The North of Kenya is an area of conflicts with long uninhabited distances and roads in very bad conditions, where there are strongly armed bandits. Many times, they intercept vehicles and robbed them.
I said good-bay to Daniel and under an overcast sky, I went back to the road after several months without biking. I left Nairobi, heading for El Cairo, to complete the last stage in Africa of my travel around the world.
So many things have happened to me along my itinerary around the East of Africa. I don’t have the slightest doubt that these personal experiences will be in my heart for the rest of my life.
I will never forget my stay in the South of Tanzania, where I biked with 6 kilos less than usual. Sandy roads and a burning sun in a mountainous area, and the bike kept causing me problems. I remember that after arriving in Dar Es Salaam, I had to go straight to a hospital
I will never forget, either, that morning I went haunting for food with the Hazdabes, or the cocktail I had to taste with the Massais: cow blood with milk. And my visit to the refugee camp in Uganda, or that lunch with the Pygmies…
All in all, the East of Africa has changed me for ever.
But I didn’t feel happy when I left this part of the continent, after suffering that terrific night in Nairobi.
I also remember that argument with that Tanzanian who tried to charge me for a bottle of milk three times what it cost. “This is Africa, man! It’s business!”, the Tanzanian shouted.
Africa is this way, where lots of tourists arrive from everywhere from Europe, Australia and USA. It seems unbelievable, but many children who don’t know how to speak English have come closer to me repeating: “give money, give money!”
That’s enough for me. Nine months biking for the East of Africa were OK to know this part of the continent.
The North of Kenya is an area of conflicts with long uninhabited distances and roads in very bad conditions, where there are strongly armed bandits. Many times, they intercept vehicles and robbed them. So, to cross the last 500 km and reach the frontier with Ethiopia, it’s necessary going in 4×4 vehicles in caravans and watched by the police.
In this way, I only biked 300 km from Nairobi to Isiolo. They were four days of high mountains with peaks up to 3000 meters high, it was very cold and it rained from time to time. But the last afternoon was spectacular: during more than an hour I went down the last 50 km to the place from where I would finally leave for my next frontier.
In Isiolo, I was welcomed by a Kenyan priest, who was with me till the moment I made an arrangement about the price of the truck in which I was going to travel. There aren’t many white men that travel this way, and I didn’t want an especial price.
The truck carried wood and 10 people traveled in it, too; a taxi driver who lived in Nairobi, but his wife was in Moyale, frontier with Ethiopia; a merchant who carried 130 kilos of tobacco, for which reason we were delayed by one of the police controls, and a biologist who had studied in Uganda, that was also a priest and worked as that at the frontier.
The travel lasted two days, due to the fact that we took the longest road (way to Wajir) for security (later, I knew that a truck that had taken the other way, left the road to avoid a flooded area and exploded when it went over a mine).
We stopped several times in small towns, for eating or sleeping for a while, although we were always on the truck. I admit it wasn’t easy: the second day I couldn’t find a way to make me comfortable. Sometimes, I missed my bike, although no matter how hard I had tried, I would never have been able to travel those 500 km in such an original way.