Enroute to Nairobi

It is seven O’clock in the morning; the air is crisp and moist in Bungoma.  It had rained during the night, and having fallen into a deep slumber, I had known nothing of it.  What an unholy way to sleep!  It had surprised me that if someone had stolen Scorpion, I would have woken up to a grave crisis.  And moreover, the unimaginable might have happened.  Needless to say, I was so tired that when I hit the sack, I had simply passed out.  But, the good news was that I was so refreshed and in a great spirits, which was good for riding.   I had a long day ahead of me.
Ready to Go

Scorpion was laden, refuelled and ready to go.  I decided as it had become my custom to find Simone who was the night duty attendant at the petrol station to bid him farewell.  We exchanged email addresses.  I also begged him to accept a token of appreciation from me, which he did reluctantly.  He said he would keep me in prayers.   With the last farewells, I departed. 

This was going to be a hard ride, but I gently eased myself into it.  This route towards Nairobi forms part of the great North Road; it is a very busy road.  It has also another reputation, vehicle carnage.  It was the more reason that I rode with all my guards on.   My preference would have been to ride through to Arusha (Tanzania), but that was easier said than done.  I decided to take a mile at a time.
The Virgin Bride On the Day I Collected Her

As I rode, I thought about Scorpion.  She was a good bike with a solid bulletproof 650 cc motor.  She had come more than 5500kms, she had tumbled over 15 times, but apart from a shattered wind screen, and a broken handguard, she was rock solid and still going strong.  I couldn’t but love her.  The more I rode her, the more I fell in love with her.  In areas of sand and mud she was deemed heavy, but in on a paved road, she cruised effortlessly.  In South Africa, if you rode a BMW, a KTM or a Ducati, you had “the” bike.  If you rode the DL 650, no one gave you as much as a glance.   In other words, the DL was an underrated bike.  I had spent a year researching on a suitable bike to undertake this adventure.  I had read and reread all kinds of reviews on the DL.   The facts spoke for themselves. The DL 650 was undoubtedly the most suitable bike.  Even the yellow colour was a matter that was weighed carefully.  My reasoning was that it was more visible and it was chosen specifically for reasons of conspicuity.  With these thoughts, I covered many miles.

Meanwhile, I stopped once to stretch and again at Nakuru for Lunch and to replenish my water stock.   As I rode on toward Nairobi, I mused over the first time I had come to this city in 1981 to visit my uncle.  In those days, Nairobi was the most sophisticated metropolitan city in East Africa: A city of culture: fashion and music; business, very tall modern shinning buildings, the best paved roads.  The entire city exuded glamour and refinement.  Coming from rural Uganda, all these things were breath taking and a source of great wonderment.  For a naive youngster like me, it came as a shock when I greeted a man standing on a Nairobi street who responded aggressively by asking me: “why are you greeting me; are you a thief?”  This profoundly perturbed me and offended my cultural sensibility.  Where I come from, my people will greet you even if they don’t know you; more so youngsters are expected to greet those who are older.  What wrong had I done!  Even though I was a kid I also had my pride.  I still shake my head at the thought of this event and feel the chill run down my spine.   Every time I have thought of this experience in my adult life, I have attributed it to the proliferation of individualism in its most corrupt and extreme form.   It is a cancer that is eroding “Ubuntu”.  It is has been reduced to a shell or a mere theoretical construct. An instrument used to control the African mind.
First Stop Enroute to Nairobi

Well, I reached Nairobi around 2pm.  My deepest desire was to continue to Namanga and into Tanzania, but I decided to catch up with my Jesuit friend, Fr. Josephat Kabutta who was my host for the remainder of the day.


Popular posts from this blog

Johannesburg to Kampala Solo on Vstrom 650.

Dar es Salaam the Good, the Bad, the Ugly

An End to a Beginning.