Today we have to ride 129 km, with 1130 meters of climbing but 1260 down.
The motorbikes continued racing up and down road until about 10:30 pm but after that it was thankfully quiet for the rest of the night.
The riding was good in the morning, apart from one sandy stretch where we had to walk for about 800 meters.
There are some decent downhills following the uphill’s today which always make the day seem faster and is certainly easier.
The children are already heading to school at 6:30 when we generally leave camp. Stevie, the driver of the big truck who comes from Tanzania, says lots of schools have two sessions a day so children can go to one session and still help on the farm.
As usual so many small children and the locals are generally friendly.
The road has become more narrow and now we have to get out of the way of motorbikes frequently, as well as the occasional trucks and buses.Clint, the rider who fell the first day out of Nairobi, is still not getting any better and is going ahead to Mbeya to be seen by the hospital.
After lunch the road was pretty shitty most of the 50 km to camp. There were long sandy sections where you had to get off and walk, plus uneven surfaces where you were constantly slipping against the rock, and constantly changing the side of road to try and find a better path. I nearly came off numerous times.
We stopped at a town 22 km before camp to have a cold drink. Brett left his sun glasses in his helmet while we were having the drink. The loud friendly locals distracted us and we took our eyes off our bikes, which we think was the ploy as when we got back to our bikes Brett’s riding glasses were gone.
The last 20 km was ugly. It was very hot, I was tired, and there was a very uneven surface with hills and at times sand. It took two hours with an average speed of about 8 Km, with some faster down hills.
I was very pleased to get to camp. There must have been about 250 children and locals lined up around the camp mostly keeping behind the string barrier.One of the locals was selling warm beer and another was selling buckets of water. I got my bucket of water and sat outside my tent and washed my hair, arms, and legs – no more showers over long drops for me. Baby wipes for the rest.
I went behind the barrier to talk to the children and nearly got mobbed. I had them trying to climb onto me and one boy was even trying to kiss my neck. Dinner tonight is white rice, tomatoes and onion salad, and tough beef. I have told Errol the chef that I am a vegetarian from now on, so will see how that goes. After dinner one of the riders Ashley, who is a geologist, gave a talk on the geological history of the place and the rift valleys which was interesting.
Not a good sign: it’s Friday night and there is really loud music playing on the road outside the camp, plus motorbikes racing up and down. I feel this does not bode well.