31. Dezember 2013

HAPPY NEW YEAR! / EIN GLÜCKLICHES NEUES JAHR!

HAPPY NEW YEAR to all of you, dear EarthLoversOnTour friends!
 
Just a short update: After 7 1/2 quite intense and exhausting weeks in Ethiopia we are very happy being back in Kenya. At the moment we are staying in Nanyuki at the foot of Mt. Kenya again for a few days, just to relax... and also to finally update our blog - so watch this space. 





EIN GLÜCKLICHES NEUES JAHR wünschen wir euch, liebe EarthLoversOnTour Freunde!

Nur ein schnelles Update: Nach 7 1/2 sehr intensiven und anstrengenden Wochen in Äthiopien sind wir sehr froh, nun zurück in Kenia zu sein. Im Moment genießen wir für einige Tage wieder Nanyuki am Fuße des Mt. Kenya, nur um zu relaxen,... und auch, um endlich den Blog zu aktualisieren. Also wenn ihr mögt, schaut bald wieder einmal "vorbei".




13. Dezember 2013

Lake Turkana Route: Infamous, and Justifiably So / Lake Turkana Route: berühmt berüchtigt, und völlig zu Recht

We are northbound. In front of us you see Merille, and with it the end of the tarred road. From here on there is only gravel road for a long distance - for those staying on the "Moyale Route" as well as for us turning off westwards.
Wir fahren gen Norden. Vor uns liegt Merille, und damit das Ende der Teerstraße. Ab hier gibt es erst einmal nur noch Piste - für diejenigen, die auf der "Moyale Route" bleiben, und für uns, die wir gen Westen abbiegen.
Beautiful moments
Schöne Augenblicke
So far the livestock we have seen on the road were mainly goats, sheeps,
cattle and donkeys. For a change here we come upon camels.
Zur Abwechslung treffen wir mal auf Kamele auf der Straße. Die Nutztiere, die wir
bisher dort antrafen, waren vorwiegend Ziegen, Schafe, Rinder und Esel
.
The Lake Turkana attracts not only us. Do you spot it, too?
Der Lake Turkana zieht nicht nur uns an. Seht ihr's auch?


Lake Turkana Route: Infamous, and Justifiably So


There are basically two options to drive from Kenya to Ethiopia. You can either take the way from Isiolo via Merilla and Marsabit up to the border town Moyale, which are roughly 500 km. The 370 km from Merille to Moyale are not tarred and thus demanding. (Yet this is the only non tarmac part on the "Cairo to Cape Town" route. Yes, you are reading correctly. Beside of these 370 km the total route is tarred. Can this still be an adventure?) Depending on the weather the driving conditions are bad to disastrous, with a lot of stranded trucks obstructing all traffic, and a quite long travel time. Even so this is the primary route.

For the alternative is the Lake Turkana route, and this one is infamous. Many passages are extremely rocky or sandy, partly cluttered with heavy stones and sharp lava rocks. Besides it is little used. In case of an emergency you would have to wait several days for a car to come by, in the rainy season even longer. We have hardly heard from someone who travelled this route with no problems. Some had to carry back their vehicles with damages to the chassis by truck towards Nairobi. Others with a gearbox damage or engine failure had to wait on the road for a quite a while. Still we decide for this option. "Why that?", you might ask. Well, first the landscape is said to be spectacular. Second: Martin already took the other road a few years ago. Third: The adventure is calling (at least the male part of our crew;-)). And we shall not be disappointed. We experience a unique landscape and even several challenges re routing and our vehicle:

Ol Pejeta Conservancy: First Discussions, then a Surprise / Ol Pejeta Conservancy: zuerst Diskussionen, dann eine Überraschung

Rhinos: fascinating animals, but highly endangered. I could watch them for hours.
Nashörner: faszinierende Tiere, doch leider stark in ihrer Existenz gefährdet.
Ich könnte sie stundenlang beobachten.
Spotting the first wild dog makes our hearts leap for joy,...
Unser beider Herzen schlagen höher, als wir den ersten Wildhund entdecken,...
... and we are melting away at the sight of this little chappy.
... und wir schmelzen dahin beim Anblick dieses kleinen Kerlchens
.
Unique experience, to watch the little wildogs at play
Einmaliges Erlebnis, die kleinen Wildhunde beim Spielen zu beobachten

"I am not interested in a privately run park", Martin says. That hits home! "Hey, Ol Pejeta is a not-for-profit wildlife conservancy. They are doing exemplary work which I am following for a long time already. They are cooperating successfully with the surrounding local communities. The conservancy also boasts the largest sanctuary for black rhinos in East Africa, and we have not seen any rhino so far on our tour", I argue. (Except Maxwell, the blind rhino in the DSWT in Nairobi.) "Well, you can go there alone", is Martin's suggestion. This I don't want, since he should see the rhinos as well. There are not that many left on Earth, unfortunately. I phone Tine, a Belgian living close to Nanyuki, and ask for her opinion. She recommends to go there, because of the wildlife and landscape likewise. My husband still hangs back. Therefore I contact Raabia. Being us, of course she would go, she says. There would also be some wild dogs around. With a bit of luck we could even see them, she adds. Wild dogs, Martin's favorite wildlife. This is THE argument! Next morning we are going together to Ol Pejeta Conservancy, situated a few kilometers west of Nanyuki/Mt. Kenya. And look what we find: