Monday, 24 November 2008

4th November 08

Date: 4th November 08
Location: Moyale, Kenya
Weather: Scattered clouds, intermittent showers and colder, 24°c
Status: Into another country so very happy!

Up nice and early and managed to get the tent packed away before the rain started to fall again, but it wasn’t even enough to wash the truck off! Had the usual breakfast goodness and then we all drove off back through the town to the border ready to sign ourselves out of Kenya.

The usual formalities were passed off easily enough, the customs didn’t ask for any additional road tax even though I’d only paid for about 5% of the distance I’d been and the passport guy made Kees and I laugh as he told us he was re-inking his pad for the stamp to allow other people to see that Kenyans are advanced and clinical with everything they do…although not as up to date as us Europeans!

We drove the short distance through no-mans-land and switched sides of the road as Ethiopians drive on the wrong side – take note Bre – and to the officials for our entry stamp. We had a good laugh with the officer who jokingly told us off for talking in his office. Then it was over the road for the carnet stamp, we waited for 5 minutes before the official turned up and then strangely he actually wanted to match up the engine and chassis numbers with our vehicles…the first time this has happened in Africa! All very efficient.

No problems with anything so we did the usual money changing and readied ourselves for the supposed hell ahead – unfriendly people and stone throwing! Hmmmm.

As we left the border town I started the usual waving at the locals and surprisingly the vast majority of them waved back, in fact nearly all of them and the girls are so pretty too and noticeably lighter in their skin complexion than the darker Kenyans. The road was good tarmac, the first we’d seen in around 3 days which was a welcome relief to the Colonel and its occupants. We slowly gained height and left the drier desert conditions and entered the greener, more fertile landscape of the Mega Escarpment which runs along the southern edge of the country and as we went the locals kept on smiling and kept on waving back….awesome and I was loving this part of africe immensely.

The rain clouds were massing in the distance and to both sides but we managed to get away with a few drops on the windscreen but did see some amazing rainbows too! We pulled into the first major settlement of Yabello and the luxury, hmmm, of the Yabello Motel. We were given the gorgeous surroundings of the puddle filled Total fuel station car park but had the security of knowing that the 60 year old guard complete with navy style jacket and AK47 would be there looking after us that night!

Bre and I had tomato, mozzarella and onion salad for dinner, we all discussed the options for the next few days and went to bed. Early start tomorrow.

End of day location: Yabello, Ethiopia
Distance covered: 210kms

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