First of all I would like to apologise for how late this blog is being posted. The trip is has been a big learning curve and trying to find time to sit and write my blog posts has been difficult. However, I am now well into the swing of things so I would like to try and post at least one blog post a week now. I hope you enjoy this piece about my travels and cycling in the country of Kenya.
I landed in Kenya late in the evening of the 3rd March and was driven to a friends house who where hosting me for the night. Thanks Emma and Simon! A good night's sleep was followed by a long journey to the Ol Pejeta Conservancy (OPC) in Nanyuki, the starting point of my trip. One of the charities I am cycling in aid of, The Real World Conservation Trust, helped provide a dog the anti poaching dog squad team in Ol Pejeta. Furthermore, Ol Pejeta conservancy is home to the last northern white rhino's in the world so it was the perfect place to start my cycle.
Whilst staying at OPC I was spoilt with lovely accomodation, great food and I was even taken on three game drives with the Ol Pejeta guides. The day before I left I spent the morning with the OPC marketing team taking photos with the dog squad, the rhino's and being interviewed for a short film. One of the dogs at OPC is a spaniel called Drum from Norfolk! This dog was funded by the Real World Conservation Trust explorers against extinction campaign in 2017.
That evening I was treated to a night game drive where I was lucky enough to spot 4 lions! I would just like to say a huge thank you to the team at Ol Pejeta Conservancy for such an incredible experience. I could not have had a better send off for my trip. The following day I woke early, had a very large breakfast and then hopped onto my awesome Temple Adventure Disc bike and started the short cycle to Cape Town...
The first couple of hours on the bike were absolutely awful! My fitness was poor, it was VERY hot and the road was dirt and loose gravel which made for very hard cycling and a lot of falls. I think the bike with all the kit must have weighed around 70kg and if you add my weight to that, it's an awful lot to pedal up the hills. Looking back at it, the first day was actually relatively flat but the small rolling hills that did exist felt particularly awful as a result of the poor gravel roads and my lack of fitness. At about 11am I reached a very small town where I grabbed some water and sat with some locals wondering why on earth I am doing this. Only 30km into an 8000km expedition and I was ready to ditch the bike and take the bus... Fortunately my spirit was soon lifted after setting off and coming across some wild camels crossing the road. The feeling of determination had returned! The day got better with a lovely lunch which comprised of goat, rice and goat brain soup (the soup did not taste nice, I do not recommend... ) after a long afternoon of continuous climbing on dirt roads with loose gravel I reached a local hotel where I had planned to stay for the night. The room was not like your average travelodge. But there was a bed and a hole (the toilet) and I didn't care, I was already asleep.
The next few days involved some pretty tough cycling as I dipped up and down over the rim of the Great Rift Valley, however I was rewarded with stunning views, waterfalls, camping on farms, and my first Kenyan beer!