Wednesday, 3 March 2010


                                    Gerald got friends helping him to send this story and photos...

We are back on dirt for the next 5 days. This should be really hard, but day one went better than expected. The mountain bikers flew over the 80 km stretch which was mostly corrugated with some lose sand and hard clay in between. I made it to camp before the trucks, in less than 3,5 hours. Not a very difficult stage overall and the 3 weeks training camp we just did on above 2000 meters Ethiopian plateau seemed to pay off. Now that we are back down at 600 meters, we all feel so fit! Incredible...

The northern Kenyan landscapes are spectacular and far less populated than Ethiopia. Children here are well behaved and also much better dressed than in Ethiopia. The adults are also easier to communicate with. Their English is good here and they all seem to know where Cape Town is. So when they ask us where we are going, we can now proudly answer "Cape Town" which definitely impresses the Kenyans. Ambiance at camp tonight is really good, the air is hot and humid whilst big thunderstorm clouds are gathering in the sky. The kids from the local village are around, but their behaviour is so different from Ethiopian kids. Instead of staring at us and asking for money, they are playing and having fun around our tents exited by our presence, but acting like any European kid would. They are waving at us and politely saying "Jumbo" which is "hello" in Swahili.

We are in the middle of nowhere here, but it feels real good and even the little shop along the road next to camp has a friendly owner. He sells home made Chapatis, the Kenyan version of pancakes. they were so good and so fresh that I was intrigued by this and asked to see how they make them. He told me that his wife was about to prepare more since the TDA rider bought every single one he had. Ina small room filled with smoke behind his shop, I witnessed (and photographed) the preparation of the Chapatis. Quite a lot of work actually, but a really delicious result and for details see the photos. The price for one is 20 Shillings, about 20 euro cents.

More rain is definitely on the way as a warm and humid air is blowing into my tent as I am writing this. We are only 400 km from the equator, so it is kind of normal, I suppose...

I managed to send the pictures earlier with my international roaming data sim card and the connection only worked from one spot in the middle of the road. Local young men knew about this and they took me to the exact spot. One rider passing by toof a picture of the scene and gave it to me.

                                                The local village chiefs in deep meditation
                                  TDA is back on dirt.Today's 80km were actually relatively easy.
                                  It will get a lot more difficult soon.
                                                 Children from the village next to our camp

                                                                 The local football pitch
                                           We use whatever water we find to wash ourselves

                                          Camp in the beautiful Northern Kenyan landscapes

                                         Riders chilling at the local shop next to camp where
                                         you can purchase warm cokes

                                        They cook the Chapatis on the fire but instead of frying
                                        one at a time, they add one on top of each other and
                                        keep on flipping the pile around, keeping the chapatis
                                       already cooked warm and moist!
                                                     Chapatis are rolled like a tart base
                                                     Cutting the thick paste into small rolls
                                   The thick Chapati paste is first flatten into one big giant base
                                                        The kids from the chapati maker
                                       First the woman prepare the Chapati paste with a mixture
                                      of flower, oil water and sugar, almost like our pancakes,
                                      but they keep it very thick like a pizza paste.

                                          The chapatis are delicious, especially when eaten warm.
                                          They taste just like thick pancakes.


Claudia + Rainer said...

Karibu Kenia (welcome to Kenya),
you can't image how jealous we are about you, because we are nearly adicted to Kenya and cannot wait any longer to visit this beautiful country again. Only about 2 weeks left, then we will fly for two weeks to Mombasa.

It's a pity that we will probably have no chance to meet you, because we have to look for our projects there (building a school and supporting a hospital).

But be sure, we will find a way to the internet to follow your blog and the TDA.

We wish you all the best, take care and keep EFIC status (each fabulous internet connection).

Claudia & Rainer

Anonymous said...

N. Sleen says..
My daughter is on TDA, she does not have tne internet connection that you do, so I constantly check your blog for updates. I enjoy your stories and especially the photos. Safe travels!

Anonymous said...

Salut Gerald continue a nous en mettre plein les yeux et accroche toi t'es le plus fort ! GILLES

Fred G said...

Salut Gérald.

honte à moi qui pense seulement à consulter ton blog ....
ben dis-donc, vous avez déjà parcouru une belle distance !!!
tu as l'air d'être en super forme.
j'ai parcouru qq étapes et tes photos nous montrent vraiment la vie de tous les jours de l'Afrique de l'Est. C'est très très différent de l'Est de la France !!!
Les distributions de vélos se passent-elles bien ?
Combien y en a-t-il eu de distribués à ce jour ?
Je crois bien que j'écris juste après Gilles Vincent, non ?
bon courage pour la suite !!!
bien amicalement. Fred Gousset