Beware, this is Nai-robbery

Trip Start Apr 09, 2008
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52
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Trip End Aug 30, 2008


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Where I stayed
Jungle Junction Camp

Flag of Kenya  ,
Friday, May 23, 2008

After last night's late game, our aim to wake up early and be off by 6 am didn't exactly happen. Instead, we got up at 7 o'clock, read in bed and only after a delicious breakfast (included) at Green Hotel's restaurant (cereal, beans, eggs, and crepes with SYRUP) did we leave.

Passing the Great Rift Valley (which certainly lives up to its name), we saw hundreds of flamingos in Lake Naivasha, a freshwater lake home to the African fish eagle.

Beautiful scenery doesn't mean beautiful roads though. This part of the highway is currently under construction (a huge project headed by the Chinese) and so the detour, from Eldoret to Nakuru, is being used by trucks, buses, cars and donkey-carts alike. It is horribly corrugated, potholed and dusty. I was reminded of those vibrating machines that are sold for people who want to lose wait by putting on a vibrating 'belt'. There is absolutely no need for that, just drive Kenya's roads and without a doubt, you will shed a couple of pounds.

A disappointing discovery today: the air-conditioner that was installed in Mwanza doesn't actually work. It functioned fairly effectively when we tried it the day after it was put in, but since then we haven't had to use it. Until today. And when we switched it on, the fan blew out a gust of sand and dust - and lots of hot air. We aren't quite sure why it's malfunctioning, and none of the other guys know either. In fact, nobody else we've met on our journey has air-conditioning in their car.

We stopped in Nakuru, Kenya's 4th largest city, for lunch at the local Lemon Tart Café. We parked Foxy in front of some stalls where men were selling crafts and other souvenirs. When we tried to buy a newspaper, the vendor tried to charge us double the rate, when in fact the price of the paper is printed on the front page! We exchanged a few heated words and then walked away. We've been told to be careful while in Kenya, especially Nairobi, as people are notorious for being corrupt and cunning, especially towards innocent and naïve muzungus.

We arrived at Nairobi's Jungle Junction campsite and met the owner, a friendly German fellow (married to a Kenyan with 5 girls), and several other travellers. This place is an essential stop for any overlanders going north or south of Nairobi. In the lounge there are maps, GPS coordinates and loads of information for onward travel. There is also a laundry service, a fully-stocked fridge and a big communal kitchen. Outside there is a big grassy lawn to camp on and also a workshop area to repair your Landrover (or motorbike or whatever).

Everyone calls this place a haven. For me, it's nice to meet other people who have been on the road for weeks/months in Africa, and to be able to talk about your route, your vehicle, your experiences at getting ripped off...

After a quick shower, a few of us walked to the nearby shopping centre and bought some groceries for dinner. What a treat to be grocery shopping again! I didn't realize how much I missed shopping so much, the variety of goods seemed endless! We had to stop ourselves after our trolley was nearly full. We opted to share a taxi back to Jungle Junction, even if it was only a couple of kilometres. It was already dark so walking back wouldn't be wise and besides, it would be a bit of a struggle carrying all of our bags.

By the time we finished preparing and eating our potluck dinner (we prepared Chakalaka fish creole to go along with the breaded mushrooms, tuna pasta and salads), it was practically midnight before we climbed into bed. Another late night, but we went to sleep happy that we had reached Nairobi safely.

Like everybody says, heading north from Nairobi is where the tough part of the journey begins.


Start: Green Pastures Hotel, Eldoret, KEN. 10:00
End: Jungle Junction Camp, Nairobi, KEN. 17:00
Distance Traveled: 310 km
Road Conditions: horrendous from Eldoret to Nakuru, absolutely horrendous. And then smooth tar with PAINTED LINES from Nakuru to Nairobi.
Temperature: cloudy, cool at night.
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