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Sunday, 6 January 2013

Kenya 2

Day 12 – 31/12/12
A day for relaxing. Avril got her “hair done”; we did a bit of shopping and prepared for a New Years Eve BBQ.
We joined with other overlanders at JJ for the BBQ. Each couple provided their own meat and contributed a salad for the table. We had pre dinner drinks with a very multi cultural mezza including some yummy snacks from an Indian biker couple. Then the main course. We drank a little, played the game where you have to guess the name of the person written on a sticker on one’s forehead. Ray managed to stay awake to 00:00 – just.

Day 13 – 1/1/13
Soon after we had retired to bed, the rain came and settled in for the night. Given the late night, we got up late, had a lazy breakfast, said our farewells to the fellow travellers and set off. On the way out of town we stocked up on the nice fresh vegies from the supermarket.
Nairobi farewelled us with a rain storm that made our vehicle all dirty again.
On a fairly decent tar road we drove to Naivasha with some spectacular views over the Rift Valley along the way.
We drove around Lake Naivasha. As seems to be generally the case in Kenya, as soon as we left the tar, the road was terrible. There are now a lot of flower farms and game reserves around the lake, so we did not get many views of the lake. We did manage to see a number of animals: zebra, buffalo, giraffe and Thompsons Gazelle.
We then drove on to Lake Elmentetia and camped at the Cactus Ecco Campground, which had been recommended by others. It was clean, had flush loos and hot showers and very pleasant staff. So, we could not complain.
In the evening we went for a stroll to the lake and saw some pink flamingos , pelicans and other birds.

Avril  driving; 171 km; 5 hrs; S 000 27’ 01.5’’ E 0360 15’ 46.0’’

Day 14 – 2/1/13
After a late start we drove via Nakuru to the Naibery camp south of Eldoret. In Nakuru we stopped off at a very modern tyre service center – the 1st really decent tyre place since RSA. We wanted to have a wheel balanced as the weights were knocked off when the punctures were repaired in Maralal. However, the rip in the tyre was too large and we were forced to buy yet another tyre. They wanted to sell a BFGoodrich – but with their abysmally poor performance thus far, we said no. Instead we bought a Pirelli. Let’s see how that goes.
We may have forgotten to mention, but some time ago we awarded BFGoodrich/Michelin our 3rd Raspberry for the trip.
The drive was along the Rift Valley and scenery was rolling hills with some grand vistas. The vegetation seemed to be semi-tropical and there was quite intensive agriculture along the way.
The road was good until ~ 65 km before Eldoret and then it deteriorated badly. This is the main truck route to Uganda. The road consisted of 2 deep ruts on each side of the road. The ruts suit the trucks, but pose a serious hazard to small vehicles. In addition, the truck drivers show little consideration and make driving even worse than it should be.
The camp is excellent, maybe the best of the trip thus far. The down side is that all the big overland tour trucks use the site. So, it can be very noisy.

Avril  driving; 153 km; 4.5 hrs (driving) ; N 000 26’ 52.4’’ E 0350 25’ 20.5’’. Across the equator again.

Day 15 – 3/1/13
A day of chores; lots of cleaning and mending.  The good news was that it was dry, so we could get the jobs done.
BBQ for dinner

Day 16 – 4/1/13
The road to the border varied between some good new short sections and more of the big groves worn into the surface by trucks.
We managed to use our excess Kenyan Shillings to fill the fuel tanks, only to find we needed Shillings to pay Road Tax.
The crossing from Kenya was easy. We did have to pay road tax as we had not paid it on entry (as there was no border post).

Kenya Summary
Roads and rain to one side, we enjoyed Kenya. The people were welcoming and ready to assist, without expecting payment. There was a little begging by young boys in rural areas, but apart from that we were left alone. We could pull off to the side of the road for lunch and not be crowded by spectators/beggars.
It was nice to be able to buy good quality meat, fruit and veg/salad.
We thought the game parks were expensive, but then they seem to be lower cost than other east African countries. The camp grounds were in the main of reasonable to good quality.  

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