It’s difficult to keep up my blog because an Internet connection is difficult to find in the parts of Ethiopia and Kenya we’ve been the last couple of weeks. In any case, today we are in north-east Kenya, in a town called Marsabit, for a rest day. Our last rest day was in Yabello, Ethiopia. Yabello, supposedly a spot famous for bird watchers is a pit. The Yabello Hotel, where everyone either camped, or took a room was a dump and managed by a bunch of money grubbing rip-off artists. For instance, when we arrived a number of us had a couple of beers and later found out they were charging us twice the published price. I decided to go to a hotel a couple of doors down and paid $15/ night, a significant savings from the $50 they were charging at the Yabello Hotel. Both hotels were disgusting, but I felt good about not supporting the criminals down the road. In the town of Yabello the electricity is only on a couple of hours each day. So you can imagine the problems that causes. No hot showers, no power to cook meals and no cold drinks are just a few of the conveniences you and I take for granted, that are not available in this dismal East African town.
The riding the past eight days has been tough to brutal. For the first 3 days, plus a bus day, there was a lot of construction, so the roads were dusty, gravel and bumpy. When a truck passed it created a bowl of blinding dust that caused you to close your eyes and hope for the best.
The next four days were on good roads for most of the time, except for a short, difficult stretch, of construction again. The problem for two of these days, or about 260 Km, was a relentless headwind that brought everyone to their knees. Oh ya, did I tell you it was over 100 degrees Fahrenheit most of the day.
As mentioned, I arrived in one piece to Marsabit and will enjoy a rest day here at a monastery run by the Nazareth Sisters of the Enunciation. Looks like it will be a peaceful stop and I might even catch mass in the morning.
And for those of you worried about my safety, we have three arm guards traveling with us for this stretch. We don’t have to worry about stone throwing kids, just the bad guys that sneak over this way from Somalia.
A couple of interesting animal / insect happenings, at this weeks campsites, were three scorpions were found in tents. Also, one guy had his fly chewed up by the hyenas, as he left it off his tent and strewn off to the side. I’m sure that won’t be the end of my animal / insect stories as this continent is wild.