Saturday, 15 September 2007
Three days in Nairobi, and I've gotten most of the things done which I'd intended to do. The bike (Saartjie) has been serviced, I have a visa for Ethiopia, I have a new map of N Africa, I have sandles again, I've done plenty of shopping and eating and drinking, and now I'm doing the internet thing as well. The most significant things en route from Tanzania to Kenya have been my sandles disappearing off the back of the bike (while I was on the bike changing money) at the border, and the chaotic Nairobi traffic for miles before reaching the city. Fortunately I was able to use my little GPS to find "Jungle Junction", where I'm camping. Chris, the German owner of JJ, repairs motorcyles so the place is very popular amongst that sector of travellers. As a result Old Saartjie finds herself in rather illustrious company. Travellers I've met here include Irishmen Sam and Hugh, and Rene from Canada (who I've bumped into twice before on my trip). I've also discovered that there is only a few days difference in age between Hugh and myself (Russian cyclist Uri, who I met in Zambia, was also my age). Perhaps some crazy travelling meteor crashed into earth around the time we were born? Here in Nairobi it's been raining most of the time, starting with a heavy storm soon after I arrived. As the GPS indicated that I was nearing my destination I tried to ask for specific directions, but to no avail. Some of those locals had a good laugh at the crazy Mzungu on a bicycle safari in the city, looking for a "Jungle". Distances since Arusha were:- Namanga 117 km; Kajiado 94 km; and Nairobi 87 km.
Friday, 7 September 2007
I wasn't planning to go to Zanzibar as it seemed a bit extravagant in the context of my journey. However, I couldn't miss out, so I went there and blew my budget for the next 6 months. I found the island to be interesting and beautiful, but also a bit of a tourist trap. The most affordable accommodation was in the old city (Stone Town) where I stayed most of the time. I cycled to the idyllic palm-lined coral beaches of the East Coast, where I stayed in one of the many resort hotels. There is no camp site on the island, and informal camping is illegal (government tax on tourist rooms). The ferry is also not cheap, and the ride back to Dar Es Salaam was so rough that the guy handing out puke-bags looked like a bar room stripper the way he was swinging on the support poles (fortunately he managed to keep his clothes on). North of Dar I did find a nice camp site at the coastal town of Bagamoyo, where I braai'd fresh Snapper bought from local fishermen. From there I made my way North-West, staying mostly in small village guest houses. The only other Mzungu's I saw during that time were at the windows of the many speeding busses. There was one exception, when I stopped at a roadside motel for a drink I heard Afrikaans being spoken (2 guys from SA who work for Vodacom in Tanzania). I spent 2 days in Moshi at the foot of Kilimanjaro, but unfortunately the mountain was covered in cloud and I only had a glimpse of the peak. I couldn't wait forever for a good view and a photo, so I've moved on to Arusha where I'll stay for a few days (laundry, etc., and bike service). Sorry no photo of Kilimanjaro, but I've included one of a rather weathered climber I met in the mirror. Distances since Dar have been:- Zanzibar 19; Paje 52; Stone Town 53; Kinduchi 32; Bagamoyo 60; Msata 68; Makata 76; Korogwe 89; Hedaru 106; Same 57; Moshi 111; and Arusha 84.