19 Mar Meltdown Madness
There was some excitement leaving Addis Ababa. At this stage I can say (like a real world traveller), that there is always some excitement leaving one country to go into the next. After all the negative things that happened in Ethiopia I would like to have left the country on a positive note. Unfortunately that didn’t happen. The last days in Ethiopia were even worse as people got really aggressive and annoying.
Seeing the Kenyan border in Moyale was a great feeling of relief. I will however, remember Ethiopia for its beauty and some of the best cycling I have ever done.
Entering Kenya was like entering a different planet – friendly faces and friendly people, helpful people that don’t beg. But typically in the African tradition I got ripped off 2 hours after entering Kenya. But as an African I realised it very quickly and returned to the simcard vendor to tell him what I think of him in my strongest Afrikaans accent. It went like this: “Listen here my bru, I am African as well. I know how this place operates. You are a crook! I am not stupid. T.I.A. my bru…T.I.A. This is Africa…I am not stupid…” – like it was straight out of the movie Blood Diamond. I got every shilling back that he stole from me.
Continuing through Kenya I realised this is a great country that uses it’s potential. There are schools everywhere. The fruit is the best I have ever had, especially the mangoes.
We were escorted most of the time by Kenyan police and it was only later that I really realised that Kenya is not safe at all at the moment with far right religious groups killing people. Two days after we left Kenya a whole group of Christians were killed in the east. It sent shivers down my spine.
The hardest part of Kenya was the area before and after Marsabit. Lava rock, a desert of lava rock. Mentally and physically it was a challenge. Literally just sand and black pieces of rock and as in Sudan, the heat increased and we had to endure challenging winds. It was great riding into Nanyuki where the climate changed and where there is more vegetation and lush forests. The highlight of this section was crossing the equator. It was an amazing feeling to know that I have travelled so far on a MTB in the Northern Hemisphere and had now entered the Southern Hemisphere. It was wonderful and the sense of achievement was great. But, we’re not halfway yet…
Nairobi was our next rest day. I felt excitement as we were nearing Tanzania and also the end of The Meltdown Madness. Entering Tanzania and the Arusha I had this great sense of feeling at home…I could stay in Tanzania forever. It’s like South Africa on steroids. Wild, beautiful and untamed. The land of Kilimanjaro, the Serengeti and wonderful people.
The Meltdown Madness section had its challenges as I struggled with flu and a stomach bug for most of the section. I managed to hang on by focusing on the task at hand, working alongside my competitors, and I never stopped. Not once did I stop, no matter how slow I went.
What I have learnt in The Meltdown Madness section:
- If you want to be successful, surround yourself with like-minded and successful people.
- Sometimes you have to work alongside your competitors.
- However slow you go, NEVER EVER stop.
- FOCUS on the task at hand.
- Reward yourself.