Il Diario di Tinton











{2001-06-28}   Day 35 – Marsabit, Kenya

Indeed we did leave at 6am, but not Africa time, rather real time. It happened. And off we went. this was the hardest day of all, the reason being that I was still on top with the freight and the mass of people, and the road was not tarmac, or rather it was a dirt road. That’s when my cold got worse. We stopped about 4 times to change tires, it was always the rear right side that had problems. and they way they were doing things, I’m surprised we only sopped 4 times. First it was the outside tire, then tie inside then the inside tire was put outside, and the outside, inside. Then the outside tire again. Every stop was from 30-90 minutes. depending on how many times they had to put the tire back on to figure out they had to take it off again.

The ride wa spectacular, though. Being in the truck, and being the truck so crowded, I could not see much, but where I was, I liked it a lot. Also, we picked up some military/security guards, with guns which were very alert. What Mike was saying was kind of bullshit: He was saying that there are no convoys and that there is no problem up here. But instead there is: I have seen convoys of 3-4 trucks, and every time we stopped because of a puncture, other people would stop there too, to fix up what they had to fix up, so they didn’t have to stop in an area alone. Talking to the military guys, they told me that maybe like 3% of the trips get mugged. And it usually happens when it rains, the trucks get stuck in the mud and the people come. out of bushes, and steal valuables from passengers, because they don’t know how to drive a truck according to the military guy) I have a hard time believing this, because there are Mitsubishi trucks (most of them are the same model, I think somebody gave them these tuck somehow, but I don’t know the exact story) and these truck are really easy to drive: they have 5 gears only and the only thing they have different from cars, is the brakes.

At any rate, also locals hopped on the truck for a brief stretch, and these ladies were dressed sort of like Masai, but I don’t think they were Masai. I think they were from a different tribe.. They were wearing basically nothing, but a blanket, sort of like the Masai blanket I got. and they looked really old, but in a weird way: They had deep and many wrinkles, but the skin was not looking too old.. The wrinkles were limited to were they had wrinkles. It seemed like they didn’t get too many extra wrinkles. It was just that the ones that they had got bigger and deeper. I wonder what their age was. But these women were able to climb on top of the truck and were travelling on top with the cargo no problem.

After plenty stops, we finally arrived in Marsabit, a 277km drive which took us about 12 hours.

The scenaries, the deserts, and the skies were marvelous though. At some point, some guy suggested that we would have slept there that night(because of the frequent tire problems) and I was very excited by the idea. But on the other side, I was thinking that I was a little scared and that it might have been safer to sleep on the truck, rather than pitching my tent. But all this did not happen.

Instead we arrived in Marsabit, and I stayed at this lodge, in the same room with the driver. The people at the lodge were very nice and gave me some medicine for the nasal congestion I was having. Also the driver said that I could stay and sit inside the cabin the next day, instead of having to stay with the cargo. The night went quite well, the driver didnt’ really snore at all.

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