(Day 21) Nairobi to Marsabit – 20 April 2011
Distance for the day – 560 km Odometer – 7 715 km
Hours on the Bike – 08:43
Donations up to date for Adelaide Hospital – R 77 327.00
Last night we were told by a local that if we want to get out of Nairobi we need to do so before rush hour, which apparently starts from 06:00 till 23:00. This is one crazy city with way too many people and cars for its infrastructure. So we were up at 04:00 and set off at 05:00.
Last night Richard got the quiet, worried look in his eyes, when he realised that his bike would not start – battery! Norman and Rufus had to give a hand and were pushing Richard on his bike through the busy streets of Nairobi. The same applied this morning. It all came down to low battery water and the only person to blame was the mechanic that did the service on the bike the day before – alias “Panic Mechanic Bennett himself”. The traffic proved to be a lot less, but it was still a schlep to get to the point where you could just twist the ear of the old thumpers and start to tick the km’s off.
The ride took us through some highly productive farming land with well-developed farms doing wheat, maize and barley. We also passed a number of big enterprises that do flowers and vegetables, all under plastic tunnels. The road took us all around the foot of the gigantic Mt. Kenya. We only once saw a glimpse of the summit, due to low clouds.
After about 150 km’s we reached the Equator near the town of Nanyuki. We stopped and did the usual “look where we are!” photo’s and then set our sites for Archer’s Post – our night stop.
The road was good and we progressed well, which meant that we could push on further to try and catch up on the day we were behind.
We then pushed on to reach Marsabit just before sunset with a total of 560 km for the day that took us nearly nine hours to do. The last 120 km’s was again a gruelling gravel road that took its toll on Rufus’s bike. His bike’s radiator sprung a leak and started overheating.
Marsabit was not much bigger than the spec on the map and we booked in at the only accommodation available, the Jey-Jey Hotel. This in itself was an experience to write home about – what a contrast to what we experienced at Ngorongoro Crater Lodge. They had no electricity and therefore water was also a problem. A back-up generator assisted for a few hours for lights and we all had a very nice bucket wash. The team got to work before bed in stripping Rufus’s bike to fix the radiator. It was a long and tiring day but we were happy because we were on schedule.