Take it easy… but fast (1)

Read / lees in : Nederlands

Lake Turkana - Kenya
This is about as dangerous as it got.

Especially because I’d read everywhere that it was really difficult and definitely not without danger to drive along Lake Turkana – instead of using the new tarmac road – from Kenya to Ethiopia, I wanted to go to Ethiopia. The warnings were so serious that this time I did inform Lucía upfront. So ‘together’ we decided that we’d only do it if we could travel together with other travelers. Because of the extreme nature of the warnings within the community all other overlanders had the exact same idea. Organising a Jan from Germany, a Benedikt from the UK and a Gerry from Australia to travel with was therefore as easy as one two three. Food and water for a month was bought, tanks and jerrycans were filled to the rim, we they let some air out of the tyres, some repairs were made to their Toyota Landcruiser – after all those things always have some problem – and I was asked to load airtime on my sat phone for the very likely possibility something would go wrong. Or in short: we were scared to death.

Take it easy… but fast

Lake Turkana / Kenya
Shorts vs. trousers, Toyota vs. Kia. The difference between tourists and pros in one image.

We had agreed to meet in Archers Post because up to there it’s all tarmac road and we all assumed even a Landcruiser could make it there. From there we’d drive off into the bush together. Up to that moment we had mostly been in touch online through WhatsApp and Messenger. So that evening in Archers Post was the first time we all sat together with a beer discussing the plans and getting to know each other. That night we heard for the first time that Benedikt had booked a flight from Addis Abeba because he was going to attend some wedding back home. That meant that ‘we’ were in a hurry, while we thought we could take it easy. After all we’re old farts taking it easy gives a higher chance to successfully complete tricky off-road stretches. On top of that we turned out to differ from opinion on practically every subject you can think of. So around the campfire it was going to be a hell of a fight very interesting to say the least. Nervous as hell we drove off the next morning

Much ado about nothing

Sibiloi NP / Lake Turkana / Kenya
Once in a while we find ourselves in pretty nice places.

The first day we drove up to Loiyangali on the South East bank of Lake Turkana. Up to there the roads were of excellent quality. Even with tarmac stretches and without the deep rivers for which we had been warned. In town there was a wide range of decent hotels, so right there and then I seriously doubted if this was going to be as hard as we were promised. Nonetheless we were ready and packed to leave at eight am the next morning so we’d have more than enough time to deal with any problems we’d might run into that day. Our travel mates apparently were no longer in a hurry because in the end we left town almost at eleven ‘o clock. Although the roads proved to be in excellent condition, and the various tribes in the region apparently were nog waging war on each other over fishing rights in the lake, we arrived at our campsite in Sibiloi NP at dusk because of our late departure. We set up our tents in the dark and started our heavy drink heavily fired up the barbecue. So far so good….

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