September 29, 2020

Living up to its reputation: from Marsabit to Moyale

We did it! It was one hell of a ride today, but we made it to Moyale from Marsabit just as the sun was setting. The ride was very challenging and interesting as it took us through a series of ups and downs, frustrations and amazements. This stretch of 260 km gravel presented to us – rocks (many!), sandy patches, desolate desert scenes, even green valleys with trees, camels, donkeys, a jackal, bushbaby, mud and even some rain! The terrain is really harsh and we marvel at the fact that people can survive in this area.

Not many trees
Our first down happened about 20km after we set off from Marsabit – the road was good BUT the rains washed in a large ditch in the side of the road and as Francois approached the road was very slippery with tiny rocks and the wheel slipped out under him. Luckily he was fine, with a few scars to show (as you will see in the last photo in this post :o))

Here is the skidmarks…

First fall
As the road gradually got worse and worse after 60km from Marsabit the next down was me! I slipped on some rocks and put down my bike. Here you can see the rocky road.

Second fall
From here on the next 60km was tough terrain, really rocky and washed out from all the rain with almost no traffic.

Desert road
Sitting down for a rest

Rocky road 2
Lots of rocks!

Rocky road
But pole pole we made it to Turbi (about hallway to Marsabit) by 13h00. The worst part was over and we pushed on to Marsabit. But then, just a few kilometres out of town I got a flat tyre :o( We set out to fix it and just as we started next thing we knew an old red Landrover Discovery pulled up and out jumped the three Wadies from England. Mark helped us to get the tyre fixed and inflated it with his compressor which makes the job twice as fast. A piece of glass had pierced the tyre and tube. We were so grateful for their help and even though they still had a long journey ahead to Marsabit they still helped us to get back on the road – thanks soooo much guys – if it was not for them we would not have made it to Moyale in the daylight… What a blessing and they were the only travellers we saw the whole day.

Here they are with Francois and we wish them all the best with their journey to Uganda!

Helping us to fix a tyre
Soon after I got the flat tyre, it started raining a little and we then had to dodge some muddy sections. Again it took us down a few times (mine a few times more than Francois!), but luckily nothing serious! The terrain also changed here and after the rains that fell here in the last week or so it was incredibly green and puddles of water were still lying scattered next to the road. Here we had the opportunity to ride with three running camels in front of us :o) they have a very peculiar style of running which made me laugh out loud. We also saw some jackal, and a bushbaby along the way. We also saw a rainbow, so really we had something of everything today…

Unfortunately the border just closed as we got to Moyale and we had to look for some place to stay on this side (though all the places on the GPS are just 1km on the other side of the border). Now I don’t know if we were just tired, but some of the people here really got to us, getting a bit too close and loud and again asking for my shoes! The only place we could find at this hour was in the main road, the Sherif Hotel – now this place is really scruffy looking and depressing, but we have a roof over our heads and we decided that tonight there will be no showering or brushing teeth and I am trying hard not to look at the flies, but tomorrow is a new day and it will be time to move on and all this will not seem so bad anymore ;o)

Today was definitely the most challenging one on Crossing Africa so far, but also one of the most rewarding and one we will definitely not forget! Here is Francois showing his scars… eish!

Scars

12 thoughts on “Living up to its reputation: from Marsabit to Moyale

  1. Oh my word!!! Wat ‘n dag (op kantoor, soos JI de Wet sou se)…! Amazing! Ek’s bly julle het dit oorleef en vrek, daai Motomia’s is iets uit ‘n ander wereld. Respect vir julle en julle bikes!! Luvya!

  2. Eina!! Daai skuurmerk lyk rou – soutwater is goed vir ontsmetting. Hou net die stof daaruit. Deksels tawwe dag – geen wonder julle was so op my hart die ganse dag. Dankie tog vir die vlees-en-bloed- engele in die rooiwa!! Bestiering nê. Pas jul self goed op en voorspoed vir die grenspos en verder. Hoop regtig dit gaan beter die dae wat volg. Liefde uit die Kaap.

  3. Wow! Eintlik het julle ‘n skoon warm bad en sagte bed verdien. Maar, more se grenspos gaan hopelik ‘n ‘beloning’ wees vir vandag se dapperheid. Hoop die bande en boude hou!! Terloops, SA het julle nog nie vergeet nie, julle is vandag getel…. – sensus. XX

  4. Hi julle 2 Avonturiers,
    Julle het ‘n stunning trip en doen lekker verslag – julle maak die toerlus in ons wakker ! Ons loer elke aand voordat ons gaan slaap eers hoe julle vorder en wat julle ervaar – dis nogal nie v sissies nie !
    Tania jy’s Tops !! Agter daardie glimlaggie van jou is jy wraggies Tough !! Lekker om te weet die erge stuk is nou agter die rug !! Francois ou maat, vir ‘n CA lyk jy darem nou “mean” – jy laat my dink aan daardie rowwe ou wat Tolla vdM eendag beskryf het ! Ons bewonder ook jul positiwiteit en deursettingsvermoe !! Ja en dan moet ek bieg….. het maar my bedenkenge gehad toe ek hoor waarmee julle ry – het regtig nie gedink daardie fietse kan so ver loop nie, maar lyk my Motomia gaan vir ons ‘n punt wys !! Dis seker nou “afdraende”, einde kom nader, maar geniet steeds elke oomblik, baie mense beny julle ! Baie sterkte en lekker ry !!
    Groete
    Andre & Michelle (Nou vanuit Nasville, Tennessee)

  5. Dis was ‘n TAWWE dag verseker. Die Kaokoveld en Van Zylspas kom nie by hierdie terrein nie. Well done julle! Sterkte met die grenspos en ek hoop julle vind die Ethiopiers vriendelike mense. Luv. V1x

  6. Lyk omtrent soos ‘n stage uit die Dakar Rally! Baie impressed met julle dirt riding skills en bikes dat julle dit veilig sover gemaak het! Lyk rerig baie verlate, maar pragtig! Ook bly julle het onverwagste hulp gekry met julle pap band! Seker dit gee mens weer goeie moed!
    Sal maar baie verlig wees as julle uit Kenia kom met die militêre aksies in Somalië! Mens weet nie watse effek dit op die area gaan hê nie. Veilig ry en pas julleself mooi op!

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