no its no Julie but Matilda. More on that later.
Last night we went to Roberts Camp near Lake Baringo. Firstly we never paid the "registration fee for the village" which was 500Ksh. This is a legitimate charge but its still a rip off. I drove through the gate without stopping the second time he started waving his hands. The first time i stopped and when asked to get out the car i declined "your not a police man and what exactly am i registering for ?" closely followed by " i suppose this registration costs me money". I was thinking some choice swear words but thats not for here. I had no intention of going into the village and only to the camp. The camping is 1000ksh so the registration is 50% more. If we'd known we wouldn't have gone but in the end i didn't pay. They, in my mind have no right to stop me or to ask me for money. I've paid my entrance fee for Kenya and just driving along a public road isn't cause to charge me a "registration". (three gate runs and more to come, i have no doubt). I did tell him to call the police and he declined my offer. Its got to be some sort of scam with legitimate overtones.
The camp is OK and more importantly we saw Hippo's out of the water wandering round the cmapsite. Just like they own the place. They probably do as its the only reason people go there. There were also Croc's in the camp but they stayed in the ditch to the middle of the camp. We couldn't get too close to the Hippo's but thankfully we have good torches! (Thanks to Alistair for my 40th Birthday Gift I have ! ) The securtiy guy even borrowed it so he could point us in the correct direction. His torch was a standard pitiful excuse for a torch. The Hippo's were a sight to behold and if Alistair had got me a better one i would have been able to see them much clearer.....(gives with one hand and takes it away with the other). So for my 42nd I need a million candle power torch.
We've now stopped our backtrack to Roberts Camp and have come back to Naiberi Camp.
On to the poorly lady.
On the way over to Roberts i smelt the dreaded burning clutch smell.....not clutch but brakes i discover. One of the calipers had stuck on and i'd been driving on BIG hills (down). The disk and hub assembly was at 400C. This meant i needed to strip the hub and re-grease the bearings as the grease was toasted. Actually bubbling !! The caliper had two stuck pistons on the outside of the drivers side front caliper. I managed to free the pistons and check them out and they looked fine. To quote a mentor they just seem Lazy. The braking was uneven afterwards and for a long way but now seems to be even again. I have no idea what the problem was. I could have cooked them on the hills but i was being careful. I'm a little worried the caliper is knackered and i need to change the pistons and seals. I have two spares but there are four in the caliper. The other two are at home! I should also change the swivel grease as this has been cooked but i have one bag left and this is VERY hard to get here. I'm hoping it will be OK. The seals are hopefully all OK even though i have a full set for the Hub. I even have a new stub axle just incase it was damaged by the wheel bearings. It wasn't. The main worry is Caliper, Swivel Grease, Seals.....should i change them all.....not sure. I think the worse that can happen is the single brake fails but this is unlikely. The next thing is the CV goes pop due to the Swivel grease. This is a big item so i think i need to change the swivel grease pronto. My last bag of grease......
today we leave Nairobbery and head off towrds Uganda. We are going to a campsite on Lake Naivasha for a night and then on a bit further to a place Christian told us about (Who's Christian is below). The car will hopefully work flawlessly and the new shocks will bounce us all the way there.
Yesterday we met a Guy called Christian from Barnsely with an ex utility TD4 which is rather nice (meeting a fellow Yorkshireman and the car). He's been here off and on for ages. He's trying to become a balloon pilot. He also had the same shocks as we did and they too had broken on the top ring. So if you're thinking of getting some Terrafirma Big Bore shocks, please don't !!! He's brought some more from home as he's just been back for two weeks. They fitted them here for him. He has helper springs in the rear so i must remember to change the air bags in mine for helpers sometime. I'm going to let the air bags down a bit as we do seem a bit wobbly.
Jungle Junction is OK. Its a bit expensive and as per usual i've picked up on all the crappy things and could fix em in a few minutes. What they need is a suggestion box.
just paid for this last week and it was £75 which to me is a lot ! Did almost nothing today as i needed to set up the Laptop and this is mostly configured and at least we have Email back up and working and its got most things installed. I've managed to get all the photos onto the new laptop so i might be able to process some more and post em up. I'm sure this will be popular with you all.
We're still at jungle junction and getting a little miffed with the silly rules. They lock the fridge with the beer at about 8pm so last night i picked the lock for the benefit of all. Today they instlled a larger lock. I could pick this but they seemed pretty miffed they we all spent money on their beer afer it was locked. Pretty strange that they don;t want to sell it. The power also went off so i couldn't get a shower and i was pretty dirty....photos of this below.
Transfer box removed (twice) and the stripped bolt repaired with a helicoil and the box refitted. Car taken for a test drive and it all seems OK. Need to fill the gearbox with fresh oil after a few miles as i want to make sure the metal fragments generated by fitting the Helicoil are flushed out. Three lots of Diesel are not enough for my piece of mind so a another fresh lot of GL5 oill make me sleep easier. The guy here wants 500KSH per litre so i will try the local Total garage as it will probably be cheaper.
The helicoil was 300KSH so not too bad and considering i'd not used one before it was pretty easy.
We're still in Nairobi by the way. Also we've bought a new laptop and this was faulty !!! They changed it with no hassle in a few minutes but i was worried that they may not exchange it immediately. They did just that and the service was faultless. I had to wait over night and didn't get much sleep as i was worried i'd just thrown £530 down the African drain.......not so.
OK....its a coma.
Stripped bolt on the transfer box so we are stranded. Major work to drill it and re-thread the hole and put in a thing called a Helicoil. Had it out already and now I need to take it out again. Full day mostly wasted. I'm knackered.
New shocks fitted so we're back on track for moving on. Its a bit more bouncy that before but my articulation is the same, possibly better. Good thing that some roads here are so bad i can drive 1000 meters and test it to the max.
When i can be bothered i'll drop the transfer box out. Tomorrow we need to register that we are in Kenya. So far nobody knows we are here !!!! This is because we entred via Lake Turkana and theres no customs there. We need to get the carnet stamped and then the passports.
I'd put a link to the shocks supplier on my links page but they were so expensive they don't deserve it ! At least the customer service was acceptable and they fixed the issue in 24hours.
Got some shocks and some shock mounts but the mounts were wrong so i have to wait for some more to arrive tomorrow. Hopefully we will be running again tomorrow !
Illness gone and drinking again.
Shocks and mounts were not cheap. Hennings Bike is going to cost a huge amount.....
After an evening of self cooked food i woke this morning to full on trouble, resulting in three trips and feeling shaky and tired. The other guests (Julie and Henning) are fine so i must have picked something up in the toilets/somewhere else. I did drink a bit of Vodka so that doesn't help !
No work on the car today due to illness.
I can't get the shocks i need here. All garages only do standard length so i will have to either run on (expensive) wrong (too short) shocks or modify the shock mount to take the standard ones but give me the length i need. I've Emailed a company in the UK that make the mounts to see if they will send me the specifications. Hopefully they will bail me out and send me info on something they designed for the same price as the mounts. I'll then make them here myself. Either that or order shocks from the UK and pay import tax here. There may be somewhere closer that sells them but SA is very expensive.
BTW,,,,i have some of the symptoms of Malaria. Hi Mum........LOL
yes you can......
So here we are passed the equator and safe and sound in Nairobi. I bet you can't guess who's here???? Henning arrived just after us with his broken motorcycle. He mashed his bike really good on the road from Moyale. If you want to read all about it i'm sure you can check out his blog linked on my links page.
Theres a lot to talk about and theres possibly months of stuff to tell. The story of the broken shock absorber and the broken clutch. The shock is, well, almost broken and in need of a bit of fix it attention and welding and re-shaping. The clutch was fixed in a field in Thomsons Falls Lodge (campsite) and was the result of a fault slave cylinder but of course i had a spare. The two lots of dot4 clutch fluid were resting nicely in the bottom of the housing and released when i took out the wading plug. Released straight down my arm and over my face. Dot4 is toxic and not the best thing to end up in your mouth !
We also have a bit of a problem with the tranfer box so i'm going to remove it and take it apart in an attempt to prevent additional problems later. Land Rover parts seem to be available here so if i can get the bits i'll take it out. We also need a partial service doing so oil change and gear box oil change, grease the propshafts and do the normal checks on the car.
The road from Ethiopia to Kenya is bad and i'm not talking about the road from Moyale into Kenya i'm talkign about the "better" way of going via Lake Turkana. It was 4 days of off road with rocks, sand, (dry and sandy) river crossings and hundereds of kilometers of widerness. It was not enjyable. It was hot dusty and long. We drank 20 litres of water and I was very tired. The tyres have taken a beating and now look like they've done the distance they have. They have bits missing....
The Ethiopian tribes in the south are lovely. They've not been touched much by the tourist and they still wander about with almost no clothes on. The children are completely naked and they hide when they see a car. They have almost nothing but theres a lot of EU and US money pumped in to those areas. Clinics, Wells, Schools and the like. They are thankful for an old plastic water bottle which they use for milking cattle and carrying water (strangely) during the day. They all seem to carry orange 4 litre contrainers that used to contain vegatable oil which are recycled for water use and they have to buy them! There are shops all over Ethiopia selling old plastic water bottles and oil containers. Everything is reused. When i say water bottles i mean the normal ones we get Coke in and Water in the UK and then thro away. These are used for months as their only way of carrying water which they carry for miles. There are queues at the wells,,,,,,queues of cattle and of people. Hundereds of them both.
The Ethiopians pedestrians have no road sense at all. I'm not talking about the modern types but the ones that wander out infront of the car repeatedly and look the wrong way when crossing the road. They'd be OK in the UK but not in a country that drives on the right. We met a couple who paid $3000usd for an accident involving a woman and child, both were OK but obviously its a good souce of income for them. Its a lot of money for them. We even encountered children playing chicken and rolling old tyres infront of the car across the carridgeway. These are the ones with no common sense but its the pedestrains who cross without looking that cause the issue. You'd be convinced they had seen you coming,,,they must have,,,,they are walking straight towards you,,,,,but no they haven't.....they will stop to shake hands with a freind in the middle of the road. They are just senseless. This applies to all ages.
More tomorrow and hopefully some photos.
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