12 August 2008

Nashesha's first bike camping trip!

My 9 year old daughter, Nashesha, is not only a bicyclist but a bicycle tourist too boot. Not only that but an off road tourer! Go girl.

Here she is standing next to our tandem. I could not find a tree to lean the tandem against. At this point the wind was gusting to 50kph and it was cold, click on the piture and note what she is wearing and she still is cold.

Jim Bingham, a college roommate, spent July with us. I needed to see what kind of a bike trip would work for him so we decided a short mtn bike bush trip. My lovely wife Bernice was on a work trip so it was either leave Nashesha home or go with her. So we packed up the tandem with stuff for 3 days and took off for Oldebesi Forest.

About 15km up the road Nashesha asked for her first break, it had been mostly uphill to here.

While stopped we saw two push carts laden with logs for making lumber. It was pretty impressive as it must be 3 tons each cart.

We turn off the highway 10 km uphill and ride through a short grass plains.

Jim getting a taste of the erosion, in a small pass before the valley the erosion is 20 feet deep

From the pass it is a nice downhill for a hour or more. Too enjoyable to stop and take pictures. Nashesha was a good sport but after an hour jiggling around on down hill she started asking where we were going to camp.

Arriving at the bottom of the valley we found the inevitable sand and tussocs. By the end Jim resorted to walking for awhile. I had Nashesha keep him company walking.

Where I am standing we made camp. Top Ramen mixed with soup with pieces of cheeze on top. Two of us had a warm canned beer and called it a night.

The next day a couple of guys came to visit our camp. Eventually we had a group of ten keeping us company.

To get more shade and escape the wind we moved down into the canyon behind the two masai. At 6am our new friends brought a jug of milk which we made several pots of chai and shared around.

One of the masai herdsman and his prize bull

We struck a bargain (for them) and bought a young goat and asked them to roast it on the spot. From here on they WANTED their pictures taken. Here is our got being butchered.

Jim got into the tender goat meat and ate his share. It was more than the three of us could eat in a week but this crew finished it in 30 minutes. Everything. After this we were cemented as friends. To this day Lesikar calls me on his cell phone asking when I am coming.

The next morning we pack up and are riding before 8am. It is cool but sunny. Typical July weather.

Two old roomates take a breather on the main road to Oldepesi.

Sigh. A lot of vastness to ride through. That is the back side of Monduli mountain.

The last hill is steep, made even worse by the wind gusting to 50 kph. Jim is leaning for both reasons. Luckily the dust and sand was not blinding us too much as it can here.

15 minutes later we were at the highway for a downhill all the way home. I kept looking back and got off the road quite a few times becuase of the precious cargo in the stoker seat.