Welcome, Guest. Please Login or Register

Author Topic: 2018 - Big Red Pigs in Kenya  (Read 8373 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Clockwork Orange

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: KTM 990 Adventure
    Location: United Kingdom
  • Posts: 2,295
  • Thanked: 11 times
Re: 2018 - Big Red Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #80 on: June 11, 2018, 01:21:55 pm »
Fantastic as always.....That campsite is the dogs bollocks :thumleft:
When in doubt...grab throttle!!!
 

Offline Osadabwa

  • Member
  • **
  • Bike: Honda XR650R
    Location: Rest of Africa
  • Posts: 298
  • Thanked: 111 times
  • Don't be surprised
Second day – To the Ewaso Nyiro
« Reply #81 on: June 11, 2018, 02:11:14 pm »
Xpat - I mostly do these for myself and for the guys on the ride so when we're old farts we can relive glory days and annoy grandchildren with stories of how everything was better when I was young. I put them in a few places so when the future internet decides to erase Wild Dogs, I still might be able to find them. As for jobs in Kenya, it's tough. They're getting serious about proper immigration protocols again (a perennial thing) so I don't recommend trying to just come and be sneaky. Too bad we can't just make money writing sarcastic ride reports, eh? Anybody want to pay us, oh I dunno, a nice round $50,000 per year (plus expenses) to ride and write?  :laughing4:

Oubones and C.Orange - Cheers boys, here comes the next bit. That campsite is amazing alright. Have been there many times and can't get the feel of it in a photograph. Sadly, the march of progress will destroy the place shortly. There are plans to put a geothermal plant right inside the crater and the local community is fighting amongst themselves to see how they can divvy up the spoils. The Masai guys who run the campsite are worried and unhappy but powerless to do anything. It's gonna get ugly.

Second day – To the Ewaso Nyiro

I was up with the birds. Having failed the night before to repair my leaking air mattress (always check your kit before the ride, boys) I didn’t exactly have a five-star sleep. But, I couldn’t complain. The crater was all mine, steaming quietly in the cool morning as I prepared coffee on Panic’s overzealous East German camp stove. Before long the others crawled out of the tents and we were off, down the other side of the mountain, through the riverbeds and rocky tracks to Najile for fuel.


Above: Off the other side


Above: Riverbed riding, nice and compact, great for a drift or two


Above: It’s technically Adventure Riding I suppose, but closer to race pace!


Above: Two XRs reminiscing over the past two years of riding these tracks

After Najile, it was supposed to be a straight shot to Oltepesi for a beer and a quick bite. But the rains had made the road a variety show of things: one section was newly graded and fast as a highway, the next section was rocky and eroded, the third was essentially gone… with tracks heading every which way, and the “road” bisected in several places with deep gulches. At one such washout, Frogger managed to roll the chain off the bike, narrowly avoiding disaster as his case saver saved his case.


Above: Under brooding clouds


Above: Frogger trying to climb out of the gulley


Above: Ooooh, but why is ze bike not moviiing?


Above: Aaah, putain! Ze chain, she is off! Mon dieu! Merde!


Above: At least the chain didn’t snap. We think it came off as the chainring rubbed against the dirt of the narrow exit ramp. Panic makes use of our travel hammer (this is why we carry one) to straighten Frogger’s case saver which really did save the day.

Having dodged disaster, we were soon enjoying a coldish beer and a delicious plate of rice and beans in a metal shack in Oltepesi. Only one drunken lout bothered us, so all in all it was a successful lunch.


Above: Frogger takes his medicine

On our way past Olegorsaile to the junction with Mi-46 and the GSU camp, it was another world. The place has become known as Butt-Brothers after the amusingly named farm at the bottom of the valley. Usually it’s a bone-dry fesh-fesh field, blindingly hot and open as you like. This time however, the story was totally different. Head-high grass, birds everywhere, antelope jumping out in front of your wheels. It was a paradise. The usual tracks were much slower though, because you could hardly see them through the green.


Above: Frogger and I spent a few minutes trying to find a missing Panic in the grasses


Above: It’s hard to believe there could be such a transistion in a few months. This place is usually a dark-brown, table-flat pan of dust



It was anything but quick, getting to the larger road junction. Following our old tracks on the GPS sometimes worked, sometimes didn’t. What was a nicely maintained road a few months back looked like a rocky riverbed this time. We popped out on the big dirt and lifted up the dust. It seemed this road, at least had been spared… not so. A bit farther down we found a truck bogged down in deep mud. The guys in the mud gestured us that it was okay to cross, so Panic and I bravely sent our amphibious friend Frogger across to test the depth before following ourselves. It all went smoothly enough and soon we were on the 20km of hot tar to Magadi for another rest.


Above: Frogger doesn’t go slowly into things as can be seen by that bow wave


Above: Panic approaching. He had a close call there with a submerged rock, but came out undunked. Sadly, on the short stretch of tar to Magadi, his headlight caught a stone!


Above: At the Tata Magadi sports club for a cold beverage, Panic shows his mud-covered lid

to be continued... :snorting:
 
The following users thanked this post: pietas

Offline Osadabwa

  • Member
  • **
  • Bike: Honda XR650R
    Location: Rest of Africa
  • Posts: 298
  • Thanked: 111 times
  • Don't be surprised
Second day continued...
« Reply #82 on: June 11, 2018, 02:29:10 pm »
Over a beer at the Sports Club, we plotted our next move. It was getting on in the afternoon, and the heat had us keen to go for a swim in the River at our campsite, if indeed it was even there after all the flooding. So, we decided to go the most direct way, past the Tata Soda factory, across Lake Magadi. However, we didn’t account for the fact that the lake road was also completely submerged! That meant taking the long way around the bottom of the lake, skirting the slippery muddy flats which were also under water and racing up the West side of the lake. And it was fantastic.


Above: Being turned back from the flooded Lake road, Panic crawls through the caustic sludge that composes Lake Magadi


Above: Normally, the southern route passes through three wide-open flats. They were completely covered in water this time around though, so we hugged the edges where only bodabodas and goats had gone before.


Above: Frogger is a good rider, but there's always something new to learn. On this day, he learned to fear the slickness of the Magadi mud! Both Panic and I have seen our asses in that stuff and now fear it, but when I paused to take a photo, Frogger just went zipping past me. Panic saw the result – Frogger hit a slick spot, holds the low-side for awhile and then goes splat, face-down like Superman, spraying foul water everywhere, including in his helmet! I only caught the aftermath.


Above: Frogger demonstrates how he slid.


Above: Panic picks his way along the edge of an unusually full Lake Magadi


Above: Back on solid ground


Above: Flamingo populations have exploded as a result of the rains


Above: Me and the Flamingos
Once past the flooded pans, it was time to rip. The road to Oloika is one of my favorites. Open and hard-packed with grainy white pebbles and occasional layers of embedded rock, you can really let rip. We flew through the village and connected to the path leading to Ol Kerimatian and our campsite on the Nyiro. Again, just an absolute pleasure on the Pig. Fast, dusty, sliding, ripping, blasting fun!


Above: Frogger aims the Big Red Missile at Oloika


Above: Some local flavor


Above: It’s more fun to see giraffe outside of game parks and from the saddle of the bike


Above: Panic leaves a dust trail behind that stretches all the way to Oloika


Above: The fast stretch up to Ol Kerimatian



...to be continued again...
 

Offline Osadabwa

  • Member
  • **
  • Bike: Honda XR650R
    Location: Rest of Africa
  • Posts: 298
  • Thanked: 111 times
  • Don't be surprised
second day finishing up.
« Reply #83 on: June 11, 2018, 02:31:44 pm »
continued...

Jazzed up from our blast up the West side of the lake, we hit the junction to Ol Kerimatian near the Ewaso bridge and began looking for our campsite. Normally, the ground is bare, with not a shred of vegetation. This time, it was guided with knee-high dried grass glowing in the afternoon sunlight. We made a bee-line to the campsite and were surprised how much it had changed. There was a steep drop-off leading down to the sand bar with some incredibly deep and large elephant footprints embedded in the dried mud. He must have been a serious tusker. And the flanks of the river had been shredded. Trees were down, the island opposite the camp (known as Rawlence’s Folly) had been wiped clean by the force of the water.


Above: Looking for the campsite


Above: Panic surveys the campsite and Frogger marvels at the size of the ele tracks leading down
The question became: should we ride down like usual and risk getting stuck, or should we leave the bikes up above. Panic voted for the latter, Frogger and I went for the former. It was going to be a risk getting back up, but it was worth taking.


Above: Frogger takes the direct approach...


Above: And fails to extricate himself again. No way. We’ll have to make another plan in the morning. But first, it’s time to chill and swim in the river.

Frogger immediately set to washing the stink out of his gear and we all took a nice cool dip in the muddy waters. It is such a wonderful camp, with a sandbank on the double horseshoe bend in the river. Before long, we pulled out the remains of the baguette and pate, got some sausages on the driftwood fire, and settled down with a little Black Label and some Dire Straits on Panic’s little portable speaker. Stars came and went, bugs buzzed our ears and the sound of the river bubbled in the background. By nine we were all dead to the world.


Above: The campsite – ever changing, somehow always the same


Above: Frogger’s spot (don't ask me why he's always showing his ass)


Above: Evening coming down


Above: Pate first


Above: Panic organizes the German Sausages

  :snorting:
 

Offline pietas

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: BMW R80GS
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 1,184
  • Thanked: 20 times
  • Gryskop seuntjie
Re: 2018 - Big Red Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #84 on: June 11, 2018, 02:43:29 pm »
Nice trip. Always good to see water
Groot berge en lang grond paaie
 

Offline Osadabwa

  • Member
  • **
  • Bike: Honda XR650R
    Location: Rest of Africa
  • Posts: 298
  • Thanked: 111 times
  • Don't be surprised
Third day – the long ride home
« Reply #85 on: June 11, 2018, 02:53:40 pm »
Morning came early. I’d had another stiff night on the hard ground so I was again up making coffee with the birds. We all were keen to move before the heat set in, and were mindful that we had to extricate the two bikes from their sandy prison.


Above: Another view of the elephant prints, and the lovely gold-green morning light


Above: The two bikes, ready to climb out of the river
The elephant had taken an angled approach to the river which we would exploit as our exit ramp. I kicked down some of the bigger ledges made by his enormous feet and the ramp was looking pretty good. I was the first to go and made a pretty good show of it, but Frogger was a real spectacle. First he missed the entry and ended up off-balance, then he kicked up into the sandy bits off the track, but he kept his skinny ass over the seat and the throttle open and roosted his way to the top in epic fashion.










Above: I love that sequence. Braaaap!


Above: Me packed and ready to rock


Above: Panic watches Frogger approach through the golden morning light

I was psyched to be returning down the West Lake road to Oloika. It was so lovely the afternoon before, I couldn’t wait to do it again. We flew along, making good time, only stopping for a few pics and then to change a puncture – Frogger managed to pick up a piece of wire in his rear tyre which even the Oko couldn’t keep sealed forever.


Above: Frogger absolutely destroying the fesh fesh


Above: The closeup (soon to become all of Frogger's social media avatars... don't forget WhatsApp!)


Above: In the distance, the extinct volcano which would be our exit from the valley


Above: Mt Shompole rises up behind the Kenya BRP’s current favorite tyre: Bridgestone Gritty ED78


Above: Frogger bitches and moans and sort of fixes his flat (with considerable help from Panic and I, tools he didn’t have, a pump etc… our Frogger is still just a young lad you know). "Uuugh zis is not funnY, zis is BorING..." etc.


Above: Poor-man’s areal footage from atop an anthill


Above: Leaving the fix-a-flat zone. A small clutch of kids who respectfully gave us plenty of space.

To be continued...

 :snorting:
 
The following users thanked this post: Goingnowherekwickly

Offline Osadabwa

  • Member
  • **
  • Bike: Honda XR650R
    Location: Rest of Africa
  • Posts: 298
  • Thanked: 111 times
  • Don't be surprised
Third day continued. And that's a wrap.
« Reply #86 on: June 11, 2018, 02:59:24 pm »
Past Oloika, right up into the blown-out volcano exit to Torosei. It’s a track I have grown to increasingly love. It’s rough, with lots of rolling, fist and BB sized stones, a few proper rocky sections and a nice fast drifting stretch close to Torosei. The early light had me jazzed up, but I could tell my compadres were not in the same mood. Frogger was bitching and Panic was silent. We needed to hurry to Torosei to get Frogger a beer.


Above: The start of the climb


Above: Though not feeling overly energetic, Frogger was rocking whenever the camera came out, launching through the stony sections like a boss


Above: Panic cuts an imposing figure doesn’t he?


Above: Leaving the volcano hills




Above: Steep climbs with loose stones just get eaten up on the Pig


Above: Panic on an easy Sunday toodle


Above: Frogger gets an ouchie on his schnoot


Above: At last, a coolish beer at Torosei to see us through to lunch (yep, it was 10:30 AM, don't judge us)

As often happens, when the riding gets really great, the throttle hand can’t be uncoupled from the grip, so photos suffer. So was the case leaving Torosei. The rest had had the rejuvenating effect we hoped it would have, and the road – a total disaster in places with huge gullies washing it away – was just excellent. Frogger and I were in an all-out race, ripping down the track, skidding to a near-death stop in front of washouts, hammering into dips and over jumps… freaking wicked. But no pics as a consequence.


Above: One pic, waaay down the road from Torosei


Above: At Olepolos, 100 km from Torosei, Frogger and I pull in for a Kuku choma and another White Cap while Panic races home to be on time for a family outing. We thought the ride was over, that we’d take it easy puttering back home… it’s always the same.


Above: We had to see if the road we know as Ngong 1 was really as badly washed out as Panic said. It was. There were at least 5 places where the road was cut clean through and only goat paths remained. One wanted to keep Frogger and I was treated to a very comical set of events ending with him under the bike.


Above: Frogger got the bike started again and made this valliant effort, but he still ended up on his ass. It was fun to watch, but he was knackered, so I rode the bike the rest of the way.

We flew the rest of the way home. There was nothing slow or steady about it. I did chill out when I got back in the crosshairs of the cars and matatus though, and slid into home happy as hell. Even my broken sub-frame didn’t phase me too much (since I have a spare… thanks Faceplant!).


Above: Layers of mud and my broken sub-frame – split in half at a weak point created some time ago. I’ll pull it off, have an airplane welder do his thing… in the meantime, I’ll use my spare.

Pretty amazing bit of riding for a quick 2 1/2 day ride straight out of the garage. Until next time, I’ll end like I started: Braaaaap!


 :snorting:
 

Offline eSKaPe

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: BMW R1200GS Adventure
    Location: Gauteng
  • Posts: 965
  • Thanked: 18 times
  • As in "The Great Escape"
Re: 2018 - Big Red Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #87 on: June 11, 2018, 03:27:22 pm »
Looks like the best kind of fun!
 

Offline aka.Goliath

Re: 2018 - Big Red Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #88 on: June 11, 2018, 09:25:50 pm »
Thanks I really enjoyed that. Your writing is really good. Now I have to figure out how to get Namibia and Kenya into my year end ride.
BMW 1150 GSA - 2004
KTM 690R - 2014
KTM 300 X-CW - 2012
KTM 530 EXC Rally - 2011 SOLD, KTM 690R - 2009 SOLD, BMW 1200GS 2009 SOLD
 

Offline Osadabwa

  • Member
  • **
  • Bike: Honda XR650R
    Location: Rest of Africa
  • Posts: 298
  • Thanked: 111 times
  • Don't be surprised
2018 07 - Gutting the valley
« Reply #89 on: July 28, 2018, 08:35:01 pm »
The Kenyan “winter” finally let up. The gray skies vanished and out came the sun. Time to braap. Panic and I hit the valley in search of the trail we chose to abandon some months ago due to excessive amount of dihydrogen monoxide flowing around. The track, once we found it, was a hodge-podge of rocks, riverbeds overgrown weedy grassy patches and more rocks. The Pigs ate it all up of course, but it was not exactly toe-curling stuff, mostly due to the grass keeping the speeds low. In a few months we’ll have another go, after the Masai have denuded the place with their sacred beasts.


Above: A particularly rocky riverbed… I spilled the Pig and dented my fancy-pants header in the process


Above: Some of the grass had a 4x4 track squashing it down, but most of it did not.


Above: The Rift Valley has endless ridges of volcanic stone running in parallel lines draining down toward L. Magadi. This one was similar to many others, but new to us.


Above: I spooked the baboons out of the tall grass. As I approached, they jumped straight in the air to get a look at me like a baboon game of Whack-A-Mole before sprinting directly up the rock face


Above: One highlight was a brief sandy wash that was a hoot to braap through. We hoped it would take us all the way to the end of the valley, but no such luck.


Above: Me drifting along, singing a song… love that Piggy!


Above: Panic toward the end of the wash.


Above: Several times we wound up weed-whacking our way through, following animal tracks as much as we could, but bee-lining it at times.


Above: And then, in the middle of nowhere – a fence. It had taught wire, proper posts and even metal gates, but not a single road leading to it that we could see. Some rich Masai’s retirement plot maybe.


Above: Uncharacteristically, there was a sizeable lake out there too. The last rainy season really was off the charts


Above: These Dr. Seuss looking buggars are pokey as hell

It took three hours or so to reach Mile 46 via the new track. By then it was after noon and we were parched. The little railway stop in the bush was bustling with a weekly market. Red bedecked Masai swarmed the market stalls for veggies and fruit, clothes, long-life mobile phones etc. We passed it all by in search of a beer. Toodling all the way down the line of shoulder-to-shoulder concrete shacks, everything that said “Bar” or “Pub” was closed up, but in the window of one, I spotted an old fella drinking a Tusker and we invited ourselves in via the back. The owner was pleased to serve us and it was an absolute pleasure to have a rest in a quiet, cool place devoid of idiots and drunks.


Above: Panic at the Mi-46 bar

The beer whetted our appetite, so we set a course for Olepolos, the perennial favorite nyama joint back up the valley the way we’d come. This time, we’d take the bigger road. It was Pig heaven. So fast, so rocky, so wonderful. I rocketed ahead until my pannier came loose and Panic whipped past without so much as a how-do-you-do. By the time I was done, I could just hear his engine in the distance. The race was on. I was sure I’d reel him in soon. Not a chance. He was gunning it. Balls to the wall we crushed the track, feeling so connected to the bikes it was fantastic. I eventually caught up and he waved me past, but I couldn't shake him off my tail. There were some narrow escapes, a close call with a truck and a handful of bar-twisting, teeth rattling clangers, but nothing could stop the race. We reached Olepolos in a third of the time it took us to get to Mile-46.


Above: The kuku choma at Olepolos is second to none after a day out gutting the valley

 :snorting:
 

Offline Oubones

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: BMW F650GS / Dakar
    Location: Kwazulu Natal
  • Posts: 2,818
  • Thanked: 371 times
Re: 2018 - Big Red Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #90 on: July 29, 2018, 07:23:18 am »
Great riding, again!
Lovely country and good riding mates you got there.
Thanks for taking the time to share it with us.
Dakar 650
KLR650
 

Offline steveindar

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: BMW R1150GS
    Location: Rest of Africa
  • Posts: 911
  • Thanked: 11 times
  • Eish!
Re: 2018 - Big Red Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #91 on: July 29, 2018, 11:58:13 am »
Devoid of idiots and drunks.....Hunter, you've changed.

Sent from my TECNO Camon CX using Tapatalk

#Nipplecaps must fall!!!
“Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.” ― Mark Twain


 XRV750 Africa bike, KTM 525EXC plastic Africa bike, BMW1150GS Civilization bike; TY250Z Footup's ???
 

Offline Osadabwa

  • Member
  • **
  • Bike: Honda XR650R
    Location: Rest of Africa
  • Posts: 298
  • Thanked: 111 times
  • Don't be surprised
First time ever...
« Reply #92 on: July 29, 2018, 04:15:40 pm »
It may be the first time ever Steveindar has a point! Usually I surround myself with both idiots and drunks!

 :snorting:
 

Offline steveindar

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: BMW R1150GS
    Location: Rest of Africa
  • Posts: 911
  • Thanked: 11 times
  • Eish!
Re: 2018 - Big Red Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #93 on: July 29, 2018, 04:38:52 pm »
Lowest common denominator wins every time
It may be the first time ever Steveindar has a point! Usually I surround myself with both idiots and drunks!

 :snorting:

Sent from my TECNO Camon CX using Tapatalk

#Nipplecaps must fall!!!
“Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.” ― Mark Twain


 XRV750 Africa bike, KTM 525EXC plastic Africa bike, BMW1150GS Civilization bike; TY250Z Footup's ???
 

Offline Osadabwa

  • Member
  • **
  • Bike: Honda XR650R
    Location: Rest of Africa
  • Posts: 298
  • Thanked: 111 times
  • Don't be surprised
2018 08 - 2 Nighter out with Wry and Panic
« Reply #94 on: August 13, 2018, 03:39:34 pm »
Wry, Panic and I cut out for two nights. Leaving Friday just after 13:30, we needed to make time. Opening the throttles and keeping them that way, we didn’t do much gawking. The route was nothing new, but we usually don’t try to do it in such a short timeframe. In six hours we needed to leave Karen, blast Ngong 1, rock down to Mi-46 for fuel, race to Torosei, split the volcano at Oloika for water and plough the fesh fields up to Ol Kirimatian and our beloved riverbed campsite. Giddyup.


Above: 13:40 - Wry and a Matatu on the Pipeline road


Above: Panic on what was briefly a spotless bike


Above: Me avoiding traffic


Above: 14:20 - Hot pokers showing through the already drying valley scrub


Above: 14:45 - Panic warming up


Above: 15:20 - Sand and stones and Big Red Pigs


Above: Torosei road still looking grim


Above: 16:20 - Marbles on the hard pan down the volcano track. From Torosei to the volcano is surprisingly quick, but you better watch yourself on those little pebbly bastards.


Above: Into the blasted-out volcano and into the sun. Judging by the tracks, I’d say only a handful of goats, a cow or two, some pedestrians and a pair of bodas have been this way recently.


Above: Wry in the volcano


Above: Out the West side of Ol’Longomot. We chiseled our way through in no time. I really enjoy fast-paced riding, and with three guys of equal abilities, you can really chew up the miles.


Above: 17:05 - Leaving the volcano behind

To be continued...
« Last Edit: August 13, 2018, 07:38:48 pm by Osadabwa »
 

Offline Oubones

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: BMW F650GS / Dakar
    Location: Kwazulu Natal
  • Posts: 2,818
  • Thanked: 371 times
Re: 2018 - Big Red Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #95 on: August 13, 2018, 07:35:33 pm »
Waiting!
Soon, Soon come in! :imaposer: :pot:
Dakar 650
KLR650
 

Offline Osadabwa

  • Member
  • **
  • Bike: Honda XR650R
    Location: Rest of Africa
  • Posts: 298
  • Thanked: 111 times
  • Don't be surprised
continued...
« Reply #96 on: August 13, 2018, 07:44:52 pm »
Oubones... look up one post. I edited my place-holder.

Continued...


Above: Oloika for a quick coke and to take on water for the night. We were in high spirits, having made it a long way in a short time. Barring any screwups, we’d be at the riverbed just in time for a sundowner.


Above: 17:30 - Three bikes make a dusty gap from Oloika in the distance. The Masai ladies in fancy dress didn’t know which way to run.


Above: Mt Shompole looking on the desiccated plains. Amazing how dry it’s gotten already. It’s only a month since the rain stopped.


Above: 17:38 - Steel-eyed Panic tells me I have a puncture… muppet… so much for no screw-ups.


Above: Lucky for us, fixing a hole in the tire from the rim lock was a breeze with the TuBliss system. I hadn’t noticed the thing was low on pressure til Painc saw Oko spewing out. As usual, I’d hit the tire at the rimlock hard enough to cut through. There was another smaller hole on the other side (classic snakebite, but through the tire!) that was smaller and the Oko eventually stopped the leak there.


Above: 17:43 - It ain’t pretty, but it saved us at least half an hour and it was already closing in on dusk. Over the next 2 days, I only added air once.


Above: The bit between L. Magadi and the Ewaso Nyiro is wide, flat-out sections interspersed with fesh-fesh mines. It’s so much fun to blast in the evening.


Above: If there’s something better than riding fast through an African sunset, I’d like to know what it is.


Above: 18:20 – Ten minutes before this dusty pic, my bike wouldn’t start. I kicked a million times and eventually let Panic have a go. Nothing seemed to matter, but eventually she started up. I had worn myself out completely by this time, but we were so close to camp it was okay… until I unhappily saw my ass in the dust. I’d been looking at my GPS, navigating slowly on a sandy 2-track when the front end just washed out against a rut. I was not best pleased (particularly since Wry insisted on taking a photo), but we were home free by that point and the muddy river was waiting to cool my burning head and soothe my bruised ego.


Above: Night scenes.

Before darkness set in, several things happened: Panic and I set up our tents, unpacked our crap, organized the cooking area and had a nice long soak in the cool water. In that same time, Wry faffed around with a fancy hammock he’d brought (tents, he maintained, were for suckers). Turns out trying to find a place to hang the thing was rather tricky. But, by nightfall we were all happily installed around the fire, dining on foie gras, baguettes and mishikaki. As the stars came and went, we listened to each other’s tales and lies until the Litre of Black Label ran out and we swerved to our respective sleeping areas. It was pure drunken joy watching Wry try to insert himself into the hammock… like a mentally-challenged alien trying to crawl back into his mother’s womb.

I slept like a lungfish in a sandbox.

 :snorting:

« Last Edit: August 13, 2018, 08:58:45 pm by Osadabwa »
 
The following users thanked this post: Goingnowherekwickly

Offline Oubones

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: BMW F650GS / Dakar
    Location: Kwazulu Natal
  • Posts: 2,818
  • Thanked: 371 times
Re: 2018 - Big Red Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #97 on: August 13, 2018, 08:14:29 pm »
Lekker :thumleft:
Dakar 650
KLR650
 

Offline Osadabwa

  • Member
  • **
  • Bike: Honda XR650R
    Location: Rest of Africa
  • Posts: 298
  • Thanked: 111 times
  • Don't be surprised
Day 2 - Up the Mau to Naivasha
« Reply #98 on: August 14, 2018, 07:04:24 am »
I was shocked to have slept til 7, but not surprised to find difficulty focusing my vision. Panic was already up and had the East German rocket engine going for coffee. Wry was still hanging in his sideways cocoon, but I was there to witness his metamorphosis. Much like the emergence of a butterfly from her chrysalis, the birth of Wry from his hammock was a slow process. Quite unlike the majestic butterfly, however, what emerged from the sack was even more grotesque than what had gone in!


Above: Wry’s eye view of our camp… note how nicely the tents rest on terra firma, out under the open sky, close to the babbling brook


Above: Dear God the horror!


Above: L: Enjoying a cup of instant, using the bike for support. R: Wry’s ride and camp

In stark contrast to the constant hurry of the previous day, now we were just plain slow. Fortunately, the weather gods knew we could ill-afford too bright a dawn, so they mercifully drew a curtain of cloud over the scene and left it there until we were kitted up and on the road. (There was nothing to be done about the roar of the XRs however.) As was the case last time we were here, the exit was tricky: river stones on sand gave no decent run-up to the feshy ascent out of the riverbed, but one by one we ungracefully extricated ourselves and our kit.


Above: Panic leaving camp

Having fueled in Kalema, we set off for the rocky bulldozer scratch to Mosiro. In no rush, we nevertheless made very good time of it, pausing only occasionally to catch our breath, attempt to roost one-another, or fight my bike back to life after she stalled. It was perplexing: the XR is as basic an animal as you can find, so the solution should have been simple. I vowed to clear the float bowl at the next stop, and if that failed, we’d have a look at the plug… it ain’t rocket science.


Above: There were pebbles…


Above: …and beautiful views of the Nguruman escarpment through scrubby acacia woodland…


Above: …and failed and feckless fesh-fesh roost attacks (in which I dug myself a hole so deep I could not escape) followed by…


Above: …an equally feckless and failed fesh-fesh roost retaliation in which…


Above: …Wry dug himself in so deep he could likewise not escape. Muppet.


Above: And there was the rock and roll section, which we just hammered through like it was nothing. Of course, that’s bullshit, it was hard work, but for us Pig riders it’s just not so brutal. For Wry on the other hand, whose KTM forks have all the damping of a .45 pistol grip, it was a tough section. Perhaps it was then that he starting to look longingly at our red bikes…

In Mosiro, most of the way to Ntulelei already, we decided we should stop for a beer. After all, it was almost 11:00 and we’d been riding 2 hours. Mosiro was quiet, but we located a stall with some Allsopps in it. Seriously questionable stuff, Allsopps, but it is refreshing in a desperate kind of way. While Wry tried to order a pizza or something, and Pete called the Materland, I dutifully drained my float bowl and hoped that would be the end of the stubborn kickstart issue. (It was. Bless you, little simple piggy.)


Above: Panic playing the Allsops trumpet for the folks back home


Above: Wry, having failed to secure Panic’s hand in marriage, tries to save face by pretending to demonstrate a dance move he once learned in Russia.


Above: A painting of a black and white dairy cow, the likes of which don’t live anywhere for 100km of said painting, on the door of a closed AgroVet shop.

To be continued...
 
The following users thanked this post: Dacquiri

Offline Osadabwa

  • Member
  • **
  • Bike: Honda XR650R
    Location: Rest of Africa
  • Posts: 298
  • Thanked: 111 times
  • Don't be surprised
Day 2 continued...
« Reply #99 on: August 14, 2018, 07:11:11 am »
Rehydrated, we ricocheted up to Ntulelei. The track starts rough, but as it crawls up into the agricultural areas it becomes smoother, straighter and faster. Given the terrain we ride on, I feel we travel pretty fast, but in reality the narrowness of the roads, the washouts and rocks, the villages and people and animals make it uncommon to get over 100kph. Here, though, we all hammered along for some sections at 130 and above. We reached the junction before we knew what happened.


Above: Wry finishing off the valley bits, ready to rip


Above: Haters'll say it's fake


Above: Up to the maize and wheat fields. Looks like they’re about ready to harvest.


Above: Wry showing that Boda who’s boss

Across the tarmac, we climbed straight into the Mau Escarpment. This once forested ecosystem is now home to lots of people with primitive agricultural practices ruining what’s left of the land’s potential, but at least the views are nice and the air is cool. The tracks are quick, but brutal. In the wet season, they’re really sloppy and the trucks that climb up and back tear them to ribbons. Once they dry out, those bog holes and ruts turn to stone and all the rest of the way it’s uneven in a way that even dirt roads aren’t usually uneven… really keeps you fighting to hold on.


Above: Some trees left down in a gully. Someone should cut them down for charcoal.


Above: We’d stopped for a bite and a rest in the sun overlooking Naivasha. Lovely spot, but not quite warm enough to keep us there.


Above: A really nice section of road. Steep and curved, it drops down from 3000 M.


Above: Wry riding the bobsled road




Above: Wry takes a wee kip at a beautiful spot above the cabbages and the valley.

Uncharacteristically, Panic had not checked his oil thus far on the trip. To his horror, it was 1 cm lower than spot-on, so he immediately dug into his emergency oil reserves. Meanwhile, cocky me was about to start teasing him when I noticed that my poor Piggy’s level was off the bottom of the dipstick! So, I sheepishly begged for a little myself. I'm slipping, man!


Above: Come on. That hillside has no business being agricultural land. At least in places like Rwanda (or even ancient Peru fafaksake) a steep hill like that would have been terraced. Now I know you're thinking what I'm thinking, but I’m not thinking what I know you think I’m thinking, but I am thinking something very similar.


Above: Anyway, it’s a cool view. Through the distant haze you can make out Lake Naivasha at 1,885 meters.


Above: Having descended some, I could see another road I’d like to find one day heading up another slope. There are endless rides out here. We’re spoiled for choice.

Arriving to Carnelly’s, we arranged our stuff, set up tents (for those of us with tents… Wry hung himself upside down in the picnic shelter), hit the showers and like the real, hairy-chested men we are, promptly took a nap. I was beat. We resurrected somewhat later for food and a few beers around the fire, but it was a much-welcomed early night for the biker boys.

I slept like a well shampooed dachshund puppy on a flannel-lined pillow.