My passport arrived back from South Africa this morning , so it is now official I have all I need to travel non stop and non direct to Italy , so Kenya we are on our way. I just realised Victoria and I have been on the road for over 90 days , it is really hard to believe, it still all feels new and fresh as the day we kicked off . The only difference is I get my camp ready in a tenth of the time and I feel like a road warrior on a scooter.
According to my rough calculations we are not halfway yet in distance and still have six countries to tour , and the days seem to fly by , so I will have to ride a little harder and shorten my stopovers to make time for the rest of Africa.
I have spent the last couple of days in Kampala getting the scooter prepared , doing oil changes to both the engine and the transmission , cleaning the filter and doing a general nut and bolt check . I am hoping to get all the way to Italy with only having to do minor stuff like keeping the filter clean and the oil topped up.
I know a lady never reveals her age , and Victoria being a lady , this holds true for her , but she has no objection to me revealing her mileage , after all it is displayed for the world to see on her dashboard. She passed the 40 000km mark a few days ago meaning that we have travelled just under 12 500 kilometres to get this far , luckily with the only mechanical issue being the bearing way back in Tanzania , it really is amazing what this scooter has pulled off and the kind of conditions she has had to endure .
So with six border crossings under our belt we set off once more for our seventh crossing into Kenya , I have decided to travel through Kenya fairly quickly and will try and get to Ethiopia by next weekend , which I am looking really forward to , for me it seems to be the beginning of a different African experience and a whole new adventure .
With the time out in Kampala and the slowing of the ride it has given me time to reflect back on the journey thus far and if the truth be told it still does not feel real , the experience still so overwhelming with so much to take in that I am still unable to distil my thoughts or experiences for that matter , I still ride wide eyed either with shock or wonder , I might only find some form of clarity once the ride is done , so below are a few random thoughts that have popped into my head while riding .
Africa lives so hard , yet smiles so gently .
The world so complex , yet parts of Africa just focuses on staying alive .
Hard work is a way of life .
Africa touches you with everything she has , no veneer here , the truth walks naked , no place to hide.
The service slower , but the effort renders time irrelevant .
Every country has one of those half naked guys walking next to the Hi Way .
The people , the people , the people , the people , the human spirit is alive and well .
The children , I love the smile , the wave , the sprint , the scream . The simple joy .
Such pride and effort in the roadside markets .
Excitement uncensored and unchecked .
Nothing stops us , we find our own way , obstacles are our way of life.
Not all roads are TAR and not all asphalt are roads .
So Little , So much , so it is.
The human in human spirit .
Some things seem funny yet you cant bring yourself to laugh .
One bicycle holds two scents , one of hard labour the other , the clean freshness of the passenger on her way to church .
Overloading taken to a level of absurdity .
Blood, sweat and tears yet the broadest of smiles .
Gentle so gentle the people , so hard so very hard the life .
I love the way you welcome me and the way you say goodbye .
The outdoor purveyors of fine fresh meat , dressed in white splattered with red .
The acts of kindness just touch your heart .
Inhibitions , a western shackle .
Dress , the vibrant colour of tradition walking the streets .
labour sculpts the youth , but breaks ands bends the aged .
A beard is practical , saves on moisturiser and bugs cant get to your skin , oh and it makes you wiser .
I still get a tight knot in my stomach before the days ride , but now it unwinds faster.
Riding solo no longer feels lonely , just free and epic .
A Journey through Africa changes the shape of your eyes , you see the world differently .
Africa opens your mind , your heart and gifts you with humility .
The scooter amazes me , daily.
Africa Amazes me , daily .
Until we meet again .