So it arrived – the first day of our Safari Kwa Afrika Bora. Everyone was up and ready on time, a quick breakfast and we were sent off by a small crowd of dedicated supporters, the local Kaya band and Philippe with the BOYZONBIKES starter flag!
We sneaked out of Mombasa via a dirt back road lead by Malcolm and Hafiz in a reinforced land cruiser. And then once out, we joined the main Mombasa-Nairobi highway and TRAFFIC! The traffic made Cairo look like the M25! There were more trucks than cars and the all the other cows, monkeys, baboons, people, goats and even zebra. It was hectic and took us 3 hours to do the first 160km, then the traffic eased to a milder form of chaos for the next 137km to Kibwezi, where we turned off onto a dirt road for the next 120km to evade the traffic, allowing the BOYZ to tighten up on their dirt and sand skills. Back on to tar for another 43km and Mark experienced a pink duct tape moment doing a specular slide down the tar road - fortunately no bones broken just some grazes and bruises and a punctured left hand extra fuel tank which we are going to have to fix when we get to Kibali.
The rest of the entourage including Philippe, Noeleen, Kirsty and the Freight Forwarders support team followed us on the same route and stopped 6 times to hand out Nos vies en Partage T shirts, caps and soccer balls - the children were ecstatic - what a present for Madaraka Day (celebrating the proclamation of internal self-rule) - one has to wonder just how bad the traffic must be on a normal working weekday.
We arrived at dusk after 11 hours later at the Safari Park Hotel on the outskirts of Nairobi! After a great shower, we are all sitting down to Chinese cuisine and some great wine supplied by the Randgold logistics team.
Michael Hobbs, son of All Blacks rugby player John Hobbs, has joined us for dinner to receive a cheque from the Nos Vies en Partage Foundation on behalf of the Blessed Hope primary school in Nairobi. In between his undergrad and postgrad degrees, Michael travelled to Kenya as part of the New Zealand aid programme and enthusiastically joined in setting up the school in the Kibera slum of Nairobi. At the moment the school operates from a leased section of a church and we have made this donation towards the acquisition of a piece of land which will enable the establishment of a permanent school.
Another long day tomorrow - 427km!!
Should you wish to make a donation to the Nos Vies en Partage Fundraising drive then please click here