Crossing the Equator- Isiolo to Nairobi 17-19 Feb

Isiolo to Nanyuki 78km
Nanyuki to Kambiti (although on googlemaps it is shown as Makuyu) 120km
Kambiti to Nairobi 73km

14,783km so far

Well here I am in Nairobi, having almost finished Kenya, a country of huge contrasts. Having left the rough roads and insecurity of the “badlands” of the North, from Isiolo I climbed into the lush fertile “highlands”.

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I suddenly felt safe, the roads were great, there were places to find food and drink and the accommodation was a big step-up. Kenya’s motto is “Harambee” which means “we all pull together”, and yet it seems a disparate, disjointed country, The North of the country seems to have been forgotten. Anyway, I was glad to be back on a good road.

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Even a huge downpour couldn’t dampen my spirits as I cycled uphill towards Nanyuki, and in the morning I crossed the equator for the first time in my life. I can’t tell you how it felt to be doing it by bicycle, but I knew I was defying the norm, and also my age, and most importantly my old limited expectations of myself. It was a milestone in the adventure but more importantly I had asked a question of myself, and I felt proud.

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If you are at Sea I have been told by various friends that Neptune will “dunk you”. I poured water on my head to celebrate. It was close enough.

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I slept in Kambiti after 120km. Googlemaps is a little inaccurate as it shows Makuyu twice. But this small town was actually 10km before Makuyu.

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It was another night at a very basic hotel but it was friendly and had beer. And it was just €6 for the night.

The next day I headed to Nairobi via Thika.

20140221-182118.jpgI have to point out that Kenyan driving is the most dangerous, selfish, and reckless I have seen. A recent newspaper article by a Kenyan described Kenyans as impatient and impolite. On single lane roads they would overtake and drive towards me as fast as they could flashing or beeping, without any thought given to using the brake. I came off the road 4 times. Other times they managed to leave me an inch or two. I was relieved to reach the dual carriageway where nothing was heading towards me and the cars behind had room to overtake me. It eventually got even wider with three lanes, plus a service road!! Another example of overdevelopment in some areas while other areas are neglected.
I arrived at the home of Judith and James, friends of a friend, and went up a huge driveway. Inside was a huge house, with my own beautiful bedroom and en-suite. I laughed at the total difference from what I had been used to. Judith said “help yourself to the fridge”. I giggled. Later that evening we went for Thai food. When they brought hot towels I nearly fell off my chair!!
I am loving this ‘break to the norm’ and I’m now awaiting some inner tubes from the UK so I will be here until Monday or Tuesday. But it’s a ridiculously nice place to stay. They also have three adorable kids aged 2, 4, and 5. So I have people with the same mental age to talk to 🙂