Day 213 Nairobi Tuesday 20/2/07
A brief summary of my week off in Nairobi then. Jungle Junction was a great place to stay, which because it doesn't feature in mainstream guidebooks, operates by word of mouth via anybody travelling Africa with their own transport. This means that there are no backpackers, and the conversation is actually interesting! Guus and Catarina, the dutch/Belgian couple arrived during the week, and its strange to think that i have been bumping into them in different countries since Cairo. There was also Dave the American motorcyclist, Sasha and his girlfriend also on motorbikes, and another German couple whose names I never caught again on motorbikes. We were the core of the people staying at Jungle Junction, although others came and went. We were also all going off again in different directions, so its the last time I will see any of them. Jungle Junction itself had plenty of books, so I had a week of reading! It also had plenty of maps … wow MAPS!!! I managed to plan out the rest of my journey up until South Africa, and I am now including Malawi, as a couple of people had said that it was beautiful by the lake. I used the internet a bit during my week off (goes without saying really!!), and a new age has started in War of Empires. I'm playing as Darth Thug, as we have revived SITH again for the round after our success last time, and I managed to build us a clan a day before anyone else did… I'll stop being geeky now, and shut up about it. As for my websites, I've been trying to find ways of increasing visitors to them with varying degrees of success. Here's a list of my websites, why not check them out??
So back to the travelling and the bicycle…
The bicycle is in pretty good order, but I couldn't find new inner tubes or tyres anywhere in Nairobi. (My inner tubes are the long, narrow valve ones for racing bikes. Tyres are 32 x 700). Chris at Jungle Junction sorted the rear wheel out, and it makes a big difference now that it goes around properly!! He also put a new chain on for me, which although skips a little, is ok. Phoned home a couple of times to talk to my brother.
Day 214 Nairobi – Namanga Wed 21/02/07
Day 216 Arusha Friday 23/02/07
The all inclusive breakfast was a bit of a disappointment. I had been mightily impressed with the sausages of Kenya, and was expecting more of the same in Tanzania, but it wasn't to be. Instead of a banger, it was more like an anorexic hotdog sausage.. not breakfast material at all. The rear tyre was flat again in the morning. Feel the joy people. Feel the joy!! I swapped it around, and then cycled down to Massai camp, which at five dollars a night for camping was more like it. With the tent set up, I got down to some work on the bike by swapping inner tubes around and patching up holes. The bicycle pump was suffering a bit from over use and also needed a bit of TLC. Used the internet, had something to eat, and went in search of inner tubes. No result there though. They just don't keep the size tubes that I need in Africa. The problem with my tubes is not one from punctures, but more from the high pressure I have to run the tyres at to carry all my bags. This means that new holes appear in the seams, and that repairs are only likely to last a couple of days before the air inside the tube finds yet another way of escaping. Basically, I need new ones, and it looks like if I can't find any in Dar Es Salaam, (the next big city on my route), then I will have to get some sent from England along with a couple of new tyres. Anyway, I have to get a move on, so I leave for Moshi tomorrow, and hopefully will get a couple of hassle free days under my belt.
Day 217 Arusha – Moshi Sat 24/02/07
Had breakfast and then got underway.There were only 80kms to do today, and the first 40 of those were downhill. Although the town of Moshi is the closest one to Kilimanjaro, it felt as though the town of Arusha was higher. Two flats along the way, front and back, but I'm more confident with the repairs this time. In Moshi, I stayed in a hostel for 4 USD a night which included breakfast. I had a good look around for replacement tubes, but again, none to be found.
Day 218 Moshi Sunday 25/02/07
I sent an email back home asking the folks to look into how much sending me two new tyres and six inner tubes is going to be. Checked my tubes over and had one repaired. The tyres were still inflated on the bike, so hopefully I can get to Dar Es Salaam without any more delays.
Day 219 Moshi – Same Monday 26/02/07
At last, a good days cycling without any problems. Party time! The road I'm following towards Dar Es Salaam is good quality, and although it follows the South Pare Mountain range, the climbs haven't given me any problems. I left Kilimanjaro behind me, and had my first clear view of it. Seems strange to have a snow capped mountain in Africa, especially with how hot it is! The going was good, the tyres stayed inflated, and I feel that I've regained my drive to get this cycling trip to South Africa finished. I arrived in Same at 1.30 with just over 100 kms clocked up and found a campground. Ate, stocked up on supplies, and slept early as tomorrow will be a longer day.
Day 220 Same – Green Hill
Another good day with 150 kms in the bag. It must have been warm, as parts of the road were melting, and my water was getting just a little tepid. I'm staying at a campsite 15 kms short of the town of Korogue, and am the only person here for the night. I'll eat well and do another long distance day tomorrow.
Day 221 Green Hill – Mtaka
Day 223 Lugoba – Dar Es Salaam Friday 02/03/07
7.00 am, and i left the hotel, and began cycling. I reached the junction at Chalinze for 8.00, and this time, it was my front tyre's turn to go flat. Because I have to retrace this road from Dar Es Salaam back to here when I carry on, I was sorely tempted to say sod it and leap on a bus. It would have been a bit lame though, so instead I got somebody to fix the puncture whilst I had something to eat. I started off again at nine, and it was another long day in sweltering temperatures. About 40 kms short of Dar, I was starting to reach the end of my endurance when it began to rain. It made a pleasant change to be soaking because of water instead of sweat, and it revived me enough to carry on. I've checked in at the Pop Inn, which at 2 pounds a night is cheap if it isn't clean.
Day 224 Dar Es Salaam Sat 03/03/07
The first of what look like many days off in Dar. I looked everywhere for inner tubes any tyres, but they are simply not available here. This means that I will have to get them delivered from England, which means I've probably got a week off here. I'm kicking myself a little for not sorting it out in Nairobi, but I can't turn back the clock, and you have to carry on carrying on, you know.