Jan 22, 2005
The plan: I always thought of Africa as dangerous and adventurous. To my surprise East Africa turned out to be touristy and expensive. After a bit of a disappointing time on safari with couples in matching "safari" outfits, I decided that I needed to seek out some real adventure. I looked at a large map of Kenya and found a little road heading into Ethiopia. I pulled out my Lonely Planet at the road was not mentioned (as a matter of fact, the entire northwest of Kenya only rates a couple of pages in the guidebook). That seemed like the road for me.
"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
I spoke with the Ethiopian consul and he said that the border was open. Apparently, it's only been open for 6 months. That was it - I had a plan: Nairobi to Lodwar, and then Lodwar to Ethiopia. I was just missing small bits of info like how dangerous the route was or if there was any transport.
I spent my final morning in Nairobi in a mad dash. I had to post a couple of final pre-adventure journal entries and do some shopping. I was told that the last bus for Eldoret left at 1pm and there was no way that I wanted to be trapped in Nairobi for yet another day. A bit stressed out and tired, but equipped with all the necessary adventure supplies (water, bread, rehydration salts and chocolate) I went off in search of a bus.
Shared taxis to Eldoret leave from near River Road. River Road is the notoriously dangerous part of Nairobi. But after two months in "Nairobbery" I still hadn't been robbed. I couldn't imagine starting a grand adventure by chickening out and taking a taxi a half-mile through the bad part of town. So, I lugged my backpack, laptop and camera and all, out to the shared taxi stand. Without incident, I found a seat and finally had a chance to relax.
For my last week in Nairobi I'd been dealing with the chaos and stress of a dead laptop. Once the bus left, I finally had a chance to reflect upon two months in Nairobi.
Had I made a conscious choice, there is no way that I would have spent two months in Nairobi. I don't even like Nairobi. The town isn't particularly interesting and the food is bad. However, I needed to recuperate from stomach problems and after a year of traveling needed to recharge my batteries. The backpacker's guesthouse was a good place to recover and re-motivate. It felt like a family. There was a DVD player, and I made some good friends there.
Parts of the road between Nairobi and Eldoret were like a mini-safari. We drove past zebras and baboons. Twice before I'd been on this road, but this was the first time I'd done it during the day and seen the animals.
Then we climbed into the hills. Up in the mountains, breathing the fresh mountain air it felt really good to be leaving Nairobi. This area is famous for having the training center for the Nairobi runners - many of the best marathoners in the world train up here. The mountains, trees and fresh air were a nice momentary treat, but I know that tomorrow I'll be down in the sweltering pit around Lake Turkana.
Leave a comment! I'm much more inspired to write when I know people are reading.
Glad to see you back, I was starting to think that perhaps the vultures were circling.
No... I'm fine. Though in some of the areas that I had to cross vultures looked like a real possibility. :-)
Ben Katz - Apr 11, 2005
Adam -- good to see you back on the road & posting again.
Kris Barger - Apr 11, 2005
Hey! I'm always jealous of your adventures. Im in Haifa still... Studying your crazy cousins and learning The Language. Trying to do a study on the excessive use of hashish among young people over here and link it to Intifada related PTSD... trying to squeeze in short (and tame) adventures in the mean time...
A nice Southern girl traveling the world and living in Israel is pretty wacky and crazy too. Enjoy!
Though I'm pretty sure that drinking and drugs are just part of the Jewish culture - nothing at all to do with post traumatic stress disorder.
Bob Eson - Apr 11, 2005
Hey Adam, glad to see you're off again. What date did you actually leave Nairobi? This journal entry is currently dated one day after your last one. I'm looking forward to reading the next stages of your adventure. Good luck, and watch out for those parasites!
Sometimes the date refers to the date that an entry was posted. Other times the date refers to the date when events happened. I've never found a way to be consistent as different dates make sense in different cases.
But sometimes... as in the case of the "Unf*cking believable" post, the date is just wrong. It's been fixed now. I actually left Nairobi on January 22.
Michelle - Apr 11, 2005
Glad to see you are back on line, I was just thinking about what had happend to you yesterday and now here you are.
Can't wait to read more.
Michelle from (ex) Sapient IT
abby - Apr 12, 2005
how are things?
i saw the journal of Nairobi it is very interesting am real like and appreciating of it keep more efforts back to Arusha we are just fine and the weather is very nice than you left we have some rains and sun seassons.
keep on touch
Hilde - Apr 12, 2005
It's nice to hear from you again. I'm glad you're still alive.
- Apr 12, 2005
Good to have you back Adam, keep it going and good luck.
Greetings from Egypt,
Simone - Apr 14, 2005
awesome to hear from you again. I hope you enjoy Ethopia. I heard it's beautiful.
Jlio R. Neto - Apr 23, 2005
I read this post after reading your adventures in Lodwar, Lokichoggio, and the non-mans land to Ethiopia. Good to have you back! Fascinating! Julio
barce - Apr 29, 2005
Hey, your journal is my Friday evening. I can't think of anything better to do. :)
Oh come on Jim, you live only a couple of blocks from Murio's Trophy Room. But, I guess that seedy pool halls are more my scene than yours.
vicki - Oct 26, 2005
Prue Birdling - Dec 19, 2005
Hi Adam....trying to rough plan a backpacking trip from Nov to mid Jan 2006/7 to Rwanda, Uganda, now I am interested in Ethiopia too....was thinking of flying into Nairobi and going from there....was also thinking of a safari....any ideas?? how long did the road trip take from Nairobi to Ethiopia? I am mature aged and have done a lot of solo backpacking....do you consider it reasonably safe?.....to do what i want to do i may need much more time or fly between destinations......can you tell me the name of the backpacker hostel you used in Nairobi and any others you can recommend.....sorry lots of questions but any info i would more than appreciate
seth - Dec 29, 2006
thats great.you gave me areal pic of your adventure.
tare - Aug 29, 2007
is very interesteing paragraph. readind about my village gives me today great plesure in europe. i want all visiters to do the same and you are the model,great.
all the best
Tessa - Dec 09, 2007
I like this blog! Keep it up :)