18 May 2010

The other Oldonyo Sambu

Life feels better when the expected weekend day ride evolves into a totally different overnite trip.

After the wednesday ride Wes Krause and I chat about a long sunday ride. Pretty soon Thad Peterson, Mike Peterson, and Thomas Holden have joined. It turns into an overnight at a Dorobo Safaris camp at Oldonyo Sambu.

People have jobs back in town, and some have to work at Oldonyo Sambu looking for a new camp, but for me, my aim is to finish the loop I failed to complete the previous weekend and add another few klicks into real bush. As you can see the morning glory was out in full glory , the trails and tracks were hard, but the tetse fly showed up in the end.

I can't sleep well the night before and I easily get out of bed and pack up, check emails, check ISP network, and am off at first light. I had two chances to snap a red sunrise and lucked out on the second.

We did a new variation to Lolkisale, by passing Moita town and damn but passed another dam and hit the road at that dam.
Then thomas's cable housing broke. Here is the heckling section helping Thomas do repairs.

Reminder: carry extra cable housing. My damn tool/spare bag is getting bigger. An replace the cables that thomas used.

In the end they used my duct tape and a shifter cable. Then they made me surrender my pen to make the housing long enough. Yes that is a plastic bic pen in there.

so much for my plan for makking notes as I go along.

We draw a crowd of Masai who end up being experts on cutting shifter cables cleanly.

AT Lolkisale we get on different paths but end up the same place about the same time. I can't remember what time or how far but know we lost an hour fixing the cable. We stopped at a small shop for food.

Next was a canyon and long slog up the other side to the southern steppe and Simanjiro plains. I was feeling heavy and slightly nasuseated, just like last week. (Why cant i learn to drink?) I blamed it on the mixture of food. tea, juice, chapati etc.
Mostly we were able to staf out of deep sand.

We pass through Loibor soit and then Mboret. I think i last passed 20 years ago with Kathy and chuck on motorcycles.

Now we left the track for a faint jeep track that was more of a foot trail. Mostly hard with a bit of deep sand. 10km fofrom mboret you leave this track on a smaller track and deep grass. you can see the vehicle passed but the grass covers the road.

We are now in tetse fly area. The good thing about tetse is people don't like to live in their areas becuase they bite humans and they carry sickness for cows. Some opted for chemical repellant and I faired well in the wake of the others scent. There are a couple of valleys and then we ride up the Oldonyo Sambu mtn and out on a ridge to a kopje where the peterson brothers have a temporary safari camp.

I sleep between these two trees, there is a big group coming in a few days and the camp staff have slashed the grass.

this is the kitchen area. I have a bath with a few litres and feel wonderful.

We are in camp early enough after a bath to go up on some rocks and watch the sun go down while having a drink or two. We look north to Mnt meru 100km away and see no sign of civilization, no farms or roads, just tetse infested bush.

We have a great meal and i sleep well in my hammock.

the next morning only Thomas and I will ride bicycles back. By 8am we are off down the slopes of oldonyo sambu

At the bottom of the valley we watch some giraffe for awhile and climb out of the valley and out of tetse area.

It is pleasant temperature and we cruise on the hard trails. I stop for a snack. When i start out again i shifted under load and break the rear deraileur cable housing, just like thomas the day before. I switch front and back and use a short one from thomas and am as good as new.

I mess up and we miss the turn to the east by 5 km .

Once past Mboret we start to see lots more zebra and wildebeast

While Thomas fixes a flat I watch the wildebeast who are watching us. Sigh it is a tough life, but someone has to do this shit.

We enjoy the plains and drop into terat valley. Now we are on a big road but not in great shape. 10km down the road it is in great shape and we go along the edge of the escarpment for 20 km and then above Komolo the road becomes horrible and we bounce down the escarpment and have food in Komolo. Wonderful small place run by a young woman.

Now i am on the ride i did last week and we find even more trails along the road and are at Custom in an hour . I am feeling low adn we stop for cokes and add water. I concentrate after we start off to drink and drink and feel better.


  1. Great sunrise photo. Did a mountain cause the shadow in the clouds? I can't really believe that there are any roads or trails you have not been on. Enjoyed your write up as usual. Byrna

  2. Byrna, I can only guess that the shadow in the sunrise was caused by a hole in the clouds over by Kilimanjaro.