The day started off with heavy rain that torpedoed any chance of an early start. Late morning when the skies cleared, on went the gear and I hit the road. Destination: Lake Magadi. Riding solo but hoping to catch up with a biker group that had left earlier.
20km of narrow roads, traffic. The greens before the juicy steak. Stop at Kiserian to fuel up. Another 85km to go.
Narrow road, potholes, some cut square and deep in the name of repair. Caution needed, you can bend or crack a rim on these. Steep climb, nice view of the Ngong Hills. Chilly.
From Corner Baridi, the big descent on the narrow, lumpy road. So you need to take it easy The road weaves through green acacia woodland, with tall hills on all sides in the distance. Beautiful landscape. A series of small shopping centres mark the passage of distance and time. Road signs - "engage low gear", "flash flood danger" - remind you to take care. Steep gradients, hairpin corners, cattle on the road and loose gravel are among the many elements that make this road genuinely interesting and keep you on toes..
Traffic is very light here. The occasional truck, Probox or boda boda. Families in small cars or posh SUVs. A couple of fully kitted high end ADV bikes sweep past going towards Nairobi. Flash salute. Nice to see fellow riders. .Every so often I encounter a solitary Maasai moran herding cattle. Young men in their prime, fit, proud and ripped - imagine a champion gymnast but clad in a shuka..
The possibility of catching up with the biker group adds spice to the ride. The thrill of the chase, encouraging me to push the bike. Alone for kilometers at a time. Working up and down the gearbox. Leaning into bends. The exhilaration of acceleration when I pile on the power. The power of the brakes when I bleed off speed before a tight bend and carve that racing line. This is freedom, and I feel alive! .
As I approach Magadi the lake comes into view. A mirror reflecting the sky. I stop at the place sign. 2 young herdsboys come over to say hi. Tumnyak 8, and Noisegu, 10. Pleasant but not very chatty - strong, silent types in the making. A couple of km on I reach the Magadi barrier gate. There are many bikers there. We all want to go into the town but access is restricted. .
As some of the group inquire about access I enjoy the scenery and birds. We are informed that security will only admit 3 bikes at a time to go in for fuel.
I decide to head back home and my pal Mike elects to join me for the return ride. We have an easy ride back with a key highlight seeing a group of giraffes crossing the road.