ON HER BIKE: KENYA

When I came back from Ethiopian Highlands, Kenya welcomed me with savannas and deserts, which give a completely different feeling. Tourism is blooming here, so the attractive destinations can be quite pricey and crowded, but yet you can still get off the beaten track to be alone with nature.

Kenyan roads are generally in good condition, but they're packed with cars and often unroadworthy trucks so it gets quite frenzy and requires a lot of concentration.

I knew I would reach Kenya during the rainy season, but I could not have imagined how rainy it actually would be. It rains like there’s no tomorrow. And then it stops for a bit and rains again. There’s no get away from it. Riding off-road in such conditions becomes a time-consuming challenge, so I had to change my plans and skip on a few destinations I wanted to visit.
On my way to Nairobi, Mount Kenya was on my must-see list, but unfortunately, it was covered in dark clouds and heavy rain made the roads in the National Parks slippery as ice. Lesson learned - if you plan to visit the national parks, make sure you choose to travel in the dry season.

So my Kenyan experience wasn't about ticking boxes for must-see places, but rather about people I met there. It was one of the most social experiences on my round the world trip. I kept running into adv riders along the way. Hanging out with like-minded people and being able to exchange experiences was priceless. And that's the beauty of solo riding! You're more approachable on your own and it's more likely that you make friends along the way.

By the time I arrived in Nairobi I was halfway through the East Coast of Africa, so my bike was overdue for a major service and new tires. I took Chillie to Jungle Junction which is known for good service. It's a quite special place, real junction for overlanders where they can stay for the night, have their service done, and sort out all the issues on their vehicles. Next proper mechanics can be found in Europe or South Africa depending on the direction you're heading.

Bridgestone came with big help and arranged the shipment of new tires within a few days, but it took about 2 weeks to clear them at the customs. In Africa things often don't go they way we expect, so patience is the key. After many phone calls to the customs office, I finally got my new Battlax Adventurecross!

It was also about time for a bit of relax. There's a point in every traveler's life when you need to stop and recharge the batteries. And I reached that point when I got to Nairobi. As I was waiting for the tires, I had no time to waste, I took a flight to Diani Beach to catch up with my friends and spend splendid days at the coast.

Swimming in a clear warm ocean, walking on soft white beaches and resting in the shade of the palm trees with great company - that's exactly what I needed! Kenyan coast is a real heaven.

After I returned to Nairobi, my host Onder invited me for a small trip to meet Maasai family, that he's been supporting for years. Meeting Maasais in their natural environment and seeing their lifestyle was such an eye-opening experience. A completely different way of life in comparison to any I’ve experienced before. I'll cherish these memories forever.

And finally, once Chillie was fixed up, I could hit the road again. After weeks of socialising I was really looking forward to riding on my own. By that time the rain season was over, so I could finally go off the beaten track, camp wherever I felt like, swim in the hots springs and engage with the locals in remote villages. In the moments like these I feel the most alive!

Once I detoured back to the main road it took only a few kilometers to bump into overland riders. Just like that, on the side of the road. Going the same direction we decided to join forces for a day which turned into a week. And that's how Armin, Rico and I became good mates!

On our last days in Kenya we did some tricky, slippery roads together, camped along the way and had great laughs!

Uganda is next!!

See the other stories about On Her Bike here

 

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