Information for cyclists about Sudan
29th of September 2004
Germany, Poland, Hungary, Serbia
The week before we left Berlin was very rainy, but on the day of our
dparture -- September 1st, 2004 the sun came out.
A small group waved good-bye and released us into the great wide world.
First we cycled through the sunny and partly very sandy Brandenburg (Eastern
Germany) along the river Oder.
We crossed the border to Poland at Guben/Gubin and rode through Silesia
towards Wroclaw. After a visit to the nice ancient city
centre we continued to Krakow. We spent a few days there, which gave us the
time to visit the museum of the former concentration camps in Auschwitz
Krakow itself had a beautiful ancient city centre, the impressive Wawel
Castel and an ancient jewish city.
From here we took the train to Budapest, because we wanted to meet our
friend Rebekka, before she returned to Germany. After a
sleepless night in the train we could finally hug Rebekka at the train
station. Mila, a former classmate of Stephan in Freiburg, who is
studying in Budapest for one year, was also there. She offered us to sleep
at her house. For four days we let Budapest put its
impressions on us. We visited the Castle Hill, the famous Chain Bridge, we
browsed through downtown and went out for beers with
the IAESTE-trainees at the Szimpler. On the last day we also visited one of
the really beautiful thermal bathes in Budapest.
In Hungary we spent a lot of time in thermal bathes - the warm water just
feels so good!
Back on the bikes we left Budapes upwards the river Danube. The Danube bend
lies between mountains and has a wonderful
landscape. We went through Visegrad, Estergom and Tata to Gyoer. Gyoer
offered a nice and new thermal bath for us. After Gyoer
we left the Danube and went south towards Lake Balaton. We had heard good
and bad opinions about Lake Balaton. When we got
there at the end of September it seemed to us very dead and lonely.
The way led us further through Kaposvar to Pecs. In Pecs, a Students town in
southern Hungary we were lucky to find a beautiful
gemuetliches appartment for very cheap. Here we felt very well and somehow
the whole city was shining for us. There was a nice city
centre with a festival going on. Here they presented Hungarian traditional
dresses, Wine areas and tasty sweets with a lot of music.
After the culture shock we had to go again to a thermal bath, so we went to
Harkany which is not far away.
From here we cycled through the most southern wine areas of Hungary. The
weather was kind with us and so we enjoyed the beatiful
sunny winehills and wine towns. After this we went towards the serbian
In Herzegszanto / Bracki Breg we crossed the Serbian-Hungarian border. In
the tourist-information of Sombor, our first stop in Serbia
we were laughed at for the question "Do you speak English?". Russian would
have been available. Sombor seemes to be a place
where there are no tourists. The city map we got was printed in 1983.
Anyway, we enjoyed the serbian Cafe-shop culture and the
local bakery products.
The difference to Hungary was obvious. Here we saw begging children for the
first time and you could tell the age of the cars by their
look. However, we had the impression, that the people were doing not too
bad. Later we heard that northern Serbia (Vojvodina) is a
more wealthy area, and the beggars seem to be "just the gypsies".
In Novi Sad, which we reached after a long day full of fields of sweet corn
and the smell of popcorn, we were welcomed by a big open-air festival
with live bands.
The next day we visited the Castle ruin, with a nice view over the Danube
and the City. We saw for the first time the traces of the
Bombing by NATO. The three Bridges which connected the two parts of the city
were bombed. One was kind of fixed, another one
replaced by a ponton bridge and the third one was still broken.
In the mean time we arrived in Belgrade and were welcomed by Moritz and
Katarina (Friends of Magdalena, a friend of Stephan).
Katarina is Serbian and studying in Belgrade. Moritz, her boyfriend is from
Munich and is just visiting her.
We are planning to spend a few days in Belgrade and then we will see how the
trip is going on.
We are happy that we did it that far without any flat tires.
15th of November 2004
Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece
Here is another letter from us. The last time we were writing from
From there we followed the river Danube towards Bulgaria. The river Danube
- at this point very big - squeezes itself through very narrow valleys. This
creates impressing landscapes. We cycled through narrow gorges, that
suddenly opened to wide hilly landscapes and the river Danube becoming
almost a lake. For the first time on our trip we had the feeling to see
something really great.
It was here that we foud our only camping ground in
Serbia. Tourism stopped completely after the bombing by NATO. As a result
most hotels and camping grounds had to close. Although we saw a lot of
industry and other things very run-down, we had the impression that the
country is on its way up.
The Serbs seem to be a very nice people, who like
to invite two Globetrotters for a lemonade, just to find out more - with
hand and foot language - about our trip and our home. We heard very bad
stories about the very hostile outside border of EU-Europe. The German
consulate once didn't want to give Visa to a serbian Family, when a direct
member of the family were being buried in Germany.
Lets talk about our trip again. The weather was getting more and more autumn
with rain, fog and cold temperatures and what also is part of it. For us it
was partly very hard. On the border crossing between Serbia and Bulgaria we
were called "very brave".
When we went up and down all day and couldn't see a bit of the landscape
because of all the fog, we almost wanted to give up.
But the next morning we met Jeroen and Daan from Brussels who are also on
their way with the bicycles. Jeroen wants to go to Bagdad, Iraq and Daan is
on his way to China. You can follow their trip on the internet at
http://users.skynet.be/cycling4peace. Coincidence or not, that morning the
sun came out again. We travelled together for a few days until Sofia. With
the good weather again and nice company we enjoyed a nice valley that led us
with constantly changing impressions to Sofia.
In Sofia we stayed at with an old lady called Milka. Her 10year old
granddaughter Didi tranlated for us with her English that she had learned
form the US-american Cartoon channel "Cartoon Network". Sofia is an
impressing and very lively city. We also noticed more and more
From Sofia we went on to the south, where a big fat Rock called the Rila
mountains was waiting for us. We had the public bus take us up to 1100m, so
we could visit the very interesting Rila monastery. Here the orthodox belief
was kept, like on a small island, while in the whole country life was very
hard for the Christians during communist times. Up in the mountains autumn
was all over, we raced down through colorful Valleys down towards Greece.
Bulgaria had been the poorest country of our trip so far, but despite (or
because of) this the people were very helpful and always friendly.
After crossing the border to Greece we were back in Euro-land, what we
noticed immediately in our purse. However, we were very happy about the warm
Both of us got sick for two days so we had to make a longer stop in
Thessaloniki, which we didn't enjoy too much.
Back on the bikes we passed the Olympus, which was hiding behind clouds. We
didn't see more of this 3000er than shadows through the clouds, although we
were very close to it. We also visited the archaeological sites of Dion. In
ancient times people from all over used to travel here to sacrifice for the
gods of the Olympus.
We could also bathe in the mediterranean sea - no Greek would do this at
that time of the year, but for us it was good. The tourist season was also
over (it is only 3 months long) and so a lot was closed. However we were
welcomed very warm everywhere.
Because we hadn't recovered to 100%, we took a break at the Pilion, a
beautiful mounain on a small peninsula. It is the home of the legendary
Centaurs. We lived at the house of friends of Stephans uncle. They are not
Greek but we were welcomed with the Greek hospitality anyway. In the middle
of olive trees, hiking trips on former transportation paths and, of course,
a lot of sea we could recover very well.
After a few days we did the last part our European trip.
The way led us over the island Evvia, where we had
to fight against wind and high mountains, but where we were also rewarded
with a nice coast line, a long and deep valley and fantastic views. Now we
have arrived in Athens, we stay at a Bakpackers Hostel and try to find a way
to get us and our bicycles to Egypt.
25th of January 2005
Now we have been almost 2 1/2 months in
Cairo, we can
hardly believe it ourselves. Although it was not always easy, the time
passed really fast and we liked it a lot. In the beginning the huge, loud,
dusty and fast Cairo was too much for us. After almost 3 months of
travelling slowly and tranquilly, it was a shock to travel the distance
Athens-Cairo in only 1 1/2 hours and to enter a completely new culture.
Luckily we had someone to go to in the beginning - Sarah, Frieda and Nico -
that was very good! We lived the first weeks at their place until we found
something for ourselves.
We started to look for a practical training and
arabic lessons right away. It was all much easier than we had imagined
before. Cairo seems to have becom a Mekka of the people willing to learn
arabic, and so we had a wide choice of language schools. At the end of the
first week we started our arabic lessons.
For the practical training we had made the first contacs in Berlin already
and we tried to continue at this point. We were welcomed warmly and started
working the next day. All of this turned out to be not too intensive work,
but we had a good time there. Besides two Blockseminars, which we took part
in and a few things we did in the laboratory we drank a lot of tea, talked a
lot and waited a lot.
Besides all the work we were tourist, of course. We tried to discover our
closer and further environment. In the first week we went to the famous
egyptian museum with an incredible mass of exponates stuffed into the
vitrines. We stayed a long time watching the Treasure of Tut-anch-amun.
With Hany, an egyptian friend of us, we went to the ancient islamic Cairo
with its bzars, the holy and very popular Hussein-Mosque and to the Citadel.
We also went to one of these typical tea houses, where you find many old men
sitting, drinking tea, smoking shisha and playing backgammon or dominoes.
Often we just went by ourselves the city to get a feeling of this very
diverse city and its inhabitants. Many times we tried to see more of the
Niledelta. On the second weekend we went with friends to Alexandria. We
walked along the nice sea side, breathed in the fresh air and looked at the
famous library, that had been built in memory of the ancient big library
(one of the world wonders).
With Fritzis Family we went to Ismailija and just last weekend we went with
some friends to Port Said, both are cities at the Suez Canal. There we
watched the big container ships that commute between Europe and Asia. From
Port Said we travelled gemuetlich over the Mansala Lake - with beutiful
weather on the roof of a ferry boat it was such a pleasure.
The whole Nile delta is very green and almost everywhere live people.
After almost four weeks of Cairo we made it to the famous Pyramids of Giseh.
Especially for this trip we took out our bicycles that we rarely used in
Cairo. We went the 16 km toward the edge of the city and suddenly they were
in front of us. The view is breathtaking, amazing an magic at the same time.
We were overwhelmed by the imagination that we were at this very place all
the world talks about and that we have made it to here with our bicycles.
What else can we tell now?
On the on hand we have seen, experienced many things and met nice and
interesting people on the other hand we also had a pretty normal day-by-day
life. Get up in the morning, go to the language school, after this to the
practical training and come home exhausted in the late afternoon. Doesn't
sound too interesting...
Now we have decided to continue our trip by bicycle. We want to go up the
river Nile through Egypt and then on through Sudan, Ethiopia until Kenia.
12th of February 2005
A very diverse country. It
impressed us, surprised us and partly shocked us
During the three months, we spent
in this country, we were able to get a
good impression. On the one hand we actually lived and worked here, on the
other hand we were also good tourists who wanted to see as much as possible.
We talked a lot to Egyptians, but
also a lot about Egypt and were able to
exchange many opinions. For us it was important, to find out about the
pepole, their lives, their ideas, their culture and, by this, also of their
From Cairo we cycled up the river
Nile's valley. It is a completely green
stripe of land inhabited by very nice people. No matter where you go, the
children wave you hello and the adults invite you for a tea or a chat.
In the small village Sheikh Fadl we were even invited to an Egyptian's
house, where we spent the night. They cooked royally for us, and they even
gave us their own bedroom for the night.
In the two weeks after Cairo we
were unfortunately most of the time only
tourists. Stephan said about this:"In Egypt they make tourists of us and we
cannot be just travellers." We di not have the possibility to do and not to
do what we wanted. We had been on our way for only one and a half day, when
the police stopped us and never let us go by ourselves again. They only
wanted to protect us, and therefore only do "something good' for us, that's
what they said. However, nobody understood or even tried to unterstand, that
we didn't want to be protected.
During the three months in Egypt we never felt for one single minute
threatened or afraid. However, that was not the point here. We were probably
even lucky, because we were not kept from cycling up the nile river with our
bikes and we could also do almost eveything we wanted to do.
On the first day after Cairo we
went to Saqqara to visit the Step-Pyramid of
Djoser. It was started as a flat, rectangular building and by the time the
put more flat buildings on top, each one a little smaller. Thus, the
step-pyramid was created and with it, the idea of the pyramid as such.
From a certain point, we were
permanently escorted by police. The escort
consisted of at least one Pickup truck and four policemen. In Minia we were
even protected when we just strolled through the city. We felt very safe
here, because Minia is a very lively, friendly city and for Egypt a very
clean city. There is, like hardly elsewhere here, a beautiful, almost
garden-like Nile-promenade that strongly invites for staying.
From Minia we wanted to go on to
Assiut. The distance was to long for one
day, so we wanted to take a minibus for the last 40 km. That was the
mistake. We had police protection and the whole minibus with all its
passengers had to stop and wait at every police-stop. We were asked the same
questions over and over again, where we wanted to go, what we wanted to do
there, which hotel... There was no understanding for a: "We don't know yet,
we will see."
At the last police stop the situation escalated and we had very hard word
fights with the police. They noticed that we also can be mulish!
We were so annoyed this night that
we almost hadn't had any power left to
visit this nice and beautiful "Terrorist's headquarter" of Egypt. The next
day we went by train, because this day's trip would have been too far.
The one big advantage of this pretended terrorist alert was, that the whole
river Nile valley was pracically without any tourists.
We could visit most beautiful
sights all by ourselves, while in Luxor
thousands of tourists squeeze into even the smallest temple.
In Abydos, for us the most impresive Temple for the god of afterlife,
Osiris, we met Dragan and Milko. They are two Cyclists from Slovenia, who
cycle Egypt for four weeks. We went together to Qena and there we visited
the temple of Dendera. This is a temple for Hathor and was built in the time
of the Ptolemaeans and the Romans. You can tell this from the romans who had
themselves draw here as pharaons and gods.
After this we went with Dragan and Milko on our bicycles to Luxor. Here we
visited together the sights and drank a few beers together. Then we
We were tierd and annoyed of the
police. They took a part of our joy in
Egypt. We spent another day for recreation in Luxor and took the train to
In Assuan we met Paul and Kate, two
cyclists form England, on their way to
Ethiopia. We had heard of them earlier, because they had gone a few days
with Daan and Jeroen (the Belgian guys).
Together we went to Abu Simbel and on Monday (tomorrow) we will go on the
ferry to Wadi Halfa in Sudan.
We had a good time in Egypt, even though it was very exhausting in the end.
Despite that, or maybe because of that it is now good to leave this country
and go on.
10th of May 2005
Sudan and Ethiopia
We are now in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia.
It has been a long time since we left notice of us, so we are doing this
Last time we reported from Assuan, Egypt. After that, we travelled by ship
across the Nasser Lake to Wadi Halfa in Sudan. With us on the ship have been
five other cyclists and also a few other travelers. It was a nice group and
we had a good time.
In Wadi Halfa Kate and Paul (the two English cyclists), Alvaro and Roberto
(two Spanish guys) and us decided to bike together for the first stretch in
From Wadi Halfa it was exciting and very beautiful, but also very
exhausting. Especially Fritzi suffered a lot from the heat. The first 100 km
of the road went far away from the Nile through the desert with no people
and therefore no water. The road was really bad here (corrugated and very
sandy) and so we could only do 40 or 50 km in one day and had to carry water
for two days. All possible obstacles were waiting for us on that road.
After Abri the road goes more or less along the Nile and there are villages
every once in a while where we could get water and food. In this part we got
to know the hospitality of the Sudanese, especially of the Nubians. They are
a very nice people, always smiling and inviting you for almost everything
without being pushy. We rested many times with families and seldom had the
chance to make our own food or tea.
Unfortunately we were persecuted by flies two days after we left Abri. Small
and mean flies that try to get into you ears, nose, eyes and into your
mouth. We don?t know if they really bite or sting, but Fritzi had heavy
allergic reactions to them. She had eczemas all over her face, neck and
arms. The problem was, that, of course, the whole thing itched and the
combination with sweat and dirt was not very good. For a few days it was
really bad. In Dongola we knew a doctor who helped us and gave
Antihistamines and after a little time it got better.
Once we went with a little boat to the other side of the Nile to have a look
at some ruins from pharaonic times. Unfortunately there wasn?t anything to
see. In Dongola, a small Province capital, we tried it again and went to see
the ruins of the temple of Kawa. The knowledge about pharaonic temples we
had gained in Egypt helped us understand what we saw.
In Dongola we stayed for three days and recovered a little bit. We got to
know Abdu, a very nice and interested man. Abdu is actual veterinary but he
also knows about environmental issues. With him and one of his friends we
could discuss German and Sudanese environmental engineering problems.
After that we went for the second part of the trip to Khartoum. In the
beginning there was- since such a long time- a tarmac road. You can?t
believe what a joy it was to fly with wind from the back at 30 km/h through
Unfortunately the joy was not so long, because the tarmac road to Khartoum
is not complete. They want to complete it in the next two years.
South of Dongola civilization goods are a lot more present. The land of the
Nubians is over and the villages become bigger and more often. You notice
how you get closer to the heart of the country.
The last 300km, though, are completely different. After Abu Dom, a town at
the southern bend of the big meander of the Nile we went along the desert
road directly southward to Khartoum. Again, here is almost no life, but
every once in a while a small village or a restaurant so that we had no
problem with water and food.
After three more days of desert we finally made it to Omdurman and Khartoum.
Very exhausted we arrived in the Blue Nile Sailing Club, where Kate and Paul
were waiting for us. We camped directly at the Blue Nile and it was just
like a normal camping vacation.
Bigger Khartoum consists actually of three cities, Khartoum, Khartoum North
and Omdurman. They are separated by the arms of the Nile.
Khartoum itself is a nice African city that is pretty dead in the night.
Most people live in Omdurman, Khartoum North or in the suburbs. We enjoyed
it, to just sit in front o the tent and not to do anything. In the days it
was to hot to do anything anyway. We sat somewhere in the shade and tried
not to move.
With us in Khartoum were two French cyclists, Audrey and Benjamin. Together
with them and with Kate and Paul we made a two day trip by bus to Meroe.
Here was the capital of the ancient Meroitic Kingdom and you can visit the
old Kings? graves. It was very impressing, on a small hill there are about
40 small to medium sized Pyramids. They are much smaller than the ones of
Giza and they are much steeper. Just the setting and the number of them
makes them worth a visit. We found interesting that the Pyramids were not
built by the Kings themselves. A King only built his own grave tombs and his
successor built the Pyramid over the tombs. Many of them are ruins, but they
still are a very impressing picture. We were practically the only tourists
there. The night we spent between the hills under a sky full of stars.
In Omdurman we visited a cemetery where the Sufi dance every Friday before
sunset. They fall from dancing into their prayers when the sun sets. It was
very impressing and looked like a big masses-in-trance-movement.
We also met a nice guy named Midhat in Khartoum. He is the fastest and
craziest cyclist of whole Sudan and helped us and also Kate and Paul a lot
while we were in Khartoum.
From Khartoum we went the next 400 km to Gedaref by bus, because of heavy
traffic on the road. In Gedaref we met Kate and Paul again at the reception
of our hotel. They had left Khartoum before us. Since we would meet again
anyway all the time, we decided to just travel together again to Gondar in
Ethiopia. This was the final destination of them both, they wanted to arrive
there end of March. Along the way to the Ethiopian border the countryside
became greener and hillier.
It was a strange feeling, a new country again, everything different.
Different people, different customs and above all a new language. In Arabic
we were getting along quite well after 4 months of language practice and
language courses, but now we were completely speechless illiterates again.
Amharic belongs to the same language family as Arabic and also Hebrew, but
it is still completely different and also has this crazy script?
At this border we felt a very hard change. From the very Islamic Northern
Sudan with its very friendly and helpful people to the very open and loud
Christian Ethiopia with no sense for a private sphere. We were surrounded
all the time by at least 20 people. Most of the times it?s the children and
they always want something from you, and if it?s only your attention. Here
most people are not unfriendly, but they are far too obtrusive. In Contrast
to the proud Sudanese the Ethiopians show open and conscious poverty and
frailty to attract pity and profit from it. They beg wherever possible and
when there is a white person around even normal people become beggars.
After three days of riding in Ethiopia we had to stop in a small village
called Aykle. Stephan got 40 degrees of fever directly after arrival and so
we visited the doctor. After a thorough examination of the probes with
microscope and candle light the doctor found Malaria, Typhoid fever and
Amoebic dysentery. That was a shock! Stephan had to take medicine all day
and was in bed for five days. After that, he was doing a lot better, only a
little weak. During that time, Kate was doing worse and worse, Diagnose was
Typhoid fever and Amoebic dysentery. Therefore, we spent a ?nice? week with
the four of us in Aykle.
After that we could finally go to Gondar, where there was a big Welcoming
for Kate and Paul. We got to know their families here, and discovered Gondar
and the region with them. On our program was also a Hiking trip in the
Simien mountains. Together with Flip, a Cyclist form Holland we went to the
mountains. We did a incredibly impressing 6-day-hike. We went along the
escarpment of a high plateau of 3000m to 4000m altitude and had most
impressing views on a completely different mountain setting about 1500m
below. There were also an impressing fauna with many endemic species. This
trip was quite an experience, we recommend it to everyone who happens to be
in this area.
In the mountains we met Daniel a, Cyclist from Sweden and Jan, a
photographer from the Czech Republic. Jan later bought a horse to ride on it
through Ethiopia. Daniel and Flip went with us on the way to Addis Ababa. We
split somewhere in between but also met again in Addis Ababa. Somewhere on
the way, in Bahir Dar at Lake Tana Fritzi became ill. For three days she lay
in bed very weak with fever and dysentery.
Another problem in Ethiopia is the non-existent hygiene. In Sudan we didn?t
have any problems, although we drank the untreated Nile water like everyone
else. Here in Ethiopia we had smaller and bigger problems quite often.
After Fritzi got better, we left towards Addis Ababa again. For nine more
days we were cycling through the mountains of Ethiopia. The landscape was
really beautiful, but apart from that it was sometimes very hard. Children
and also adults were pressing us very hard sometimes. Villages generally
seem to be on the slopes, we can only go slow and everyone comes and runs
behind, in front and next to us and shouts ?Give me??. They only want to
have, whatever it is, money, pens, water bottles?A few times we were thrown
stones at and we were also threatened to be hit with sticks. But we arrived
well in Addis and enjoy city life a little.
The weekend before last we went with Daniel to Awash National Park. We did a
small safari with animal watching, very nice thing for a change. Back in
Addis we tried to get all the things done that pile up with the time. Last
weekend we were invited by Fidel, an Ethiopian friend from Addis to go to
Nazret to his familie?s hotel. There was a big talent show with a concert by
Bebe Cool from Uganda and Necessary Noize from Kenya. That was great fun and
we could attend a good party again!
Now we are in the last steps of preparing our departure and will start to go
11th of August 2005
Ethiopia and Kenya
Our last stage started in Addis Abeba. Unfortunately, we didn't see so much
of the city, we were too busy with getting postponed things done.
Nevertheless we liked it there.
From Addis Abeba we left in direction of the Rift Valley. The Rift Valley
is a tectonical fault, whicht cuts through whole Africa. It starts in
Ethiopia and continues until Mozambique. For us it meant primarily that we
didn't have to struggle up and down all so much any more and that we passed
many lakes with numerous beautiful birds.
In Shashamene, the capital of the Ethiopian Rastafari culture, we parked our
bikes and wanted to go by bus to the Bale Mountains. We wanted to meet
Daniel and Honza to go hiking. However, that was more complicated than we
had thought, because there were elections on that day.
The whole country was paralyzed, in all the villages were tents for election
with long queues of democracy-willing citizens. Almost since the moment we
had arrived in Ethiopia the elections were a major topic of conversations
and we saw incredibly often the hand signals of the opposition party.
The elections seemed to go on peacefully and orderly. As we heard later,
there were problems with the count and the publication of the results. The
announced three weeks became months and until today there are no official
Despite the election we made it to the mountains where we had a joyous
reunion with Daniel, Honza and later also with Flip. We spent two rainy but
beautiful days of hiking on the Sanetti Plateau in the Bale Mountain
National Park. The plateau lies on 4000m altitude and is home to many
endemic plant and animal species. One very impressive example is the
Ethiopian wolf, which we also could admire.
Back in the Rift Valley we made a stop in Awassa with Jana and Kurato, a
German-Ethiopian couple. They welcomed us lovingly on their small campsite
and cooked very delicious for us.
We were sick of cycling in Ethiopia, of being surrounded all the time and to
personate for everyone the walking purse, so we put our bikes on the bus
In Kenia we continued riding the bus, the first strech we didn't want to
cycle for security reasons. The area we passed was bushland and lava desert,
it's in a way the "forgotten part" of Kenia.
The road is a bad piste and our bus barely arrived with the three spare
tires(!) it had because it could get two new ones half the way through. Up
there are hardly roads or other infrastructure. If you asked the locals, if
this was Kenya or Ethiopia, many probably wouldn't know.
Every now and then there are outbursts of violence between local tribes,
most of the times about cattle or revenge. Later, during out time in Kenya
more that 60 people, among them children and elderly people, have been
brutally murdered with machetes. Whole Kenya was shocked.
After Isiolo, on the foot of Mount Kenia our bicycles could work again, it
was going steeply uphill. We passed through beautiful green landscapes and
farmland. As a contrast to Ethiopia and Sudan it was mainly big industrial
farms. Generally, there was a completely different standard than in
Ehtiopia. There were Supermarkets, Internet was at acceptable speed and
toilets weren't always stinking holes full of cockroaches.
In Nanjuki we passed the Equator, the snow covered Mount Kenia, only 10km
south showed us his summits -- a rarity as we found out later.
While we cycled towards Nairobi, all of a sudden a car stopped and the
driver, a Kenyan, insisted on inviting us for dinner. Thus we had an
interesting evening with "Daddy Cool".
In Nairobi a completely different world waited for us. During the days it
was a very lively city, but at night "Nairobbery" became a very dangerous
area. After dusk (at about 18.30) nobody went out on the streets any more.
Robbery, theft and car highjacking was a normal thing here. We used our days
to meet some friends, to surf on the internet and to be able to go shopping
as much as we wanted.
We had heard from many people that the Kenyan coast was very beautiful and
so we set off. On a campsite at the sea we put up our tent directly on the
beach under coconut palmtrees. It was wonderful and we enjoyed it a lot. It
was noticeable warmer than Nairobi. So we splashed in the turquoise sea and
ate delicious Mangoes and Coconuts and relaxed a little bit.
With us on the beach were Martin, Sandra and Lovis, who have given up their
house in Germany and are now looking for a new life in Africa. There were
also three nice Israelian girls who were to meet us a few more times in
We cycled northward along the coast and learned a lot about the history and
culture of the Swahili, a mixture of African and Arabic elements. We visited
Mombasa, Kilifi, Malindi, Watamu and Lamu - we liked all these cities in
their own way. Lamu, for example is a small town on an island. The lanes are
so narrow that you can only move in them on foot or on donkey. The relaxed
atmosphere reminded us well of the well-known arabic mentality.
Together with the three Israelian girls we made an excursion to Marafa. Here
we could gaze at "Hell's Kitchen". The rain washed the sandy soil to the
craziest shapes and a bizarre valley was created.
We celebrated our good-bye from the coast with a day in Watamu on the beach.
Here are beautiful bays and a marine National Park. We explored the coral
reefs and snorkeled among its colourful fish.
After that we went westward. We made a short stop in Nairobi and cycled on
to the Rift Valley.
At the Naivasha Lake we walked around in the Crater Lake National Park
between zebras, giraffes and different kinds of antilopes, which didn't seem
to care about us at all.
Our next stop was Kisumu, a quiet, very sunny city on lake Victoria. We ate
delicous fish, learned about the tribe of the Luo and relaxed a bit before
our last stage. We rolled to Kakamega, a small town north of Kisumu.
Here we visited a friend who welcomed us in her house with Kenyan
Another reason for our trip to Kakamega was a piece of virgin rainforest,
which we absolutely wanted to see. We walked through the dense vegetation,
watched monkeys climbing through the trees, admired diverse butterflies and
listened to the concert of the birds. It was a special experience and a
wonderful close for our time in Africa
In Nairobi we celebrated a small good-bye party on our Campsite, the Jungle
Junction, befor we entered the plane to London.