Stage 37: Marsabit to Laisamis
Today would be an easy stage for which I was most grateful as not a lot of spring in the legs this morning nor motivation in the head either for that matter. We even woke to a fine mist, blowing in from the higher slopes of Mount Marsabit.
The first +40 kilometres was essentially all downhill with the first portion of that cycling along the western flank of the Marsabit National Park. Bush very thick, very green. Some thick clouds threatened actual rain but in the event we received only a few spits of drizzle and the road surface never wet.
Then somewhat abruptly, the hills have given way to a flat plain which would comprise the remainder of the day’s ride. Vehicular traffic very light, but a number of pedestrians; going to market perhaps, or boys more evidently tending to cattle or goats. Tall, elegant, these subsequently identified as Rendille people; a Cushitic tribe that inhabits the region between the Marsabit hills and Lake Turkana in Northern Kenya.
Photo courtesy of Rachel Costello
Lots of birds to spot, including superb starlings, lilac-breasted rollers, and a pair of Kori bustards. I didn’t see them, but the lunch truck reported seeing three African Wild Dogs earlier, and few zebra in the distance.
The cloud cover persisted through most of the morning, until the lunch break at least which we made by ~9:30. The last ~30 km post-lunch went quickly as well; certainly hotter, but we picked up Cheryl, Rita, Brigitta, Jacqueline, Erika and Michiel with Pete and Naomi also eventually joining up, so a chattering group of 10 riders passes the time without anyone really noticing the kilometres ticking by.
Video clip courtesy Michiel van Walsem
Camp tonight is on the far periphery of the Laisamis Secondary School playing fields; very little shade other than the dual awnings of the mother-truck. It’s into the low- to mid-30s during this afternoon. I adjourn with some others back into Laisamis where we hole up for 2-3 hours in the ‘Super Arcade Bar,’ waiting for the heat to abate. I down 2 ginger beers, and 500 ml water before attempting a Tusker lager. All are at best, cool.
Post dinner, Elisha (TDA crew) talks to us for about 30-45 minutes on Kenya, it’s peoples and it’s culture. Very interesting.
Bus day tomorrow; we get to sleep in an hour!