Our first group of excited bikers have arrived safely in Nairobi! We kicked off with a lovely first dinner altogether last night, and this morning the wet season ended as if on cue for the start of the trip. We are all looking forward to getting on our bikes and heading out into Africa.
YES!! Finally here after three months of waiting!! Gemma, John and I are sitting under a dark red African sky, enjoying an end of day cold Tusker (beer), after unpacking and assembling the new fleet of bikes that arrived today. The three months of waiting was for both Gem and I itching to get out here after meeting John and Mandy in February, and the amount of time it took to get the new bikes through customs!!!! John looks a lot more relieved now they're here!
The lights around the water we can see from the deck at the Wildebeest Eco Camp are just enough to frame the flat topped Acacia trees but everything looks different here to home; the evening animal songs are new too - everywhere you look or listen there are new sounds and sights, but a lot seems familiar too, like from books I read as a kid. Even the camels that we passed being herded down the red dirt road that leads to our lodge yesterday seemed both unusual yet normal!!
John's an old hand at this but Gem and I have been really excited about getting out here to start into our new adventure, and everything in the last three days since we arrived has lived up to our anticipation. Only three days ... already seems like much longer!! Today we're off to Rongai to finish the final touches to our big blue beast of a bus Joseph has been busy customising, and whatever new surprises the day has in store for us. We'll keep you updated (-:
Meet Ajabu, our fostered orphan baby elephant. As a part of our support of the countries we visit on our tours Escape Adventures has just fostered an orphan baby elephant in Kenya called Ajabu.
The Heaphy track is open once again for a winter of mountain biking and being the third year of the three year trial - it will be up to the powers that be to decide the future of mountain biking on this classic track.
So on the 2nd of May I headed out to ride the track and check out all the summer track upgrades and believe me its all good! Last year's new hut at Perry Saddle is all complete and a great stop off point for your first night on the track, its warm, bright and comfortable. DoC Golden Bay have upgraded the track between Saxon and MacKay huts, and DoC West Coast have airlifted masses of gravel onto the Mackay tops and the tracks are amazing! There is still a lot to do, but its heading the right way to be an awesome all weather track!
Unusual for sunny Nelson, Thursday dawned with a slightly damp feel about it (Ok it was raining...) as I met Robin, Simon and Derek at Nelson Airport. A bit of rain couldn't keep these three down and as we headed to Canaan the sky's cleared for us to ride around the Canaan MTB tracks and down the infamous Ramaka tracks, 900m descent over 20kms of prime single track!! That was just the beginning of another three days of gorgeous single track and three nights of Derek's dinner-time stories that never cease to leave me crying with laughter. Our last days' ride in the hills behind Nelson city coincided with a deluge of rain that sent flash floods through the city streets but couldn't keep the smiles of the dials as we finished our last ride of the trip with a welcome pint at the Sprig and Fern. Cheers Fellas.