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Entry 32 // We'll fix it when we get to Nairobi

Update by: Nick | March 15th 2011

We'll fix it when we get to Nairobi. That has been our motto since we left Cape Town. Every motorcycle rider we came across in Africa recommended we stay at Jungle Junction, so that's what we did. As soon as you drive through it's gates you realize it's not your normal hotel and campground. Everyone there is driving something across Africa. Some people had very expensive and decked out rides.Others...not so much.BMWs seemed to be the bike of choice at JJ. German also seemed to be the Nationality of choice (not really sure how that sentence makes sense). I think 9 out 10 travelers at this place were Germans. This couple has been traveling for 3 years all around the world on motorcycles and are 5 months from being finished. The guy was halarious.Our night at JJs all we did was relax and make friends. It's very easy to relax here. The place is set up great for overland travelers. Most people set up a tent in grass, or sleep in their rig. There is also the option to rent a room, but not many go for that option. They have washing machines which cost $5 a load to have someone do it, or you can just wash it in a sink for free. They use the honor system alot at Jungle Junction. They have a fridge with all sorts or drinks you can take and just make a tick-mark by your name. At the end of the week, or before you leave, they tally it up and you pay. You could just take a coke and not mark it down, it would be really easy, but no one did that.On top of all that, Jungle Junction has the usual treats: hot showers, couches to hang out on, kitchen to use, water safe to drink, and FREE INTERNET. We are always excited to find free internet.
So our first night we didn''t do anything. Ok, I take that back, we did do something. We drove a half mile down the road to find the supermarket and buy some food. The supermarket turned out to be a mall...and supermarket. Neither of us were in the mood to cook, so we thought we would check out the food court first. The food court had the usuall suspects: Sabaro Pizza, Panda Express, and McDonalds. Except it was really Wimpy Burger, Safron, and Pizza Inn. We went for the pizza and boy was it good.
The next day we did our best to have ambition. We only mangage have a little. Luke and I drove to the KTM dealer to locate some tires oil. Everything imported into Kenya is extremely expensive. It didn't help that the oil Luke needs is expensive to start out. Nairobi is pretty much our last chance to get tires and Luke's special oil before Egypt, so we need to get it here. Luke buys some oil and a rear tire, and while they replace the tire we go find an ATM. The ATM we found was right next to a Pizza Inn, you can bet we stopped for Pizza.
After the KTM dealer we head back to Jungle Junction to get GPS coordinates for the Embassy of Sudan. We heard it's pretty easy to get the visa for Sudan here in Nairobi, so we decide to get it here in Nairobi instead of Ethiopia. When we get to embassy it is too late. The guard tells us to come back Monday at 9:00 and by the end of Monday we will have our visa. He also told us all we needed to bring, a passport, 2 passport pictures, and 4000 shillings. Sounds easy enough. I guess this means we get the whole weekend to work on our bikes.
We didn't work on bikes. We spent the weekend surfing the internet and watching movies. We did cook some pretty good food though. Pasta at night and eggs for breakfast.Monday came and we got ready to go to the embassy. Luke, myself, and a young guy from Switzerland all went together. The lady we had to talk to get our visas was incredibly rude. She told us we needed a letter of introduction or we wouldn't recieve a visa. We asked what that was and she explained it was a letter stating that we are US citizens. OK, this makes no sense. Isn't that what our passports are for? Either way, she would not issue us a visa without this letter. Somehow the guy from switzerland managed to get a visa. He had two advantages over us, well maybe three, he had a stamp in his passport saying he was a resident of Tanzania and he had an invitation letter. We hoped since he was getting a visa, they might issue Luke and I one too. It didn't happen. So off Luke and I go to the US embassy.
We arrive at the embassy and were shown all kinds of hospitality. Ok, that's a lie, we talked to all kinds of contracted guards, showed our passport 5 times, got searched, and then were told to walk across the street to call and make an appointment. That's right, we had to leave the embassy so we could make an appointment to go to the embassy. When we make the phone call we are told there is no way we are going to get a letter stating we are US citizens. They said that is what the passport is for and it's up to Sudan to verify we are who we say we are. We drive back to the Sudan embassy to tell them we can't get the letter. Traffic in Nairobi is rediculous. Traffic lights are almost nonexistant, so you just spot the hole in the traffic and go for it. Needless to say we arrived too late at the embassy and had to come back the next day. So we headed back to camp to relax.
Jungle Junction has a garage with a mechanic so you can have you're bike worked on. I decide to have him check out my wheel bearing situation. It's a good thing I did, the wheel bearing that went out 500 miles ago was already bad. This isn't good news. Luckly the mechanic had bearing instock. We clean out the hub where the old bearing was and put the new one in. The new bearing was too loose in there. The old bearing tore up the hub when it went out, and now the new one was too loose in there. The mechanic used lock-tite to secure it, so we will see how that holds up.Tuesday we headed back to the embassy to try to get our visas without the letter. It didn't work. We spent the rest of the day surfing the internet exploring our options. We decide to give it one more chance on wednesday before we leave nairobi and trying our luck in Ethiopia. At least it was tuesday, which meant buy one get one free pizzas. We've been eating a lot of pizzas here.
Wednesday we have no luck either. We got the same reasons as before and are now fed up with it. So we decide to work on our bikes. I manage to bend the major dents out of my front rim and replace some bolts that vibrated out. Luke finally gets to organize his bike and put parts on that he has been carrying since Cape Town. Here are some before and after shots.Luke managed to empy an entire side back by putting things like spare tubes in nooks and cranies all over his bike. He had been dieing to do this since South Africa. Me on the other hand, my bike was starting to act funny. When I would start it in the morning it run for 5 seconds then die. If tried to start it back up, it wouldn't. If I turned the key off, then on, then started it, it would run perfectly all day. As our time in Nairobi went on it got worse. It would die 4 or 5 times before it ran fine, it would also happen after it ran for awhile. Mabye it's just bad gas, elevation, or dirty injectors. Whatever it is, it runs fine all day and we tomorrow. I guess we'll see if it gets worse after running some injector cleaner.



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