(Day 22) Marsabit to Waldaa Village – 21 April 2011

Distance for the day    – 146 km              Odometer – 7 861 km
Hours on the Bike        – 04:35
Donations up to date for Adelaide Hospital – R 77 327.00

Today will be remembered for  how not to plan the day if you are not prepared to take what Murphy throws at you. We wanted to push through to Mayole today, which was going to be a big challenge, because of the 250 km’s slow-riding dirt, so we wanted to start early. Departure was delayed because of a report to Farmers Weekly that needed to be posted, with a very bad internet connection.

The road was challenging alright, with a mix of ruts, corrugations and very loose lava rock. Rufus took a fall and the radiator job of the previous night proved to be unsuccessful.

The first view after Rufus took a fall.

The loose rock was the winner.

The first option then was to remove the radiator shield, which was chafing into the radiator and use radiator Stop Leak. It proved to be unsuccessful and it slowed the pace down because of having to stop regularly to top up with water. We then stopped for two hours to fix the leak with Pratley Steel.

Rufus at work trying to fix his radiator.

The leak was sealed but the bike was still overheating? At the next village we again dismantled everything and came to the conclusion that we managed to block the radiator with the Stop Leak that we had put in. It was a process of flushing the radiator and even opening the water pump. A bypass wire was installed to manually run the fan if needed and off we went.

We travelled through some really arid hostile country with very little life. Big open areas with lava rock everywhere could be seen and the outside temperature reaching 42°C. The only people we saw were Nomadic tribes, living in small hut-like structures, with only a few camels, sheep or donkeys that they herd. We also passed several trucks that were loaded with food and people, heading to the villages we passed through. We were told that the food is a handout from the Kenyan Government.

It takes concentration to stay in the tracks.

Loose rocks in deep double track roads.

Some bigger rocks that could easily buckle a rim.

Camels, goats and sheep heading to a watering hole.

Trucks passing with lots of dust and loose rocks flying.

The domino effect when the first bike fall.

Stelios, with a Nomadic Village in the background.

Dirt road running far into the distance.

Double track ridden out roads.

Beautiful scenery.

Norman entering a little Village.

Mid afternoon Richard got that worried look back in his eyes when his bike said: NO MORE!! The famous old shock had enough and broke completely. He was now riding with the tyre chafing the mud flap.

The look says it all:

We knew we had to call it a day and pulled off. We chose a spot next to the road and decided to set up camp. It was an amazing experience sleeping under the stars on your mattress and sleeping bag without even putting up a tent. We were warned at one of the villages that there are lions and hyenas roaming the area which made the night a very long one. During the night we could hear Hyenas laughing in a distance, but we luckily had no visits. For supper we each had a tin of baked beans, tuna and a Chipata (local pancake-like bread)

Camping in the open.

Richard exhausted and not in the mood to even roll out his mattress.

Blogging in the bush.

Moon rising.

Tomorrow we will first try to get Richard’s bike on a truck to Moyale to get the shock seen to.

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