Friday, 31 October 2008

30th October 08

Date: 29th and 30th October
Location: Nairobi, Kenya
Weather: Clear blue skies, light wind and hot sunshine. 30°c
Status: Preparing for the trip north….

The last few days have been all about preparing for the next few weeks and the trip ahead as we finally leave the easy style living of Nairobi and head back out onto the road this time with Kees and the rest of the Watkins family in tow.

They arrived in the capital in time to say good bye to Mum and Dad and since then have spent some time applying for their visas for Ethiopia, meeting up with an old friend from Canada and readying themselves for the trip ahead. It’ll be great to be moving with them again as we take in the delights which Ethiopia has to offer.

I only hope the frustration of travelling at a much reduced speed with the tortoise in tow doesn’t mean that I’m not able to make it back to he UK in time for Christmas. I have spoken to Kees and he does intend being back in Holland at the same time, we will take in as many days of sightseeing as we can whilst at the same time keeping moving in time with my tight agenda!

We’ve been back to Carnivores restaurant with the family and filled ourselves to excess again. We also made enquiries with the Sudanese embassy here to see if they will issue us with the 14 day transit visa we require to make the trip through the country. Little Miss Totally Unhelpful behind the counter said no unsurprisingly and instead offered the 7 day version which is too short. She did give me the number for their embassy in Addis Ababa where I think we can get the extended version but after I spoke to them I came back with less confidence as they asked me to appear in person rather than offering any information over the phone. We’re back into tough Africa again and dealing with officialdom will be hard work and tiring especially as we have the added pleasure of returning to Arabic speaking lands which throws in a new element of difficulty!

Tomorrow we leave for the town of Nanyuki, the overnight stop before taking on the ridiculously tiring corrugated road north to the border, the vehicle is ready, I am ready, I just hope that the renewed political violence which has just kicked off again in north eastern Kenya doesn’t overspill into the area we’ll be travelling through. An armed escort was always recommended for this road so we’ll have to see what happens!

Africa seems to have periods of calm and trouble and the area of Rwanda and around Goma where I was supposed to be climbing Mt Stanley has again become a hot spot with fighting factions making it a no-go zone once more. The town of Kigoma where we stayed for a few days is again receiving refugees at an alarming rate so we made it through just in time.

Any plans to visit Eritrea and Somalia have also been shelved as renewed bombings and killings are now rife again…….its a crazy, dangerous world which we’ll be tip-toeing through over the next few weeks. Let’s hope that Christmas celebration with the family actually happens!

Be happy and be safe,

End of day location: Nairobi, Kenya
Distance covered: 0kms

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