The route to North Horr was good fun but challenging in places. It wasn't the sand that caught me out, which I was expecting—I soon found myself riding on wet clay/mud. I slowed down and the rear wheel slid sideways very quickly. I managed to catch it and stay up right. However, there was now a downhill section on this wet clay/mud. Tip toeing the motorcycle with my legs apart like stabilisers and feathering the brake, I edged forward step by step. My motorcycle's front ABS can't be disabled (the rear can be), but the front wheel started skidding down the hill. Very, very unnerving! I made it down the hill but my motorcycle was caked in wet clay/mud.
Approaching North Horr, it started to rain. Thought I'd left all the rain behind in Uganda and Rwanda!
Two local motorcyclists were pulled over so I stopped. One was stranded as their bike would not start. They opened their carburettor and water poured out. Must have been through some deep water!
Leaving North Horr thinking I had escaped the mud, I made a schoolboy error. I rode up a small curb on the wet earth at a bad angle, and the back end quickly spun out 180 degrees sending my motorcycle to the ground. The mud was like clay making it very difficult to lift the bike. Thankfully, a local saw me squirming in the mud and helped.
Rain at this time of year is unusual and slightly early. Many water crossings had formed. One was a bit hairy. It was reasonably deep—a foot and a half—and the ground was slick. As soon as I felt both wheels squirming underneath me on the slippery surface, I tip toed the bike through the rest. Here's a video that shows this crossing on the route from Loiyangalani to Kalacha.
Approaching Kalacha... more rain! I stopped in the first accommodation that I could find.
Have you ever had that feeling that you've forgotten something? Well, later in the day after leaving Kalacha, I realised that I'd left a set of underwear in Kalacha!
After Kalacha, I rode through the desert en route to Marsabit. This was really good fun. There was no clear track to follow but you could ride anywhere so I just stuck to my GPS.
In Marsabit, I was resting in the centre of town and many locals stopped to chat. I was showing them my video camera attached to my helmet and how it worked. I captured this video, which is a different perspective.
Outside of Marsabit, there's a huge crater next to the road. Further along, on the way to Moyale, I had to negotiate the road with a stubborn camel. After that, the next stop was Ethiopia.
© 2018-2020 Stephen Matthews, Biking Over Yonder