Friday, 4 November 2011

Ugandan / Kenyan border

At the Ugandan / Kenyan Border

As I write we have been at the border for nearly 3 hours. The first sign of problems was the 9 km stretch trucks waiting along the approach. We had been warned earlier in the day to use a "Mr Fixer" and given a contact. A good suggestion. We were inundated by would be Helpers but could at least use a recommended! Apparently all we need now is a receipt for the hundreds dollars just paid but the electricity doesn't last long enough to print!

Some good photos of the road chaos to be posted later.
A high spot for once has not being mobbed. Just 4 boys asking if we had a book for them. We managed to persuade Thomas and Florence to oblige and they are now sat on a wall avidly reading. At least something useful we have done and cheers the heart.

However to return to the beginning from the last blog.
We all spent a few days at the beach in Diane, near Mombassa and then made our way back again to Nairobi. After much screaming on my part we managed to finally take delivery of the replacement shock absorber.

Great excitement to be replaced soon afterwards with gloom. With purchase, courier fees and duties we had paid nearly £300 and the shock absorber was broken. Not much option but to try again. In the meantime we decide to risk the broken part and plough onto Aquinoe Learning Centre via Lake Baggoria.
What amazing scenery in northern Kenya. Again photos posted later although heavy rain dampened the views.

Yesterday we visited Aquinoe School. I will write a full report of our visit separately in the next charity update but we as in the past all felt totally inadequate. On behalf of all our donors we paid for some food, an outstanding electric bill, which meant that the school could be reconnected and a few items for the school, mainly items for the special needs children.

And so today we were aiming to reach Jinga in Uganda. However, more time has passed and we still await the necessary receipt to drive on! Patience!
Sent from my iPad

1 comment:

  1. Hi Guys,

    Its been great following your adventures, we are looking forward to the time when we can start our own trip.

    Our own truck "Jabba" was made in Ed Perrys workshop next to yours. We have a few commitments that tie us to the UK for the next couple of years so before we can set off for a long adventure we are limited to short 3 to 4 week trips. Next summer we are planning to use the roro service to Namibia and spend 4 weeks driving through to Kenya.

    I thought it a good idea to try out some serious off roading. I have done a lot in a Land Rover including competitions and a north to south Austrailia trip but I have not tackled 7.5 tons of Leyland Daf!

    So a few Saturday ago we did our first serious off roading, We got on really well, the extra weight of Jabba gives much more grip than normally experienced in a Land Rover and the ground clearance is fantastic.
    However I made a big mistake!
    I had difficulty engaging the centre differential lock but decided to continue anyway. The problem occurred when we chose a steep decent, using first gear low ratio to control our speed we set off without problem, halfway down the slope one of the rear wheels locked and Jabba started to slide. The normal way to deal with this is to accelerate to get all four wheels turning however before I could react the rear halfshaft broke allowing Jabba to gain lots of forward momentum!
    I thought we had got into a high speed slide so I did not put the breaks on (breaking is disastrous on steep slippery slopes!) we where moving pretty quickly by the time we got to the bottom of the slope. With a small cliff and several trees ahead I could only chance a high speed 90 degree left turn, fortunately Jabba is very stable and made the turn OK


    The lesson learned are -
    Dont do any serious off roading without engaging the centre differential.
    Have some off road tuition before taking on any difficult off road adventures.
    Accents and descents need to be carefully considered.
    Try to ensure some form of suitably sized recovery vehicle is available. Land rovers are not strong enough!
    7.5 ton vehicles go down hill very fast without engine breaking!

    It was really good fun (and a bit scary) and I was very impressed with Jabbas off road ability. I learned a lot!

    I wanted to share my experience so that you don't make the same mistake with the centre differential

    Happy traveling!

    Tony and Karen

    PS I got a replacement halfshaft from Ed Perry (overland vehicles) he has a truck for spares!