While I don't expect to get much sympathy from my family and friends back home who are probably in work or studying readiung this while, I am off travelling. But I'm sure anyone who has done this journey will feel sorry for me given that I felt like s**t for most of it.
I was up at 5.30 a.m. on the first day and caught a minibus from Dilla to Hagre Maryam, where I changed on to a bus to Moyale. This journey took about 10 hours. Moyale is a town split by the border between Ethiopia and Kenya. The only conceivable reason anyone would ever visit here is to cross the border by land.
I got stamped out of Ethiopia and made my way over the border and applied for my Kenyan visa. This was all fine until they wouldn't accept my $ bill as it was too old. I had to trek into town in the middle of the afternoon sun, with a 'helper' in toe, get some money out, change it to dollars and go back and pay. This would have been annoying if I was in full health, but felt like one of the worst
Finally in Kenya, I checked into the Sherif hotel and a cockroach infested room. I only discovered that night when I tried to sleep just how many there were flying about the room. I maybe got 2 hours sleep and was awoken by one of the loudest calls to prayer I have heard yet. I was getting up at 5.30 a.m. anyway to catch the 6 a.m. Roha bus to Nairobi.
The road from Moyale to Nairobi is known as the worst in Africa. I haven't been on enough to judge whether this is true, but it certainly is the worst I have been on. I did get kind of lucky, as I was given a seat in the cab with the driver, which I shared with an Ethiopian girl with no English. It was a little more confortable than the back, even if the conversation didn't exactly flow.
We didn't leave Moyale until about 7.30 and it was lashing rain when we did. This meant that some parts of the 'road' were getting completely flooded and we were lucky to get through at all. After a few hours, we stopped for food. I still
wasn't feeling great so didn't get anything and after about 8 hours we reached Marsabit.
There had been fairly regular check points along the road until this point, as there has been a history of shiftas or bandits attacking trucks on this road. However, a couple of hours later, we came across a dead cow on the road behind an empty truck. Everyone got off our bus to check what had happened. As no one in my cab spoke much English, the only word I could understand was shifta and I realised the cow had been shot. I also saw a bullet hole in the windscreen of the stopped truck, roght about where I was sitting. We began to travel in convoy after this and I was fairly relieved that our windscreen was bulletproof.
We stopped again a few hours later just before Isiolo, where I braved some food. I got talking to a volunteer with the MSF who spoke very good English and he toldme the shiftas had taken 21 cows from the previous truck, but that no one was hurt. Shortly afterwards, we reached the sealed road and it was just as well, considering it had
The rest of the journey was fairly unremarkable except for coming across two elephants wandering along the side of the road. There was also a check point, where the police insisted on 100 Kenyan Shillings from every Ethiopian on board. I have no idea why this was, as they seemed to have valid visas in the passports, obviously just some good old fashioned African corruption. We arrived in Nairobi about 24 hours after leaving Moyale and I got a taxi to my hostel, had a shower and went to sleep.
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