Kenya

Posted in: English Jul 12 2016

The flight from Addis Ababa with a 15 hour stopover in Djibouti to Nairobi went quite smoothly. Right at the beginning they wanted to see the yellow fever vaccination of each passenger. Andy had made his vaccination in 1984. Actually, this is valid for life but the customer service didn’t accepted it. I went through the boarder control, build my bike back together and waited for him outside the airport. He didn’t showed up for hours and it was almost getting hot. My accommodation was situated 15 kilometers away from the airport and i wanted to reach it before it was really hot.

On the left-hand traffic I got used to fairly quickly. The dust here is almost red and it looks like Rust on metal. After a while me and my bicycle were full of soil. I decided to baptize my bicycle on the name “Dusty“.

At the Jungle Junction i find my oasis to recover from all the troubles in Ethiopia. Chris and his wife Diana are running this place since 1999. Chris is a mechanic from Germany. Every Overlander-, Motorbike- or Cyclist driver knows this place. If you cross Africa with your own vehicle you just have to come here.

Marco, one of my companion in Sudan (Band of Brothers), arrived here some few days before. It was nice to see him again. On the very next day he left towards Tanzania. Every evening we had nice conversations about traveling in Africa on the terrace. There was a big Shopping Mall nearby with so many stuff that i haven’t seen since ages. At the end i spend 9 weeks at this lovely place. One reason was the rain season. Partial large areas of the country were flooded. It makes no sense to put my journey in these conditions continue.

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In this time i met Yashar from Azerbaijan. He’s cycling from Azerbaijan to South Africa with the target to draw attention on the lack of democracy in his country. The Ethiopian Embassy in Sudan didn’t wanted to exhibit him a visa. So he decided to cross South Sudan. Everything went fine until 80 kilometers ahead of the Kenyan boarder. Four guys attacked him with stones and stolen his bicycle with all the belongings. After he was a long time on the ground unconscious, he woke up and made it back on the next street. People found him and brought him to the next hospital. His rips and under arm were broken and at the head he had a laceration. The police the thefts and all his stuff including the bicycle. They couldn’t fix his broken arm at the hospital but he managed to organize a transport to Nairobi where he got an operation.

During 4 months he recovered at Daisy’s home. A Warmshower contact in Nairobi. We spent some time together until he was ready to continue the journey. I admire very Yashar because of his strong will. For me, people like him shows that nothing in life is impossible. Safe travels my friend!

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It was very hard for me to leave the Jungle Junction. My first stage led me to Nyeri, through the territory of the Kikuyus. The Kikuyu are the largest ethnic group in Kenya. They speak the Bantu Kikuyu language as a mother tongue. Since the proclamation of the Republic of Kenya, after the British colony of Kenya came to an end in 1963, the Kikuyus now form an integral part of the Kenyan nation. They continue to play their part as citizens of Kenya, helping to build their country.

The people here are enormus friendly and everybody wanted to talk with me. I had to climb many hills. Road construction in Kenya is quite simple: just straight up the hill with the street and on the other side back down. Doesn’t matter how steep it is. Many times i had to push my bicycle (Perhaps my condition has eased a bit in the past nine weeks?!). The children always cried “Muzungu“ (Foreigner) when they saw me. Over time, this sucks a little but I realized it no longer correct. It was not easy to find a spot for camping due to the many people here. Mostly i went to a nearby school and asked for accommondation. They always allowded me to put my tent. One time a teacher invited me in his home and his wife cooked a fantastic meal for us.

I wanted to visit Nyeri just for one reason: The grave of BiPi (Lord Robert Baden-Powell of Gilwell) is located there. Delly, the chief of the Museum, allowed me to sleep next to his grave. The soreness in my legs were like hell. So I was glad to be able to rest times a day here.

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Several of his military books, written for military reconnaissance and scout training in his African years, were also read by boys. In 1907, he held a demonstration camp, the Brownsea Island Scout camp, which is now seen as the beginning of Scouting. In 1910 Baden-Powell retired from the army and formed The Boy Scouts Association. Baden-Powell lived his last years in Nyeri, Kenya, where he died and was buried in 1941.

I spent allmost 20 years in the Scouts Association. This place is for me like a little milestone on my journey through Africa.

From Nyeri i continued towards the Great Rift Valley.

The Great Rift Valley is part of an intra-continental ridge system that runs through Kenya from north to south. It was formed on the „Kenyan Dome“ a geographical upwelling created by the interactions of three major tectonics: the Arabian, Nubian, and Somalian plates. The valley contains the Cherangani Hills and a chain of volcanoes, some of which are still active. The Tugen Hills to the west of Lake Baringo contain fossils preserved in laval flows from the period 14 to 4 million years ago. The relics of many hominids, ancestors of humans, were found here.

The kenyan drivers don’t know how to drive a car on a tarmac road. It was to dangerous for me. Therefore, I dodged to the side streets. From my perspective, you can these roads actually not described as such. Multiple times i had to cross rivers, climbing over rocks and there was dust everywhere.

On my third day here i saw my very first giraffe! For me and Lucy it was a great pleasure to see this amazing animal in the wild.

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There are also a lot of Zebras, Monkeys, Dromedaries and Birds here. But they mostly disappear before i can take out the camera. Even the people here wear very beautiful body jewelry. Somehow I had the feeling that they don’t like to be photographed. When I sought the conversation with them, they asked me mostly for money. In every village people cried „give me“ when they saw me. Probably they should change the name of the Great Rift Valley into Give Me Valley.

Kenya is basically located quite high. The climate is mostly very comfortable. However, here, the temperature rose in some cases up to 40 ° C. I used 8 liters per day and there’s no Supermarket available in most places.

From the Great Rift Valley it went up over two big mountain ranges to Iten. The two day climb up there was pretty tuff. I almost could not believe my eyes as I there found the first supermarket for a long time. Iten is known for its athletes School. Virtually all athletics talents from Kenya are trained here. It was a short step for me to Kitale, the last city before the boarder. It was impossible to find a campsite here but the bishop of Kitale hosted me for one night in his house and gave me a warm shower, food and a bed. It was almost getting dark when i arrived at the boarder post in Suam. The friendly customer officers allowded me to camp in front of it and drenched me in the morning with tea and bread. Kenyan hospitality until the end.

I had my Africa trip nearly canceled in Ethiopia. Kenya showed me that my dream of Africa is not over yet. I would like to wholeheartedly thank at all the people here who helped me. Asante sana Kenya!

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