Monday, June 28, 2010

Day 28 - Alan's Perspective

So the road to Kakamega Forest is, was and no doubt will always be abysmal,
to say the least!!!

Earlier on in the blog I did mention how we very quickly learned that when
you looked at a map and planned any days travel you could not take the
distance to be travelled and know how long it was going to take to get
there as the road conditions are just so unpredictable.

I have skipped a bit of our travel time!! Must be the whisky and beer we
are drinking!!!

Gavin and I had decided that we would leave Temba at 07h00 so that we
could do the border crossing fairly early on in the day - did I just say
another border!!! Yes a crossing into Kenya!!! I have to say that the
experience we had at this border post was the least stressful to date.
Everyone was so pleasant and happy to see the msungu's (white people). It
took us no longer than 35 minutes to get through. Awesome stuff.

I digress, so Jess and I are up with the sparrows and standing to attention
next to the car at 07h00 sharp, ready to go. Gavin and Jen stroll out at
about 07h55!!! Gavin had forgotten that we wanted to leave early!! Sadly we
are unable to have any coffee or breakfast before we left so we headed out
for the border post. For those of you that know Gavin and Jen well, they
need their coffee in the morning!!

So border post done and now off to find coffee and breakfast! The scenery
is breathtaking, green hills and fields of tea plantations. You expect to
drive around a corner and see a sign advertising tea and scones!! But that
was not to be. I stopped and asked a policeman where we could get a decent
cup of coffee and he said just up the road!!! An hour later still no coffee
or food!! We took a wrong turnoff and ended up on a beautiful road and
scenery, which Gavin and I have decided not to tell anyone about lest too
many cars use it and mess it up, on our way to Kakamega Forest. We stopped
at a golf course for coffee and lunch!! Not even Pecanwood members are
allowed at this golf club but we did get food!

Everyone was happy again!!

The distance to be travelled only 128 km. Ja right!!

The last 40 km of road was hell (and we did not even make our targeted
destination!!). We crossed the equator but did not take any pictures
because all we saw was a building that said New Equator Pub (Gavin saw the
right sign!!).
It was dark, pot holes were leaping out all over the road and it had
started to rain cats and dogs!!! I had to sms (radio was not working) Gavin
and tell that we were going to look for a place to sleep before it got too

We spotted a hotel in the town of Kakamega and managed to get the last two
rooms. Phew!!! Because of the rain Dstv was not working so we could not
watch any soccer.

Slept well and then set off to the forest, Udo's camp via the bottom gate.
We were told that we could not reach the camp via the bottom gate as there
is a swamp in the middle of the forest so we decided to stay at the camp

Washed clothes, everyone else went for a guided tour in the forest but I
decided to stay behind for some much needed quiet time. It rained again!!.

I put some lamb chops on the braai accompanied by butternut, toasted
sandwiches and baked onions. Had a great time around the fireplace then
went off the tent. In the early hours of the morning the heavens opened up

Eventually we got up and sat around for a while watching the tent and
clothes dry!!

Back on the road through the stunning forest to Eldorette (George in
Zambia's recommendation) and then on to 888888 to see rhino!!

We stopped in Eldorette at Will's Pub for lunch. Gavin met a chap called
Raj, who ran the Naiberi Camp site, and it went down hill from there!!

The first night we had a pretty late night where copious amounts of Jim
Bean was consumed!!! Next day Gavin and I went into town to draw money and
charge my one battery up. It was Raj's birthday so he went out and bought a
ton of pork to braai, which is Nepalese chef prepared the Indian way. It
was very tasty!! I had a early night.

Sunday we set off for Kitale (opposite directions to the rhino!). By mutual
consent this tarred road is the worst we have travelled, 48 km in just over
two hours!!! We stopped in Kitale for coffee and a kidney bashing break!!

By this time Gavin and I were saying well if we attempt the next 164 km we
will miss the England vs Germany game so we opted to find somewhere to stay
that was reachable.

Just for the record, we are unable to post pictures at the moment because
the internet speeds are so slow.

We ended up at Siarikwa Safari Lodge, met Richard, talked about motorbikes,
looked at car engines, had a delicious dinner, roast chicken, beef olives,
roast potatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, butternut, bread sauce, gravy,
vegetable soup and steamed pudding and a bottle of Jameson's. Bed!!!

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