tough tough rock fields
feeling so free
arriving at lake turkana. what a sense of freedom.
nice tracks. murder for the bikes
this was that killer hill that made me age 10 years in 10 minutes.
Mercoledi 30/01/2008 ci siamo avviati verso est per raggiungere la strada che taglia a sud attraverso il Sibiloi National Park. 20 km prima del bivio abbiamo incontrato una pattuglia del “Kenya wild life Reserve” che ci ha avvisato della presenza di 150 uomini armati a circa 30 km di distanza che marciavano verso di noi e che ci sarebbe stato un imminente conflitto a fuoco con le pattuglie militari kenyane che gli stavano dando la caccia. Dal momento che un’ora prima erano stati avvistati a circa 15 km a est del bivio che avremmo dovuto prendere Tom, Veysel ed io abbiamo deciso di proseguire confidando nel fatto di riuscire a raggiungere la deviazione verso sud prima di loro ed evitare quindi qualsiasi tipo di contatto. George e Robin invece hanno preferito tornare indietro.
Fortunatamente i nostri calcoli si sono rivelati esatti e siamo riusciti a raggiungere la strada senza effettuare alcun incontro spiacevole. Tuttavia l’eccessivo carico sulla moto, il manubrio storto, le pessime condizioni del terreno ed il caldo soffocante sono stati fatali e mi hanno procurato fortissimi crampi addominali e dolori insopportabili di ogni tipo costringendomi a fermarmi. Devo ringraziare Tom e Veysel per tutto l’aiuto che mi hanno dato in quella difficile situazione. Quella sera ci siamo accampati (N 03 52,815’ E 36 19,570’) osservando il sole che qui al tramonto e’ enorme e di un colore rosso fuoco.
Colonna sonora: “Here comes the sun” The Beatles
we started the day off quite slowly. we had to find a way to pack all that fuel, water and food onto our already loaded up bikes. we had these 1959 military metal jerry cans (bought in addis abab). indestructable things. weighed a ton but you could dop it off a 4 story building and they wouldnt break. so we started off quite late. about 3okm into the ride we came across a patrol veichle. they told us that 40 clicks south were 150 heavily armed men walking south east. shizen! the group split up. tom, veysl and matteo wanted to risk it. george and i didnt. so we hit the coastal road. the infamously tough coastal road. we road about 15km that day and i tell you it was the toughest day of my life. we hit some foot deep sand to start off with. i break my gear lever. so now i can only ride in first gear. nice start. then we hit the rock fields. the track gives way to the biggest rocks ive ever seen. and now we have to ride a 300 kilo bike over this stuff! are you kidding me! id ride literally 3 metres then fall over. pick it up (which is a 15 minute ordeal and absolutely destroys you physically. add 40 degree heat and full bike gear - hell on earth). 3 metres later i would fall down again. repeat 20 times then duly give up. i saw white, couldnt stand up straight. i was suffering from mild sunstroke. we slept under a tauphalin for the rest of the day to gather strength. we then tried to ride back to the barracks. aboslute hell. i couldnt even keep the bike upright. we would ride 100metres and stop because we were out of breath. i fell down numerous times again and at one point i just couldnt any longer. i fell over and collapsed on a thorn patch. i was so exhausted that i didnt move from there. we eventually arrived back at the barracks and i went straight to bed. i couldnt stand up striahgt from stomach pain and i was suffering from sunstroke and dehydration. it was the hardest day of my life. the next morning we awoke at 05.00. hit the road. we did the first 100km before lunch. really fast. the road was super tough. large rocks and deep sand again. but we made good time. we had to stop every 5km or so to look out for bandits. it was a bit nerve racking being out there on that bad stretch. but by lunch we had re-united with the rest of the team and we made a great bushcamp on an oasis with palm trees! what a great place to spend the night!