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Entry 40 // The journey to Ethiopia Day 2 of 7

Update by: Luke | March 30th, 2011

Nick left off with us staying in that shady town. He was right about it being shady. The hotel receptionist sat inside a little cage in the lobby so no one could get at him. He was also protected by 4 gaurds roaming the compound with one always inside the lobby. There is no reason to stay in the town longer than to avoid the night and get some shut-eye. That means in the morning we grab a quick bite to eat and take off.

The room was not shady. Good quality for 7 bucks. It even had a toilet and shower.Breakfast was a buck or two.There is a bank in this town and we figure we had better get all the money we need for the rest of Kenya and the beginning of Ethiopia now. According to our map, this is the last bank-sized town until the middle of Ethiopia where the capitol lies 1,000 miles away. Now how in the world are we supposted to accuratly guess how much cash we will need? I'm not sure of that either. I calculate 4 full tanks of gas, food, and a random hotel or two. $6,000 Shillings which is about $80 dollars. I always have my back up $250 US if I get in a bind.

Before we take off I look for a strap at a hardware store. I'm trying to get a better way to attach my tent poles to the inside of my racks. I don't find anything useful.We weave through the shadies alleys and backroads we can find to get a few GoPro pictures then bail on this town.A few miles down the road, the pavement ends at a gas station. We top off our tanks and hit the dirt. We won't see pavement for the next 600 miles! 20 minutes down the road, we are talking on the intercoms. "Hey Luke, I have a flat!" I'm pumped because this is Nicks frist flat for the trip, while I already had two. Lights camera action. I smother Nick with cameras as he gathers what he needs to fix the tube. The first being rocks to prop of his front wheel. Nick mentions a few times that he wishes he had a center stand.Ok, tubes out, the hole is found. (it looks like a pinch flat) Patch it!Now pump up the tube to make sure the patch is good.


That's the sounds of air leaking out of the tube. It's not coming from the patch though. There is another hole, how did that happen? Get the stuff back out, patch it up, but the tube in the wheel. Does this count as 2 flats? Is Nick now caught up to Luke with flat tires? We decide it's 1 1/2. I'm still in the lead by half a flat. Of course we are in the middle of no where and of course kids magically appear out of the bushes. They are interested in the pump and want to get in on the job.Of course they are kids, so after 5 pumps, they scurry off to play with bugs. Nick gets the wheel back on and we are off once again. Man it feels good just to watch and take pictures and NOT have to be the one working on a bike.

Back on the road and we cross some mud puddles. I'm glad it's not raining on us today. In fact if it didn't rain for the next week during this off road section, I would be ok with that. There is however evidence of recent rain.Because one angle of Nicks bike getting dirty isn't enough!Nick passes and when I catch up I notice this. I tell him to pull over on the Intercom. (Man these Intercoms are awesome)Apparently the two plastic dealer screws won't hold up for Africa. A quick ziptie fix while Luke takes a dump. This is the start of only using nature as a bathroom for a while. It's soft, real soft. I havn't had a firm one since I got sick back in Kisumu. I need to keep an eye on this. They treated me for bad bacteria, but maybe I have a parasite instead.. I feel fine, it's just always soft. hmm...We pull out the cell phones I do a little texting, while Nick calls his girlfriend. Who would have guessed we would be using phones in the middle of no where in Kenya. There is service everywhere it seems. Back on the bikes, we race off to the next town. The road has nice jumps everywhere. They are actually just rises where culverts run underneath, but they sure are fun to jump. We are getting braver and really like to ride fast. I'm bottoming out my bike at times. It's fun, but we should be a little more careful.I havn't maxed out the front end...yetAfter awhile we come into a new town. We get gas and start looking for a supermarket. The selection is really poor, and kind of expensive. We take turns watching the bike while we each buy what we think we may need for the night and tomorrow. There is a big crowd around me while Nick is in the store. Two guys trying to be my "friend" are arguing with each other about who is more of a crook or thief. They are both trying to convience me that they are good, and the other is bad. I could care less who is actually good and bad, I just want to get some food and get out of this town before it gets dark. We get some food, and take off for anything else. It's going to be dark in a 1/2 hour now. We need to find a place to camp, but we want to put some miles in to get away from town. The road turns crap. We are doing 1-2 gear stuff at times. It's really rocky. We meet a Toyota coming through the other way. He tells us that we can get gas in 120 K and that the road gets much worse. We thank him for the information and continue on. We come upon two wild zebras. I chase them around a little bit and we keep going.We pass a few water holes...Once it is dark, we get serious with looking for a camping spot. We end up driving off the road about 100 yards, over a hill into a meddow in some Pines. It looks like Michigan here. Pine trees all around. The air is crisp and actually a bit chilly. We put on our hooded sweatshirts and made a fire. We munch on chips and cookies for dinner, and wash it down with Pineapple juice concentrate. It's way too strong. We didn't see the "add water to suit" labeling on the side when we bought it. Every time I take a pull from the bottle, I fill it back up with water. All be doing this for a few days, until it finally gets down to a non face wrenching taste. Tonight we use our sleeping bags. it feels good not to be hot.This is what our camp site looked like in the morning.






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