed Johan seemed to get. Johan got busy putting the loose
bits back on the GS and I packed all our things and moved them outside to load onto the
tractor's trailer. The GS got loaded next to the road, the trailer was parked
in a dip to lower the back so that it was easier to load the GS, then Johan put on
the fuel tank and the slow journey to the, cereal board, started (2km's the other side of
town where we had to meet the truck). Bless his soul, the tractor driver took us on
a scenic route through the village but when we got to the, cereal board, we were
told that the truck had left! Only to discover when we got back to Jeyjey's that the
truck driver had gone to look for us, but of course he missed us because we were on
the, scenic tour!! But Praise the Lord, the truck driver came back to Jeyjey's and
we could load/push the GS from the trailer onto the truck.
At long last we were on our way, the driver and his assistant thought it was hysterical
that these 2 mzungu's (white people) wanted to sit on the back of the truck and not in the
cab!! I got prepared for a very cold night and maybe even a wet one but Praise the
Lord, He not only gave us a full moon so that we could see the animals, He also gave us a
warm night and He sent the rain ahead of us, yip, it made the roads very mushy and our
trip slow going, max 20km/h on the gravel section (half the distance) but we didn't get
wet. It was loads of fun sitting on the trucks roof with my love, quite
romantic , who of you can say that you have been kissed on a roof of a 1950's Fiat truck
in the middle of the desert in north (only just) Africa?!!
Thank you Jesus for making our adventure even more adventurous! We didn't see many
animals along the way (I think because of the rain) except for goats, camels and
donkeys. The odd little dikdik was the only wild game we saw but we were blessed
with abundant bird life, pale chanting goshawk, yellow necked spur fowl (francolin),
vulturine guinea fowl, crowned plover, spur winged plover, black faced sand grouse, white
bellied go-away bird, montane nightjar, speckled mouse bird, lilac breasted roller,
hoopoe, red-billed hornbill, swallows, drongos, bulbul, boubou, golden breasted starling,
superb starling, black headed weaver, speke's weaver, white headed buffalo,weaver, white
browed sparrow weaver, pin tailed whydah, blue capped cordon blue, and lots of others!
....................Blessed, I tell you!
Epos gestuur:Wednesday December 8 2004
Jip, ons is vrek vervelig, maar byt nog vas. Ons was gister by Del Monte om sommer maar net te kyk, maar hulle wil ons nie laat ingaan nie. Het gese ek het vir Del Monte in RSA gewerk en lekker met die een ou gesels Thika is pineapple country and Del Monte is the biggest pineapple factory in the Southern hemisphere Die fabriek is baie groot en het pynappel plantasies so ver die oog kan sien. As dinge met die bike nie gou wil uitwerk nie, sal ek terug gaan en vra vir kontrak werk, maar die keer sal die pay baie beter moet wees. Kenia in geheel is baie meer jacked up as Malawi, so ek dink dit sal baie beter wees om hier te werk as in Malawi. Maar eintlik wil ons eerder die pad vat en uit Afrika kom, is nou lus vir Europa.
The R80Gs was a real life saver and handled the city traffic better than what the 1150 would have. Thanks again to Mashariki Motore for lending us the R80Gs.
Mail sent:Thursday December 11 2004
Mail sent: Friday December 17 2004
And we thought GS's were made for this!!! You live and you learn! but the GS stays with us. And Praise the Lord, everything has been replaced and repaired under warrantee! We went for a test ride(300km) today and the baby is 100% okay. Tomorrow we will rest (yeah right, pack is more like it) and Saturday we will be out of here!
If any of you come to Nairobi, you just have to go to the Karen Vineyard Church at Hillcrest School (in Karen). We met the most wonderful Christian brothers and sister. Jim and Beverly, and their 2 daughters are also bikers from USA and have been here for 18 years. They took us to their favourite Indian Restaurant and then we had coffee at their house on a compound with 2 other families. The most awesome friendly people. Wie van julle kan 'n engelse 'Hope for the Highway' sponsor en stuur? SMS ons asb. There are loads of bikes in Nairobi, we have seen ZX9, VMax, 500 Shadow; loads of old BMW's - R100's, GS's andRT's; big scramblers - KLR650, TT Tenere, Honda XR600, Africa Twin; the police ride F650's and R1100RT's (with spoke rims; they replace rear tyres every 2000km's; and the brake pads and clutch every 20000km's!!!)) Also many motorcross bikes on trailers, but have not seen any quads! ..................Ai maar hy ry lekkerrrrr!!!. In die agtergrond is die sout fabriek by die meer
We plan (is that possible in Africa?!!)
to be in Ethiopia by Christmas. ................God bless you all, and please pray for our safe journey as we venture into real Africa!
Actual route traveled through Kenya