North Kenya Expedition Part 1
Time Travel Into Ancient Lands
30 Sep 2016
On the way!
We are in Kirinyaga county right now.The road is smooth and the landscape keeps getting better and better.We just crossed the Tana River and into Sagana. An interesting thing is that The Nairobi/Nyeri highway passes through Kirinyaga,Machakos and Embu counties in about five minutes! On the outskirts of Karatina, Freedee; our trusty steed; relapses into her starter problem.We now have to push to start her. Landy problems!(That’s a special kind of push-to-start) Looking at the landscape and seeing the simple lives the people are living here,I’m struck by the folly of the rat race.Simplicity is happiness. Nanyuki town!This is one of the places in Kenya that the equator cuts through.
There is also a massive British Army base here which has greatly affected the rate of urbanization of this small town. The Meru/Nanyuki road is absolutely stunning.The road winds through breathtaking landscapes .So beautiful it should be on a postcard. Getting to Charanna Ranch didn’t take too long from Nanyuki town.It takes an hour to drive up at a leisurely pace and the view makes the time go by much quicker.The farm is small and just opened for business but doesn’t take long to fall in love with.The golden hues in the afternoon sun makes it calming and it is exactly the kind of silence I’m looking for.
Turns out Charanna Ranch is incredibly windy which makes it incredibly cold.Its half an hour to midnight.I just got into my sleeping bag . Aci is already asleep.She had already laid out my sleeping bag for me,she is such a sweetie. Before coming to bed I stayed in Freedee alone for about half an hour ,I just needed sometime alone.Travel is one of the best ways to really get in touch with yourself.
“Travel far enough, you meet yourself ”
~ Cloud Atlas
01 Oct 2016
Charana Farm – Loiyangalani
Woke up to a beautiful morning.The golden sunrise and the cinnamon coffee Tony made went together perfectly!We realized we have become so efficient at camping due to our many trips and it’s such an amazing feeling to be self sufficient!
We leave Charana at 8:30 for Loyangalani which is 8 hours away on the Isiolo/Laisamis route.Just five minutes away from the Isiolo junction ,we get stopped by the police!Usually we would be calm in a situation like this but today is different.Our insurance had expired the day before though we had the replacement in the car.( We realized it was expiring once we were already at Charana and had to get the insurance sent to us using a Psv which was an adventure in itself).So back to now where we have the insurance in the car but the one stuck on the windscreen is expired.The inevitable back and forth between us and the guys in blue takes about twenty minutes.After enough groveling from Tony and I,we are able to get out of it.We put the right insurance on and scurry away before they change their minds!
We drive north on the A2 up until Laisamis where we branch off into South Horr. The road from this point turns into a gravel road which goes on for the rest of the road up until Loiyangalani with the exception of small patches which are cemented where the ground is particularly loose. Kilometer after kilometer of fine sand brings us to the small town of Ngurunit. Here we are met with shy smiles from the villagers and children who peek at us from behind trees and rocks.My attempts to talk to the children quickly turns into a hide and seek game where they run gleefully away and I try to catch up.Its getting late and we must now move onwards. The road dramatically disappears after the village and turns into a dry river bed which we must cross to be on our way.
At this point,we are deep in the mountains with no cell coverage which means no way to call for help if we are to encounter any difficulties or break down in any way.The pressure is on.We all disembark from the car except Aci who is driving.The sand is loose and fine and it is a tense five minutes of crossing the river.With sighs of relief Freedee(Our Landy) and Aci safely get to the other side.We cross four such river beds.
At 7 we are still on the road.We can see the Dutch wind farms in the distance so we know we are close to Loiyangalani.Suddenly,Freedee starts to over heat! We pull over to let her cool down and seeing as it is a new place to all of us ,paranoia kicks in.Sham takes out his Tomahawk and Aci flips open her knife.Tony is at the front looking into Freedee so I decide to use a long metal rod as a just-in case weapon. We can hear the sound of a motorbike approaching in the distance. On a lonely road like this, that is not a comforting sound…
“An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered.
An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered.”
– G.K. Chesterton
Watch our Part 1 Vlog series of North Kenya Expedition below: