We dedicate this article to Adriana / Adi / Adisu of Timisoara (Romania).
Thanks for the generosity of your donation to support our adventure. You offered us those kms. So for your birthday we offer you this article about animals.
Loïc: We are delighted to be back on the asphalt after 400 km of a difficult track. So we ride until nightfall with Kiem and Marco to reach a big empty lodge offering a luxury: hot showers. On our way 2 hyenas cross the road just in front of us. We heard them in our previous campsite but this time we see them with our own eyes! It's too dark and we do not have enough time to take pictures... sorry!
Aurel: We are always awaken by the sun or animals in Africa. It's nicer than the alarm o'clock before going to work This morning, this one wakes me up:
Loïc: We leave and cross the Equator. Here we are in the South Hemisphere!
We need stages like this one to realize that we are achieving a dream...
Aurel: It's the first time of my life that I enter the South Hemisphere! Besides, a dedication to my former colleagues addicted to geolocation...
Loïc: We head torward the South. We stop in a restaurant where monkeys look at us while we eat...
The stop in Nairobi was planned for long. And it is a necessary one as Nairobi is the only city of central Africa with a KTM dealership. We need to replace our stock of spare parts and various filters.
The KTM dealership's owner, Ian Duncan, is one of the best champions of African cars and bikes rallies. He knows the KTM Adventure in detail but don't expect a showroom the Western way.
The spare parts and ancillaries are stocked in containers. We take the opportunity to be parked under one of them to assemble the new parts. We also repair the damages caused by the vibrations of the 400 kms track.
Aurel also has to change 2 spokes on his back wheel.
Loïc: The only missing spare parts are the air filters. But the foam pre-filter installed before our departure are actually very effective. We only need to clean and to oil them to keep riding with the original paper air filter. And we will probably reach South Africa that way... no choice!
Aside from this technical stop, we are freezing in Nairobi! It's not the rain season like in Ethiopia but it is winter and we're high up. It is even -4°C one night!
Aurel: How come we freeze in Africa while it is 35°C in France?
Loïc: We were told that Nairobi was "Half London" but we do not feel any interest in this town! Or maybe it is the wrong side of London.
Not only Goodie hosts us in Nairobi but she also advices us to ride a particular road. We do not have any precise itineray to reach Uganda yet so we will follow her advice. Thanks again Goodie!
We do not wish to ride everyday but take the time to stay in places where we feel good. But we have to admit that the road-devil appears after three days in the same location. The bikes work fine, they hum and us as well.
We stay in a campsite on a lake's bank to escape from Nairobi.
Aurel: I can less and less bear to stay in big African cities anymore. Most of the time they are very polluted and noisy.
All campsites and hotels well-appreciated by Westerners are owned by... Westerners. Without judging, African do not know what tourists are expecting. A decayed bed and a water bowl is enough. It is true that most of them do not even have this at home...
But we admit that we like to find a nice & clean campsite with a pleasant bar, hot water and waiters who understand what we say. Despite our "adventurer" side we sometimes appreciate this kind of pleasure at night.
Loïc: From now on we are surrounded by nature and animals. No need to go to a preserve. Nature keeps surprises for us on the side of the roads & tracks.
Birds and ducks in a mess:
Monkeys delousing each other in the campsite.
Aurel: From the campsite we can ride around the lake on a small road. It is a roundabout way but it is nicer than the large road full of trucks. We verify something that we had already noticed in Africa. On French roads there are signs to warn that animals can cross the street but we never see any. But here you can be sure that you will see the animal 500 meters later! And it does happen for giraffes!!!
500 m later... giraffes 20 m from the track!
Loïc: Giraffes ignore us as long as we stay far away from them. They also ignore this antelope which seems to be in a hurry.
Aurel: Africa is also all about blown tires. But what is better than blowing a tyre near wild animals?
Loïc: A couple of monkeys are trying to surprise us again...
Aurel: Fauna is everywhere in Kenya. The sides of the road are like zoos. But it is much better to see the animals free!
Loïc: Ostriches use of their "animal right of way".
Aurel: Once again we cross the Equator!
We are back in the North Hemisphere!
Loïc: We should not linger as a storm is coming behind us and we would like to camp in a nice campsite near a lake.
"Hurry up Aurel! The water level is going to rise with the storm!"
We pitch our tents right before the storm starts. 3 m from water.
The rain does not scare the hyppopotamus grazing around our tents at night! Well, on this picture we do not see anything... (headlamp lighting as flash is forbidden and we are not allowed to leave the tent or get close to them...)
... so we take a boat to see them during the day.
Aurel: We get up early to enjoy the sunrise and fauna. And we are not disappointed! We think about our friends and readers who are in traffic jam or in the tube to get to work...!
We buy a fresh fish to a local fisherman and we force-feed it with a piece of light wood so it can float. We have an idea in mind...
Loïc: Hyppopotamus are there!
Many birds are waiting for us...
We are impressed the most by the fisher eagle swooping down to catch a fish...
Aurel: the fish we bought 15 minutes earlier!
There is nothing better than a boat ride to wake us up!
A picture for Marion our translator... Because we only type the articles in French and Marion translates them in English and publishes them for us! But we will tell you more about her soon...
Loïc: We have to head toward Uganda. The storm from yesterday made the rivers' level rise. Not only our shirts are going to get wet. But our shoes as well.
Aurel: In any case we are happy to be in Africa. We are glad to be on the road in Africa and to be blown away. This adventure is the best decision of my life! The second one is... you'll see in a few months
Loïc: The plan is to get through Kerio Valley. It was highly recommended by Goodie for any biker visiting Kenya. Indeed it is an amazing landscape over 200 kms.
It deeply moves me. Usually after riding in a beautiful area we take out our helmets and we share our feelings. But this time we are just gawping.
Though we are not going to show you any picture of this region as they would not reveal the emotion we felt.
If you were to see the pictures you would only say "wouaou, it seems nice".
I only advice bikers passing by this area to make a detour by this road from Marigat to Eldoret.
That's all for Kenya.
Thanks again Adi for the generority of your donation. You offered us kms that we will never forget. Memories that we will bring back in our heads and hearts do not have a price!
Aurel: The next article will be about Uganda. Africa will always surprise us...!