Day 144: Climbing above the Rift Valley, The Kenyan Lakes, Tea Plantations and then Kisumu, on Lake Victoria

"Into Africa" More than a Motorcycle Adventure
Howard Fairbank
Thu 26 Sep 2013 05:17

00:05.48S 34:45.13E




Early breakfast and then I decided to rely on my gut feel to get me out of Nairobi. My map book didn’t have a detail map of Nairobi, and I didn’t have a gps map, and I don’t use my phone and google maps….. Gee, he is really old school hey??? No, just pedantic about SIMPLICITY…!


Nairobi is a big place with quite a complex highway / road system. Anyway, I didn’t get one turn wrong, and once on the road I thought I needed to be on, I finally pulled up at a familiar looking Engen service station and asked the ‘spunky’ promotions lady whether this WAS the road? Yes, it was, and although a small thing, I did feel happy with my gut feel for leading me the right way.


Soon climbing up the valley face of the Great Rift Valley, giving me spectacular views across the lakes and beyond.


I was in two minds as to whether I take the much longer route that would enable me to explore Lake Victoria, or I just take the shortest route to Uganda. I decided on the former, and well, it did end up being a very long, but interesting route, some of it through the extensive tea plantations of this area.  Quite a few people interactions, and I got caught in the 2pm thundershowers, that I was told are almost every day this time of the year. Just lasted 40 minutes or so…….


I finally made it to Kisumu, which was a big dustbowl, busy and spread out, but I wanted to get to the lake shore. I found a reasonable, hotel, not too far from the lakeshore, the only problem I found out later was they were Muslim and there was no alcohol served……They were very friendly people, and helped me by allowing me to park my motorcycle in the restaurant on closing… I didn’t feel it was safe outside around here….


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Around 7pm the heavens opened up and for the next two hours the rain came down like I never experienced before, and I have experienced some serious rainstorms before….


I had a Lake Victoria Talapia, done in a special tomato sauce, and served with a spinach like green. 


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27 Sept by diary…..


Tortuous route there, road works, dirt roads fierce storm, rain jackets,

That huge storm,


Run in the morning, decisions