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Entry 42 // The Journey to Ethiopia Day 4 of 7.

Update by: Nick | March 29th, 2011

A night of lake turkana dancing will take it out of you. The joke was on me though. My sleeping pad has a hole in it and I was sleeping on those rocks raw dog. While we pack our stuff up our hosts sit and watch.We have some food left over that we don't really need so Luke gives it to them as a thank you. We hear there are crocodiles in lake Turkana and really want to see them, our hosts tell us they are 6k back the way we came so we head that way to see if we can see them. The ride from our camp to the Road was our first challenge for the day. Those rocks are pretty tough to get over.
We drive the 6k to the point were the road starts heading away from the lake and see a small villiage, we ask them if there are crocodiles and they have no idea what we are talking about. After looking around we decide it will be a waste of time trying to find crocodiles since it would probably take a day or two in itself, which we don't have time for.
On our way back we stop by our hosts one last time to say goodbye and thank you. They decide to take the time to ask us for money for all they did. By now we are fed up with this kind of stuff. Luke is very mad and takes off, neither of us feel like talking to them. Maybe we are selfish people who need to be more charitable, but we don't feel that way. We both had a good time and we gave them all the food we had with us without them asking first. Now when we stop to say goodbye they try to get more out of us. This has wore on us for too long. We give everyone the benifit of the doubt, but by know it seems like we only find 1 person out of 100 who genuinly is kind and wants to help us. In mexico we experienced the opposite ratio. Here if we talk to someone in a restraunt for more than one minute they tell us we need to give them something because we are american and have more then them. All we were doing is making conversation and now we owe them something? It's gotten to the point we don't want to talk to anyone in Africa anymore because then we get asked for money 1 minute later. This is a horrible attitude to have. The best part about traveling is meeting the people and learning their culture. I guess we thought that people wouldn't expect us to give them something when we got off the beaten path. Oh well, sorry for that rant.
The road by lake Turkana is rough riding. It feels like I'm driving on the beach of Drummond Island. Sometimes all you can do is point the bike straight and hold on.It's 10 a.m. and already 100 degrees outside. We stop to take a break and luke hears his phone ringing. Are you serious? How is there cell service out here? I barely have any 5 miles off a main highway back in Michigan? Luke and I are very excited to find out its the two guards with AK-47s from 2 days ago. They just wanted to check up and see if we doing ok. They were the 1/100.After awhile we come to this "city". Maybe they have gas? It wouldn't hurt to fill up while we can. First we stop to take a few pictures. These kids seem to be having a pretty fun time at school.Time to get out of here. Luke takes off and I start up bike and start to follow. Then all of a sudden my bike dies. Hmm...that's weird. Did I stall? I don't think so. No worries, I must of just stalled. Ok I didn't stall. When I hit the starter nothing happens. The engine doesn't even turn over. This seems electrical. We don't feel like working on the bike here, it's really windy and it will be a pain if all those kids come over to see what's going on. Luke suggests we tow it to a better sport to work on it. This sucks!! Now I can't say luke never had to tow me.Luke tows me for a few feet and I decide to hit the start button to see if anything happesn. The bike fires right up and we stop towing. Weird! As soon a I try to shift into first the bike dies with the same symtoms. Ok, this means it's the kickstank switch. All street bikes sold in the US have a stupid switch that kills the engine if you try to drive with the kick stand down. My kick stand was up, but I looks like the switch is going to play games with me. After putting the kickstand down and giving it a good kick back up the bike runs fine. We take off and try to look for gas while the bike wants to run. We don't see any gas in this town. No problem. The GPS shows there is black market fuel 50 miles down the road. Lets get there before my kickstands decides to up the ante.
20 miles later my back tire seems to be acting up and having some resistance. I let off the throttle and the bike slows down much quicker than it should. This is no good. Does this mean my wheel bearings are blown out already?Luke Helps me lift the bike up to prop up the back tire. The wheel bearings seem fine, which is great news. But the wheel is definitely locked up. It looks like it's the brake. The pads are locked on the rotor. We notice the rear brake pedal is stuck in the "on" position. After an examination, we notice my bike frame is bent. It looks like a rock hit the frame where you can mount a centerstand, and when this bent it made my brake lever go at funny angle. When the brake was applied it stuck because of a piece of plastic that stopped it from coming back up. The good news was, the frame wasn't bent in a major place, it only affected the brake lever and centerstand mount.All I had to do was cut the plastic brake guard it was stuck on and use a few zip ties to keep the brake lever from going up too far. Yeah that's right, I'm rocking a brake lever fixed with a ziptie. The only downfall is my brake light is permenatly on.After my bike gets fixed Luke notices the sound of air coming out of his front tire. Looks like Luke has a flat. Even in the middle of nowhere people appear to watch us change flats.After watching they take off into nowhere. How do these people survive. I guess I can't complain about Clare Michigan beeing in the middle of nowhere.
Now it's time to crank toward that next town with gas before anything else breaks. Man I could go for a ice cold drink right now. It's been 100 degrees all day and I'm getting really disappointed with my bike. Not to mention I am very dehydrated and sick of drinking 100 degree water.
The last 20 kilometers to the town were rough going. My bike started acting up again and it was getting very annoying. The kickstand switch was being ludacris and acting a fool. My bike would sputter or sometimes come to a dead stop where I would have to kick the switch or put the stand up and down until it would work again. Luckly we made it to the town. Unluckly there was no gas there. Not even the kind you buy out of coke bottles. They said 45 kilometers away they had gas. I had to try to fix my kickstand before we try to go to the next town. It's too hard to fix with the bike up right so I guess I have to throw it on the ground.It looks like the bolt stripped out where the nut was, and that caused it to get loose and not have contact sometimes. All I had to do was pull the switch apart and make sure everything was in order and add a spacer to the bolt so the switch would be nice and tight against the kickstand.This seemed to fix the problem. The next 45 kilometers went smoothly. Well, except the fact that I was way too hot and had a dehydration headache.
The next town had gas, just like the villagers said. We filled up our bikes and then tried to fill ourselves up with food and water. We bought 14 liters total: 10 for our bikes for the rest of the day, and 2 each to pound during dinner. Luke was pumped to find out all we could get to eat was chipati (tortillas) and cabage. Luke loves cabage. Ok that's a lie. I thought it was pretty good. Much better than ugali.We tried to get eggs with our meal, but they said they didn't have any eggs in their village. We saw chickens running around which didn't make any sense. I guess they didn't want to give their eggs to people who weren't from their village. I can understand that.
We still feel dehydrated but take off before it gets too dark. We need to try to find a campsite. The next 20 kilometers had all sorts of terrain.We find a nice spot to camp a few hundred meters off the road by a tree. We hang out in our underwear trying to stay cool and do our best to chug 100 degree water. It's too hot! At least the sun goes down in 1 hour.


 

 

 

 

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