Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Addis Abeba to Isiolo, Kenya

From Addis we have been moving fairly swiftly south, making up for lost time. We spent the first night in just out of Shashemene close to some nice hot springs. Shashemene is apparently famous for its Rasta image, and the locals told us there were definitely ties to Jamaica. Interesting.

One more night spent wild camping and we arrived in the border town of Moyale. From Moyale south the road has a reputation for being the worst in East Africa. Large rocks and very rutted gravel. Historically it is also the most risky due to its close proximity to Somalia. The road has been dubbed the “Bandit Highway”. Fortunately for us the Kenyans have discovered oil not far from Marsabit, and hence the security has now improved and the Bandits are no longer. The road still proved rough and very slow going. It took us nine hours to travel 150 miles to Marsabit, arriving in the dark. My bike shaking its way along the rutted surface.

Day two of the Bandit highway proved more of the same, but for a much shorter distance of 90 miles till the new tarmac road. In Marsabit we awoke to our first African rain, making the first section of road quite muddy and slippery. It was short lived as soon we were back into dessert. We had a few kids throw rocks at us, with Craig landing one right in the chest. The locals are poor, and are shouting, or have their hands out for money at every other twist in the road.

So now as I am writing we are staying in the small town of Isiolo. We are yet to see Mount Kenya, which is still shrouded in the mist, hopefully we’ll get a glimpse as we head towards Nairobi today.

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