Day 143: Big Bad Nairobi.....

"Into Africa" More than a Motorcycle Adventure
Howard Fairbank
Wed 25 Sep 2013 05:16

01:15.42S 36:49.19E




A big day’s riding today. From Arusha to Nairobi. Not such a big distance, but lots of different terrain, a border crossing, then dealing with the traffic chaos on entering Nairobi, finding a place that had a new front tyre for my bike, and exploring Nairobi for a reasonable, yet half descent place to stay overnight. I wanted to be in and out of Nairobi as fast as possible.


The ride to Namanga was very pleasant, real east African savannah, and there was a lot of wildlife either side of the road. I even stopped to inspect a hyena killed by a motor vehicle on the road.


I had a great brunch at a local guest house at Namanga, before stepping into the customs and immigration procedures. I couldn’t believe how much Namanga had grown since 2007.


It all worked out well, largely thanks to a guy I met at the Yamaha dealer that I just stumbled on early on the snail pace journey into the CBD. He was also on a motorcycle, but a small, versatile, 125cc. He volunteered to take me to the place where I’d get the right tyre. Well I followed this guy weaving in and out of seriously thick traffic, that had no respect for motorcyclists. All in all it maust have taken us almost an hour, till we arrived at exactly the place I needed, and apparently the only place that had the tyres I needed.


It was 5 days after the Westgate shooting so Nairobi’s people were still in a state of shock, and the mood was very sombre.  Tourist traffic was right down, and the people in that industry were worrying when the skies would clear and the tourists would be back…..


While walking around the CBD, waiting for my bike tyre to be changed I passed the Nairobi University, a sizeable and impressive looking institution, and as I looked into one of the entrances I saw a sign that said:  “This is a corrupt free zone” !  Makes you wonder whether everywhere else is corrupt, and ‘approved’ as an area where corruption is OK?


I’d achieved the objective for Nairobi, found an, OK place to stay, that was part of a casino and night club…..