After cruising through Zambia and Tanzania along the trucking and train routes, we arrive in Kenya, crossing in the far South East corner of the coastline, after a long beach walk that ended with me falling off a rocky cliff and a mild concussion.
I’m still a bit sore and walking is painful on my cut up feet. Jordan has kindly taken some of my stuff, as he has a bigger pack, so I can’t complain too much.
That said, when he and Don and suggest getting cheap bicycles to cross a section of Kenya, I’m not in the mood. But they convince me quickly, mainly because my ego isn’t about to say I’m not up to it.
Our first task is making them rideable with the backpacks. Jordan’s choice is a ridiculous bike, but nonetheless helpful. It’s a three wheeler, with a grotesque looking cage at the back. It’s slow and has no gears or any worthwhile features. These are old bikes, but at least he’s able to take his own bag as well as Don’s, which will free him up to film.
My bike is an epic, elegant, old-school yellow back-break bicycle, topped with an amazing pair of shimmering tassels. It’s glorious, yet we have to make some small alterations. Mainly, attaching a wooden board behind the seat which I can in turn strap my bag to. It’s not a proper cycling rig and so I’m a bit top heavy, but we’re not rushing anywhere with Jordan’s absolute donkey wagon, so it’ll do the trick.
It’s slow travel, and the wind is against us almost the entire time, but the weeks that proceed are some of the best of the trip. We can suddenly go wherever we want – we have wheels. It’s just fast enough to feel like you’re moving, but slow enough to see ecerything. Best of all you can stop whenever you want. It’s also the perfect speed for human interaction and so we’re blessed with some of our best moments of our journey, as we continually bump into people and are invited in for meals or a bed for the night.
In the end I’m thankful for my ego, and once again another thing is added to the ‘to do travel list’ – a long cycling trip. At least 3 months I tell myself.