A hard road across the desert of northern Kenya, 300 kms of
corrugated, battered road, blazing heat and nothing for miles but
thorn scrub, camels, and mountains floating on the horizon suspended
by mirage heat. Mahale (the Le Breton Cruiser) broke a cable to the
battery and declined to start. We fixed it by the side of the road
and pushed on. The road north is notorious for Shifta, heavily-armed
Somali bandits who rob passing traffic. But they left us alone.
We have seen elegant and skittish Kudu and hundreds of tiny dik-dik
antelope, and jackals and wide-winged eagles that circle above the
road scanning for road-kill.
Last night we camped at the Mission hospital in Sololo, outside the
house of Peter, the administrator; and this morning we rose early,
and came to the Moyale border post, clean, bright, efficient and
easy, though our guide-books had filled us with trepidation.
And now we are staying in the Yabello motel, 550 kms from Addis,
which we hope to make tomorrow night, just in time for the Ethiopian
Orthodox Christmas on Jan 7th.
Gus and the boys are fighting a savage little war with plastic tanks
and beer caps across the courtyard, and our Chinese road-builder
neighbours are on the phone to Nanjing, apparently working on the
principle that if you shout loud enough you won't have to pay for the