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Author Topic: 2018 - Big Red Pigs in Kenya  (Read 8383 times)

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Offline Osadabwa

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Day 3 continued again...
« Reply #120 on: December 19, 2018, 04:27:51 pm »
With the high of the Milgis still throbbing in our brains, we had a break to reconnect with reality. I was very pleased to see it wasn’t yet 2PM, and I figured at most we had 2 hours of riding to go. Two years ago, Rawlence, Kolobus and I had come thorough and I remembered it being a scenic mountain road. But that was two years ago. The heavy rains from one year back had taken that scenic road and turned it into an overgrown, washed-out track. To add to that, we started having some mechanical issues and fatigue was hitting Rawlence who was complaining of tennis elbow and double-barreled wanker’s wrist. And that wasn’t the worst of it…


Above: Out of the lugga, loving life


Above: The aftermath of all that braaping


Above: Panic… did you mean to lean that much?






Above: It was fantastic riding, if not exactly an easy cruise


Above: the views behind kept getting better and better








Above: Hmmm… where are the rest?

We’d only moved along for about half an hour before things started to go pear shaped. Rawlence had taken two or three falls already, and given where we were, it wouldn’t be good if he hurt himself. He was exhausted and needed frequent breaks. Meanwhile, Neb’s crusty old front tire allowed in another thorn and Panic’s XR had spit out yet another chain roller, so we spent a good minute or sixty doing roadside repairs. Our pace had slowed from my estimate and our 2-hour ETA was turning into a 4-hour ETA. Luckily, we were in a beautiful place and the passers by were friendly and interesting as hell. The guy below in blue told us it’s a 4 day walk to the nearest town.


Above: Wry the peacenik chats with the mzee


Above: Fancy dress and the Panic


Above: Repairs are a good time for a little kip

After the rest and a bit of Ibuprofen, Rawlence was back up and riding better. The trail stayed a rutted, rocky mess with a river crossings thrown in for good fun. It was gorgeous and fresh and we were making decent time.




Above: Rawlence ascending


Above: Nice, sandy-bottomed river crossings



to be continued one more time...
 
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Offline Osadabwa

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Day 3 - the break and the end
« Reply #121 on: December 19, 2018, 04:28:32 pm »
After awhile, the road got better and we were moving again. In no time, we reached the junction for Kitich Camp, the lodge we’d be staying in for the night. I knew this track from a previous visit, and was keen to drift and rally my way up there, pull into camp with five pigs roaring and demand cold beers! It didn’t quite work out that way. The cool evening light kept us on the throttle and the track had us on our toes. The track had been many things, but muddy and slick it was not… until it was. There was only one section, one small section, of greasy black soil on an off-camber incline. I hit it and it made me pucker. Rawlence, whose "ambition outweighed his talent", hit it and broke his leg.


Above: The last section during golden hour

Ordinarily, I’m quick to take photos of guys under their bikes, but for some reason I could tell this was not a laughing matter. I parked the bike and ran to Rawlence whose leg was bent behind him in a most unpleasant angle. He was clearly in pain and told me right away it was broken. We got him up and parked him under a beautiful old tree. Panic and I rode the rest of the way to camp and got the manager who jumped into action. In a little over an hour, we’d stabilized Rawlence’s leg with a SAM splint I’d brought (see why we bring it, Tigo?), and he was at the camp chilling as best he could.


Above: Rawlence under a tree with us stabilizing the leg… what the hell are you smiling about Neb?


Above: Loading the patient in the Kitich Cruiser… one of the camp staff giving 110kg Rawlence a piggy back ride!


Above: A beautiful sunset to top off a wicked and eventful (dare I say epic?) day!

As darkness fell, Rawlence was carried to the mess hall and we all gorged ourselves on a lovely meal. A few whiskys around the fire later, and we were all knackered. It was another early night for our intrepid crew, but we’d earned the sleep.

Before you go, however, check out the day's video. It's longer than usual because it was better than usual...


 :snorting:
 

Offline Osadabwa

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Day 4 - Ngai susu and the Borana Escarpment
« Reply #122 on: December 20, 2018, 06:45:29 am »
With the help of Tiz and the Camp, we were able to organize a bush pilot to fly from Nanyuki to collect Rawlence at 8AM. He had an awful night, but was up and perky for breakfast. We packed him in the Land Cruiser and bid him farewell. Neb decided to poach his front wheel (that’s how we do) since his crappy front tire kept getting punctures, and once that operation was sorted, the rest of us blasted back into the void. We re-traced our steps a bit then turned South to Wamba for fuel for both bikes and men.


Above: The babbling of idiots… me the Captain of them all in one of the Camp’s old colonial pith helmets (Clarke, I asked if I could take it for your Christmas Present, but then I figured you probably already have one parked next to your MAGA hat and Stahlhelm …)


Above: Rawlence on his safari to the airstrip and Neb poaching the good bits off his bike…


Above: Panic… no comment, and Neb coming out of the camp


Above: Traffic jam leaving Kitich Camp




Above: The Wamba Giftos Hotel… a good spot for tea and chapati


Above: Despite just having had breakfast, we were already ready for more… mandazis, chapati and scrambled eggs please

Leaving Wamba, I was keen to take a fantastic double-track past the pointy nipple rock possibly known as Ngai Susu if our local intel is correct (which would be weird since that means roughly “God pees”) Not long ago, I’d passed through here with Clarke, but with him, modern technology is eschewed (as are boots and long trousers, but nevermind) so we didn’t have a GPS record of our trip, so we went looking for the road for a bit…


Above: More elephant evidence… big deep prints in the mud


Above: Lost on the panyapanya routes and little sand river beds


Above: Stuck by a diversion dam in one sand riverbed


Above: We’d decided after hinting and pecking through the bush that if we went North, we’d be sure to meet the road, and we did




Above: At last, the river crossed the road and we were back on the braaap

The pointy nipple hill had been teasing us for awhile already, but now that we were on the road we reached it in no time. Of course, the shape of the thing brought out the juvenile in all of us… But once we’d finished goofing around, we were back on the bikes, back on the throttles and whipping our way to the Barsalinga bridge over the Ewaso Nyiro river and on to Kipsing village where I new we needed to take on more water. I thought afternoon would be tough, but I had no idea…


Above: Yeah… so… anyway…


Above: Neb is a happy chappy… Panic… well he had an itchy head


Above: The bluffs off the fast, pointy nipple track


Above: The sunny side of the nipple


Above: Wry blasts the riverbed with no concern for his dryness


Above: The Barsalinga bridge… Neb wheelies off to the delight of all

to be continued...
 

Offline Osadabwa

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Day 4 continued...
« Reply #123 on: December 20, 2018, 06:54:17 am »

Above: In Kipsing, the locals were in for a treat – weird looking guys in crazy dress came to town for cokes and water


Above: The Samburu, having a hard time finding actual bird feathers for their headdresses, have resorted to mohawks of plastic instead…


Above: Mama Joan’s duka


Above: Fancy dress competition…

So from Kipsing, I knew what we had to do: First we had to ride the riverbed for 15km, then we had to turn up through the bush and connect with a long defunct 4x4 track which I’d taken before… two years ago. You know how much can change in two years… we would be reminded again.


Above: First off, the riverbed was wet… we feared quicksand and the skid demon


Above: At a lunch spot, some of the thorns were truly Old-Testament-esque


Above: We cruised the riverbed, but it was much narrower than the Milgis and wet, so we had to choose our line more carefully


Above: Still, the place inspired hooliganery (look ma, I'm wheelying!)






Above: After riding in and out of the riverbed for awhile, it was time to turn up the mountain. This was our parting riverbed shot.


Above: it was a bit painful leaving the lugga… damn thorn trees everywhere

The track I remembered was gone. It had been replaced by a confident line on my GPS and a very sketchy trail that no wheeled vehicle had passed over in quite some time. The volume of water that had come before us must have been impressive to remove so much soil. What was left was often just the barren rock, or at best a lot of rubble. It was the most challenging riding of the trip.


Above: Neb blasts his way over the stones


Above: Wry climbing the bedrock


Above: We took lots of breaks to enjoy the view and rest a bit. Some gumdrops fell on the floor, but I wasn’t going to let them go to waste


Above: We were challenged, but still in great spirits, even as the rain came


Above: And the rain did come


Above: We took wrong turns


Above: …and negotiated bad washouts


Above: … and got separated and stuck

to be continued...
 

Offline Osadabwa

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Day 4 - coming out on top
« Reply #124 on: December 20, 2018, 07:04:29 am »

Above: … and then it really rained and the rocks got slick and the dirt turned to mud






Above: I was hurrying to get us to this river crossing… I remembered it from before and feared it could become a serious flash-flood spot

The higher we climbed, the more it rained. The more it rained, the slicker it became, but the views were amazing and we were still in great spirits.




Above: That’s an African view for you


Above: We were wet, tired and happy as hell

Happy is relative… soon the going got really tough, at least for me. I’d been leading fearlessly up to this point, and hadn’t screwed the pooch too badly, but the last push, literally the last bit that would take us out to the flat plateau above caught me off guard. I stalled the engine and killed everyone’s momentum. As a result, Panic fell on his ass and Neb had to help him get started again on the slick, rocky hillside. Only Wry had seen the easy path around the side and been able to take it.


Above: I dropped the bike and pinned my leg…


Above: ...which stalled everyone's progress, leading Panic to drop the bike upside down, requiring Neb to help him lift it


Above: After much ado, the last rider emerged onto the plateau


Above: Where the red clay was horribly slippery!

If we thought the day was over, we were sorely mistaken. The rains had been heavy and the soil composition of the plateau is either red clay (slick) or black cotton (slick and sticky). I plodded ahead with no mishaps, but the rest of the boys were a clown show. Wry thought it’d be cool to roost the mud and saw his ass. And Panic and Neb both slid everywhichway down a bright red clay sluice before we finally reached some much-appreciated stone backfill.


Above: laughing about the sorry state of our bikes and bodies


Above: Panic apparently wanted to take a soil sample home with him

Soon enough, the road was hard enough to let us move again. We ripped through the Borana conservancy gate, had a quick look at elephant, giraffe and zebra, and then just kept blasting on. I for one was freezing. The wet clothes and cold air were doing a number on me, and all I wanted was to be around a fire after a hot shower at the Timau River Lodge. It was all out for the final leg.


Above: Wry and the elephants


Above: Much better surface now


Above: Brooding long views of Laikipia


Above: Another traffic jam


Above: Our frozen, wrinkled hands


Above: At last, our digs!

Timau River Lodge can kiss my ass. Man did they provide shit service. We arrived like four half-frozen sides of beef, and they couldn’t even offer us a hot shower. I don’t know why… they couldn’t seem to organize flammable material, oh what’s that called… wood, to burn. We literally (again, I don’t abuse that word) spent an hour huddled around the main fireplace feeding tiny slivers of wet/green cedar into the puny flame hoping to eek out some heat while the one bumbling doofus of a waiter/host/bartender stumbled around endlessly trying to organize food. Eventually, fatigue and cold won out and we hit the hay. The day had been exciting indeed, but sleep was calling.

Before you nod off, have a look at the day's moving pictures:



 :snorting:
« Last Edit: December 20, 2018, 07:05:40 am by Osadabwa »
 

Offline pietas

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Re: 2018 - Big Red Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #125 on: December 20, 2018, 07:24:25 am »
As always, good quality stuff. Thanks for sharing it  :snorting:
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Offline Osadabwa

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Day 5 - Heading home
« Reply #126 on: December 20, 2018, 08:03:24 am »
I’ll say one thing for Timau River Lodge… I did sleep like the dead. It was cold and the bed was soft. So, you grudgingly get one star. None of us were able to sleep in, even though we’d already decided that we were in no rush to head home. Wry was up first, and like a real champ (and totally contrary to his usual self) he had moved everyone’s wet kit into the sun and onto the now-working water heater to dry. Thumbs up, Wry!


Above: Peeking at my piggy from the pooper


Above: Drying kit


Above: Oh yeah, and then there was this painting in our room… WTF?

While we were getting our kit together, I was beckoned by an old Indian man. Beckoned might not be the right word, ordered may be better. He ordered me over to see him. Turns out he was the owner of the place, but I still didn’t like being ordered around. And why do you think he so badly needed me to come round? Was it to apologize for the cold shower and the lack of fire in the hearth? Nope. I was to feed his monkey. Not a euphemism. He handed me bread and I gave it to a monkey. Neb did too. Again... WTF?


Above: Neb feeds the monkey

Well, folks, the ride is over. At least, the good stuff. We now had 200km of tar to cover, but the sun was out and it was a lovely day, so we took a farewell snap at the foot of Mt. Kenya and hit the road. And then we re-learned that a ride is never over til it’s over, when Neb’s chain fell off just outside Thika. Seems Neb was using a clip instead of a rivet and the previous day’s mud had removed said clip and the chain finally said bye-bye. Good thing yours truly was also carrying a spare master link (see Tigo, that’s why we carry them), and even though it wasn’t a perfect fit for Neb’s chain, a bit of work with the Leatherman and Panic’s repair tool later, and we were back home safe and sound.


Above: Parting group shot


Above: Hello little children, would you like some candy?


Above: Neb faffs around with his chain


Above: Shots from home: Neb, GPS stats, Rawlence


Above: Route map, clockwise from bottom left. Nothing about this tells the story…

Boys, it was another excellent adventure. Rawlence, sorry you broke your leg, but very happy you did it where you did!
Kudos to Kitich Camp for getting us sorted out so painlessly. Your place is fantastic and we will definitely return!

Oink.

 :snorting:

 

Offline Osadabwa

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Epilogue - Rawlence's Evac
« Reply #127 on: December 20, 2018, 08:17:56 am »
So while we were still donning our kit and poaching wheels of Rawlence’s bike, he was trundling toward a little dirt airstrip where one of the local Nanyuki pilots was to come to his rescue. The road over there was harrowing apparently, almost swallowing the Kitich Cruiser at one point, but they made it and the plane was there as promised. A couple of young wazungu hopped out, helped Rawlence squeeze into the back and took off for Nanyuki where he was X-rayed and patched up at Cottage Hospital. Class acts all around… sort of!


Above: The rescue plane. Oh, how cute, it has a smiley face on the tail fin… wait a minute…


Above: Rawlence figured he was off to see his maker. He even wrote a little note saying that if the plane should crash, I would inherit his bike. Love you man! I’ll take good care of her!


Above: These two lads look like they’re going to a Red Bull stunt competition… Rawlence was in the back spackling his spanx (Santa too)


Above: Once airborne, Rawlence had great views of the riding he didn’t do. That’s Ngai Susu (nipple tit hill) on the Left


Above: Nanyuki, highlands agricultural heartland and the base camp for Mt. Kenya expiditions. There’s a British Military base there and a lot of folks with dough, so the Cottage Hospital was well equipped to sort Rawlence’s boo-boo.

The End

:snorting:

 

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Re: 2018 - Big Red Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #128 on: December 20, 2018, 08:44:25 am »
What a great read  :thumleft:
Little by little, one travels far

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Ride reports :
http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=134175.0 Penge's pass and the Old Forest http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=9421.0 - Orange Atlantic adventure http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=7514.0 - 805 km day trip http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=20260.0 - East Cape Bash http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=70199.0 - Two KTM thumpers head north
 
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Offline CUZZY

Re: 2018 - Big Red Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #129 on: December 21, 2018, 02:45:31 pm »
Fantastic ride report. Great pics and vids. Stunning riding terrain. Similar to what we have in KZN.
I notice that you don't turn your beast off when you stop to video ;) ;) ;)   Can't imagine why!
Hope Rawlence has healed up.
 

Offline Oubones

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Re: 2018 - Big Red Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #130 on: December 21, 2018, 07:44:10 pm »
Great report as usual and thank you once again for taking us with! :thumleft:
You guys really enjoy your bikes and the nice riding area.
How is Rawlence doing?
For interest, are going to make him walk back to fetch his bike or how do you recover it? Especially as it now has a dodgy front wheel. :peepwall:
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Offline Osadabwa

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Rawlence will live
« Reply #131 on: December 24, 2018, 08:51:35 am »
Those asking about Rawlence of a Labia's bike need not worry. The camp offered to transport it to town during their next supply run and Rawlence will collect it in his big ass van.

He's going to take awhile to heal though for sure... turns out he also buggared his wrists and elbow somehow... man needs to do a bit more training before coming out on the XRR with us on a long ride again...


 :snorting:
 

Offline Osadabwa

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36 days... 10% of the year
« Reply #132 on: December 27, 2018, 06:08:43 pm »
I just calculated, based on the days ridden in this 2018 RR and a couple others, that I went out 36 days this year. Now that ain't half bad.

So, to all those who followed along, Cheers to a fantastic 2018 and let's hope to do even more in 2019!

 :snorting:
 
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Offline Goingnowherekwickly

Re: 2018 - Big Red Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #133 on: January 13, 2019, 03:41:22 pm »
thanks for a great report once again!
You guys are doing it properly up there..
Looking forward to 2019, all the best!
 

Online XT JOE

Re: 2018 - Big Red Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #134 on: January 27, 2019, 09:04:38 pm »
excellent 2.5 hours of reading- Beautifull place for riding-and just admire your support for the older comfy :) thumpers- thanks for sharing.
BEER IS PROOF GOD LOVES US.
 

Offline Dacquiri

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Re: 2018 - Big Red Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #135 on: July 27, 2019, 09:00:10 pm »
Great ride report Osadabwa!!  It’s been 20 years since I travelled some of those parts and your report brought back vivid memories.  Thanks!!!  I hope Sir Rawlence’s leg hasn’t been keeping you out of riding this year?  Or did you get married have kids and settle down in the past few months?? :peepwall:
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