We were told to leave Nairobi as early as possible or face the morning rush hour with the risk of being stuck in traffic for 2-3 hours. As the bikers arrived a day late they would only follow the following day once their visas for Sudan would have been sorted out.
At 5.30 am we were on the road and surprised how many pedestrians and cars slowed traffic down already this early in the morning.
It took us about 45 minutes to get on one of the main feeder roads north of Nairobi when team Bulldog came on the radio announcing a blown left rear tyre.
Team Icevan was already out of radio reach but notified by sms about the misfortune. Ably assisted by team Lipstick we were all on the road again some 30 minutes later.
By sunrise we realised that we had taken the North Western road instead of the Northern Road via Thika. At Limuru we therefor turned east in order to reach Thika via Mangu. This detour lead us through a mountainous area with rolling hills covered with tea plantations which lasted for about 20km.
Having arrived in Thika we quickly found a tyre repair shop and whilst we had breakfast team Bulldog’s tyre was fully repaired.
For the next 6 hours we drove through the magnificent Rift Valley area passing Mount Kenya on the right. Unfortunately like Kilimanjaro a few days before – this mountain was also covered in clouds.
Again we were faced with many fruit farms on the left and right of the street (the A2) and it became quite clear why this area of Kenya is referred to as the “bread basket” of Africa. Seemingly everything is growing in the area from all the various foods to endless tea and wheat plantations.
At Nanyuki we crossed the equator and team Lipstick parked its car in a way that Andre the co-pilot would sit in the northern Hemisphere and Willy the current driver in the Southern hemisphere. The normal picture taking took place and one can even purchase certificates of this crossing for the benefit of the local young entrepreneur who puts his Word programme to good and profitable use. None of us however required his services as our pictures would be proof enough.
On the way we stopped the TROUT TREE which operates a restaurant amongst many trout tanks and their trout farming business seems to be hugely successful and their restaurant with trout menus in all forms from soup to smoked trout sashimi has become a landmark for travellers going north of Nairobi.
It was intended that all 3 cars would fill up at a town called Archer’s post but on arrival we found out that this town has neither a petrol station nor suitable camping facilities.
We had to make our way back some 40 km to the town of Isiolo where we could fill up and pay with Dollars.
Paul from Team Icevan also found a nice Lodge and Camping ground called Gaddisa Lodge just outside Isiolo . This establishment is managed by Vera – a Danish Lady and her Kenyan husband Jobj.
Jobi organised some charcoal and a braai stand for us and soon we were having our traditional African Safari steaks with Vino to be followed by a few Iris Whiskeys.
Jobi kindly enough pointed out a route which would bypass the 300km heavily corrugated road via Marsabit but in turn route us to Lake Turkana from where we could make it to Moyale or any other Ethiopian border post.
In order to give us enough time we decided to leave latest 5pm again the next morning.