Thursday, 11 March 2010


Welcome to the southern hemisphere part of this trip! As planed, we crossed the equator at 7h45 this morning. The small rusted sign that marks the place is a bit disappointing, but so what, we crossed the equator riding our bikes since Cairo and that is legendary. This sign has been there for quite a few years and would probably need an upgrade at some stage... Just a little hint to the Kenyan government, especially when you see that every single tourist that passes by stops there for a photo... Many of us are equipped with GPS and we all could see on our maps that the sign is actually on the wrong place, it is a few hundred meters too much south... Our GPS are by far much more accurate than the the one they used when placing that sign... So, here is another hint to the Kenyan government...

The 105 km stage would have been a nice one if it wasn't for my prostate troubles. I unfortunately had to ride this whole stage standing on by bicycle as I could not really sit on my saddle. Riding a bicycle in such a way is highly inefficient and much slower. I made it last to camp tonight, but at least I made it and preserved my EFI. Not a nice day. Everything you do differently on the bike has its consequences. Riding such a long distance standing hurts the knees and I can feel it tonight. Having 6500 km left to ride, it is not a good idea to damage the knees.

We crossed very fertile lands today. It was beautiful, hilly, green, lush and just about every kind of fruit or vegetable grows here. We passed mango trees, avocado trees, paw paw plantation, banana plantations, rice plantations, maize, coffee, beans, roses, you name it, they grow it here. The soil seems very fertile, the temperature here is just perfect and there is no shortage of water. The traffic on the road also picked up tremendously as we approach Nairobi. It made some part of the riding unpleasant as some minibuses kept on flying by us without making any effort of leaving an extra space between us and them. At one stage, one of those minibuses almost hit me, so close he was, just because he wanted to pick up a passenger 50 meters ahead of me. I got so upset that I stopped next to him as he was busy boarding that passenger. I told him in very rude English what I thought of his driving skills. Mistake.... Big mistake... Mini bus drivers are notoriously aggressive and stupid, so imagine now, me a white guy tuning one of them in his own country... As I finished telling him what an ars hole he was, he pulled a big metal pipe out of his door and screamed at me "I kill you!"... This was the end of my 30 seconds of glory... I came back to some sense of survival as fast as I had lost it by going after this guy, jumped on my bike and pedaled as fast as I could. He chased me with his taxi and tried to hit me, but I was expecting that so I jumped into the ditch next to the road as he came at full speed from behind me. Another great reason to have a mountain bike. The incident raised my adrenaline levels to such a point that I picked up speed for the next 20 kilometers. I still made it to camp last as my technique of riding standing gave me no chance to keep up even with the slower riders. Actually the real slow riders are not even riding today..Some have gone straight to Nairobi. Using private transports while others got some lifts to camp from local people.

Camp tonight is a proper camp site, the best we have had so far, it even has a swimming pool and is standing next to a river where you can practise white river rafting.
Tomorrow is the long ride to Nairobi, long because it is complicated. There is a convoy half way through the ride and we also avoid the city by going around it to get to the Indaba camp site which is situated in the Karen area. This means we will ride 135 km to get there, despite the fact that Nairobi is only 95 km away...

                        Our best and most beautiful camp so far along a river, 100 km north of Nairobi.
                                                      Signage along the road for ball pens
                                      I had to take a picture of this signage for our Finnish friends.
                                     Abloy is a Finnish company producing some of the best locks
                                     in the world known as far as remote villages in Kenya as you can see...
                                Everything grows here in these warm climate blessed with rich soils.
                                Here are some mango trees as well as avocado trees in the back.
                                                                         Paw paw tree
                               Cane chairs manufacturers along the road. The guy on the bicycle is
                               busy delivering the raw material, freshly cut cane.
                               7h45 a.m. on March 11, a great moment as I step into the southern
                                hemisphere. Cape Town is all downhill from here...
                            The entire TDA group stands together at the equator for the group photo.


Anonymous said...

Hi dad. Hope you feel better soon. Thinking of you. Lots of love. Amanda

Ute said...

Bonjour Gerald,
Un coucou de St. Jory de Chalais! Je suis devenue non seulement un "fan" de vous mais aussi grande admiratrice! J'attend avec impatience chaque e-mail blog de vous! Incroyable ce que vous et les autres faites!
Châpeau et encore châpeau.
Ute Chell
Les Pouyouleix
St. Jory de Chalais