Friday 26 September 2008

24th September 08

Date: 24th September 08
Location: Jinja, Uganda
Weather: Day to drive, sunny and bright, then the clouds brought evening light showers. 34°c
Status: Colonel – ticking a little, Ben & Bre – into another country, wahoo!

Woke up at 6am after a restless night with a fair bit of rain in the night and both got up, packed up the tent and just as the sun was appearing left through the backpackers gates. Filled the truck up with fuel, checked the tyre pressures and hit the road east towards Kenya.

It started off ok for the first 15kms and then deteriorated rapidly into potholed crap, slow going and damaging if taken if anything over 30km/h so we trundled along all the way to the border around 90kms later.

Usual hassles at the border, we were told we had the wrong type of insurance which I refused to accept and just drove away from the officials trying to get another $50 out of me. At the start of the trip I would have believed these guys but the experience of 25 border posts has meant that I feel I can now read the situation and control it rather than be taken for a ride, African bureaucracy trained you could say!

Signed out of Uganda regretfully as I feel we didn’t have enough time here and as we pulled into Kenya the mood changed quickly. All very friendly and helpful officials and one called Moses smartly dressed with an official badge even helped us all the way through the visa, carnet and road tax process without expecting a penny for it! wow.

The girl at the window even told me to classify my truck as a commercial rather than private vehicle as it would save me $20 to do so. I now drive a commercial vehicle 

The road from the border started well enough with 30kms of smooth tarmac and the then we go to some of the worst rutted tarmac so far on the trip, when I tried to overtake other vehicles I had to drive out of them swinging the colonel violently from side to side and gave us a couple of moments!

Then we lost the good road altogether as we were teased by the authorities with a perfect almost finished new road running parallel to the awful tarmac hole road we were treated to! After 50kms we pulled into Eldoret to visit the ATM, check the email and head to Standard Bank to register for the Nairobi Marathon finally!

God it felt good to get another application in for the race in a month’s time and as I applied in the country rather than on the web I saved $15! Sweet.

We headed out of town with some supplies and Bre made lunch as we went, the countryside changed as we climbed up into the Rift Valley with more pines and open pasture land which looked very similar to the fields of Hampshire and it even rained to make me feel at home! The fruit and veg at the sides of the road looked so good; we stopped bought loads of carrots, peas and a cabbage for next to nothing which should see us through a few days at least.

Out target for the night was Nanyuki but as the road wasn’t good we pulled up 120kms short in Nakuru at the Kembu Overlanders camp instead where we found a few other travellers to chat to, share a beer with and discuss out travels.

Watched a movie then bed.

End of day location: Nakuru, Kenya
Distance covered: 417kms

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