“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.”
– Ibn Battuta
I have always wanted to travel to the Northern part of my beautiful country since my high school days. This has always been a dream, likely on 7th May 2016 it became a reality. I got this chance to travel to Mandera county to deploy the Digital Literacy Program at Mandera Arid Primary School. We were to start the journey on 7th and travel directly to Mandera town, since we had not booked the bus early enough, we had to change the plan. When we got to Eastleigh in Nairobi we got a rude shock that we had to book 2days earlier and now since we were working on a tight schedule we had to look for an alternative.
After some brief consultations with the guys we resolved to travel on the night of 7th May, 2016 to be precise 9pm. This time we booked a bus bound for Moyale Town where we hoped to connect via a small town Tacaba to Mandera town. At exactly 10pm we rolled out in a bus full of people from the North.
The towns we were to pass by on our 779 KM journey to Moyale included:
Nairobi-Thika-Makuyu-Karatina-Naro Moru-Nanyuki-Isiolo-Achers Post-Merille-Laisamis-Kamboe-Marsabit-Bubisa-Turbi-Moyale
Most parts of this journey were done at night that’s why I was unable to take any photos. We travelled whole night with a stop over at Laisamis before eventually arriving at Marsabit town at around 7AM. Having been used to the sun that rises at 6.40AM being here was a little diferent by 5AM it was so bright.
After a brief stop at Marsabit town we had to continue with our journey so far after traveling for 10hours. Highway here has been upgraded to bitumen standard unlike some years back so most of the journey was smooth. We still had 246KM to go.
By this time it was getting hotter and compared to Nairobi where I have always been used to cold temperatures during the months of May through July, this was extreme and yet it was just 8AM. By now all you could see from a distance was just barren landscape with a few Camels grazing, I remember I asked one of my colleague what exactly the camels were feeding on. I remember he just smiled back at me…
After driving for almost 100km the vegetation changed, yes it was still arid but with many desert trees and plants. I noticed we were almost in Moyale town since I had seen from photos shared by other bloggers who had visited the same place before.
100 more Kilometres passed and by now I was a little concerned why we could not see Moyale town. I was feeling tired and hungry since I had not taken anything tangible since the last meal I had before boarding the bus.
By now 12hours had passed just traveling yet I could not see any sign of this town called Moyale. I was growing impatient.
Soon the road elevation changed and we started going up a steep section, by now the tarmaced road we had been enjoying was a thing of the past since the Chinese Contractor was battling some rock outcrop as they continued the job.
Few more kilomters passed and at long last there Moyale town was in sight. I sighed in relief. At exactly 10.20AM we disembarked from the bus. The sun was so high up in the sky I thought it was past midday.
Here we had planned to take a break and resume our journey at 3pm since we had planned to have a sleepover at Tacaba town before proceeding to Mandera town. This was not going to be…..
…….Join me in part two as I take you on a trip to northern Kenya.