Official website: www.londoncapetownrally.com
Day 15 -
Awassa (Ethiopia) to Moyale (Kenya)
Relatively dull day today. We left a nice hotel in Awassa and drove 500km to a much more down-market place in a town called Moyale on the Kenya/Ethiopia border.
a road section with a 106kph average and everyone made it.
Border officialdom was minimal and we reached the hotel
early afternoon. (ED:
Moyale is the place David later described as a 'dump',and
Mark said was 'the worst place he's ever been in').
(right) is clean but not big enough, they were asking some
crews to double up, i.e. 4 per room.
has a ¾ size double bed complete with mosquito net and a
mattress on the floor. The bathroom has no light, a cold
shower, and there is one towel per room only! Food was
pretty good considering. I was refused entry when I tried to
enter carrying a beer I had bought down the street. This is
a Muslim establishment apparently.
Mark with the guys who guarded our cars overnight
Drinks at Moyale Prison Welfare Club (the warders' welfare, that is)
issue was no fuel available. This had the organisers hopping
for a bit and they eventually came up with the solution that
we should seek local 'fuel brokers'. We walked outside and
one soon found us. We asked for 40 litres. I think the price
was exorbitant, but I'll have to do all the sums later.
14000 Kenyan shillings on 40 litres. That's got to be
Ten minutes after that a boy tried to extort more money from Mark telling him that he had carried the fuel and hadn't been paid. Mark politely told him to go away.
Day 16: Kenya: Moyale to Marsabit
rough. Really rough. It started with 10km of rough which was
really just getting us out of town. Then had 68km of
slightly less rough which they had an average of 68kph on.
All top cars cleaned it. The following 168km was untimed but
was the roughest stretch I've ever done.
reckons half the field will be out there until midnight. We
have been in for an hour now and there are 5 4WDs and us in
the camp ground.
camp ground. The tents are already up and we have been
allocated tent 10. They have beds made up with sheets etc.
Individual smaller tents are showers and toilets, (pit type,
freshly dug). Locals are boiling water and fill the shower
bucket when someone comes along for a shower. I asked for a
bucket to wash a shirt and they took it off me and said they
will bring them back to the tent when it's dry.
about 2 hours since we got in and there are still no more
crews in. Because the worst of the rough was after the stage
and the organisers changed later controls to passage
controls, penalties for those having trouble are minimal.
This is not helping our cause.
not enjoying Kenya. Accommodation started bad and today is a
tent! All roads have been extremely rough hard rock.
we get to Nairobi and then there is a rest day. Jamie
(Waterhouse) has organised a local rallyist and hopefully we
can give the car a refresh. It did feel like a bucket of
bolts by the time we got in today.
17-18:Marsabit to Nairobi
Left the campsite at 7:48 this morning and we were soon into the extreme rough again.
up to their usual tricks. At the first control they add 20
minutes to the time allowed and changed later controls to
passage controls. We didn't mind as much today as we were
getting worried about the state of the car. Engine power
seems down and the front end had some very loud bangs coming
out of it. Yesterday using the headsets stopped us hearing
the bangs too much, but today they are so loud they can't be
today consisted of gorillas, camels, cows and goats. Nothing
exotic yet. Some signs warning of elephants!
went relatively slowly through the stages and eventually
came to good tar road which was wonderful after the previous
2 days. We passed 3 cars but 5 4WDs passed us. They are most
suited to these rough conditions. One of these, the BMW X5,
was over on its side at the edge of the road 5 minutes after
he had passed us. They waved us to keep going.
is extremely bad in Nairobi. We left the official hotel to
take the car to a workshop and took the best part of an hour
to do 10 Km. We left the imprint of our bullbar on the side
of one little van which was intent on forcing its way in
front of us.
The diagnosis of the car's problems was good.
The banging in the front end is likely due to the nut on the bottom of the strut coming loose. The engine problem is probably due to a loose distributor which has moved and retarded the ignition timing. This also explains why it has stopped pinging in the low octane fuel it's been receiving lately.
Bottom line, by the end of tomorrow
car should be ready to start again and be as good as new.
Oils will be changed, 6 new tyres fitted.
Today, the 18th, was officially a rest day in Nairobi. Spent most of the day at the workshop while the Datsun had its much-needed full service. Normally I'd go back to the hotel and relax while something like this is happening ,but Nairobi traffic is so bad that is easier to stay put until later!
The organisers did phone to tell us they were going to apply an hour's penalty for our non-period shock absorbers. This moved us from 7th or 8thback to 11th. Not a massive change but now we are eligible for non-outright awards.
all this happened is that other competitors were threatening
to protest against another vehicle who is also using shock
absorbers with gas canisters like ours. There are actually
more vehicles using them, but they haven't come to anyone's
Damaged shock absorbers from other cars.(@gerardbrown.co.uk)
the car service it was back across town to the Safari Park
hotel which was the official hotel accommodation and to
sleep there, ready for the start in the morning.