Odometer is just over 5000 km
We just had a 1300m climb into the foothills of Mount Kenya. What a great ride and yes we are back on the tarmac...it was hard to resist hopping of the bike and kissing the pavement yesterday morning.
Mudfest lived up to expectations and Northern Kenya certainly lived up to its reputation as being the toughest part of the TDA - at least thus far. Many a time I wondered if my trusty Nissan Pathfinder would have been able to make this journey and I concluded that if she had, I would probably be selling her for parts in Nanyuki right about now... she is much better off cruising the highways of North America.
Since my last post the rain has been relentless, making the corrugated, muddy roads that much more exciting to navigate. For the record...corrugation sucks!! Think of riding or driving on a road built of horizontal ditches about 3 inches deep and a foot wide...recipe for some spinal realignment no matter what vehicle you are in. Add some rain, a couple of drainage rivers and some pond-size puddles and you have an adventure on your hands.(I did find myself waist deep in one puddle while still sitting on the bike)
One night a few of us pitched our tents in a very dry river bed knowing that it hadn't rained in that area for 3 weeks, and once again disobeying Murphy's Law or just commong sense. We were lucky that the regional drought lasted through the night, but the sky opened up first thing in the morning and, amazingly, only minutes after the tents were taken down, the river was running strong. Easy lesson learned!
We have been lucky to experience Northern Kenya in its rawest form. The tar road is creeping quickly towards Ethiopia thanks to the Chinese who are not only funding the road but supervising its construction. I don't think many more future TDA riders will need to consider bringing mountain bikes because of this section.