parallax background

The long way home

Jincheng JC200
10 September 2020
By Abdi Zeila, posted on AMD fb

Marathon run, from the western rainforest to the northern deserts

Kakamega – Garissa

in one day (920 kilometers)

Route: Kakamega-Webuye-Eldoret-Iten-Kabarnet-Marigat-Nakuru-Nyahururu-Nyeri-Sagana-Kutus-Embu-Mwingi-Garissa

Solo ride
Refueling stops: Kabarnet, Embu
Fuel consumption (average): 21.5 kilometers per litre

About the route: Took me from 1,800 m above the sea level (ASL) upwards to 2,700 m ASL and then all the way down to 30 m ASL.

The Kakamega-Webuye section is in very good condition.

Very beautiful highway for riding – if you avoid hitting the harambee bumps, that is. A final layer is asphalt is being added by the contractor. When finished and marked, with its wide sweeping curves, this will be a great highway for fast riders.

Webuye-Eldoret road as usual was full of trucks.

You can only manage an average speed of about 60 kph. In my early morning ride, I had to avoid jaywalkers and drunk fellas zigzagging their way across the road. I arrived to a rousing welcome in Eldoret, organized by that band of brigands also known as “team boda boda”. Their chairman appropriated my bike and asked his flock to take a gazillion photos of him on a beast. I took the cue – and took a photo too. He is in one of the photos below.

Eldoret-Iten-Kabarnet-Marigat highway (the so-called C51) was the star of the course.

Extraordinary switchbacks. Very little traffic. A pitstop in Kabarnet for fuel. Fuel consumption was an extraordinary 22.9 km/L. I galloped on ahead, with a one-hour lunch stop at that small legendary village, Koriema, where the local goat meat delicacy tastes heavenly. There is a great, beautiful place called Koriema Resort. I had lunch of ugali with nyama choma and chilled juice. I gorged myself. Fortified, I took off, on the winding road towards Marigat.

Uneventful lonely ride to Nakuru

and then branched off the highway to Nyahururu. It started rainy, heavily. The GS somehow has a face of protecting the rider from the elements, and I coped well. This stretch of the road (Nakuru-Nyahururu) was the hardest to ride, courtesy of the huge potholes and uneven surfaces. The highway to Nyeri is in good condition, but I easily counted over 30 major potholes coming up dangerously. The drivers on this stretch were the most reckless I have met so far – overtaking on the blind corners without a single pang of conscience. Breathtaking uninhabited land all the way to Mweiga, where human habitation takes over. I could see signs of high-end accommodation, going by the phalanx of signboards.

Another stop in Nyeri for coffee at a total petrol station

I was approached by a middle-aged in cap, who introduced himself as Ismael. The first thing he said was [looking at my bike]: “hii kitu ni kubwa kuniliko mimi”. I answered back: “hapana, ndugu. Kama mimi, mwembamba hivi, nimeiweza, sembuse wewe.” We chitchatted for a while. He drives a 40-year-old (my estimate) Peugeot 504 sedan – albeit well kept. I congratulated him for his obvious TLC of his machine.

I took off and headed on the scenic route out of Nyeri.

I encountered the usual madness in Karatina, but I put on my hazards and lane split until I flushed past the flustered motorists. Took a left turn at Sagana and stopped in Embu for fuel – the fuel warning light had come on, 400 kilometers after the first refueling stop (Kabarnet). I hit the road after ablutions and prayers. It was now heading past 6 pm and I scrammed out of town and zoomed all the way on the winding B5 highway, past the giant hydroelectric power dams. At Kanyonyo, I turned left on the A3 and pushed the machine, keeping a constant 110 kph.

Part of the A3 is under reconstruction and is unmarked

and, potentially, a death trap for riders who do not know the contours and the peculiarities of this artery. Past Mwingi, I opened up the throttle and rode the long way home. Plenty of wildlife on the highway at night – elands, antelopes, hyenas, etc. I arrived in Garissa at 10.00 pm, the body having taken a beating, but safe and sound.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *