We reached Nairobi, my hometown, yesterday. My, how it has changed even from my last visit in 2005. It has improved vastly in its cleanliness and efficiency. We rode in on a new multi-lane highway called the Thika Highway, and it rivalled some of the roads in Toronto. The Kenya Government is obviously spending a lot of money in improving the infrastructure of the country and I hope it will bring in more tourism and stability to this nation.
This part of Africa is very different from what we have come through. When I was last here, I made the mistake of comparing Kenya to Canada. Of course, with this type of comparison, Kenya seemed like it was on its way down. I now know differently. When compared to the countries we have come through so far, Kenya is a modern nation with emphasis on work, education, and health. I am once again proud to say I am Kenyan born. Once we crossed the border at Moyale, I saw countless numbers of school children in clean uniforms on their way to school. In fact, even the smallest of villages seemed to have at least two schools each. This was not the case in Ethiopia….nor Sudan…nor Egypt.
We did have to transfer by bus for about 160km through Isiolo, as the TdA was concerned about the possibility of attacks by bandits if we rode through on our bicycles. However, as that patch sitll had some terribly rough roads, most of us did not mind piling on to a local bus for the day. The banditry in this area is largely over theft of livestock between different tribes, however, last year there were some violent incidents involving some of the cyclists.
I have received some news of some violence in Nairobi yesterday…so I am staying away from the central part of town. Indeed, I am parked on the floor of the Galleria Mall in Karen (sp?), which is a lovely suburb past the Nairobi Airport, on Langata Road. It is a brand new mall and yesterday I had a lovely dinner here with Walter and Ton…and we polished off two bottles of South African wine! BTW…Ton has lost 22kg and Walter, 10kg. My weight is down by 3kg!
I feel like I am on new planet at the moment…sitting on a marble floor, having had a hot shower last night and the use of an actual flush toilet that works! Woo-hooo!!! Our tour director says that it is “easy-peasy” from here on down to Cape Town. That is an exaggeration I am sure, but it certainly is starting to feel a little more holiday like!