|Saturday 28th July - Kenya - Isiolo
This morning we had a later breakfast and packed up to leave. Rather than driving directly out of the park, we drove around for a bit, looking for animals. Again we saw giraffe, ostrich, elephants, zebra, impala, oryx . and then, on the opposite side of the river, two lionesses! They were lying in the shade beneath a tree - distant, but visible through the binoculars. It was thrilling to see them, although we would have loved to get a bit closer. Samburu was a wonderful excursion for a couple of days, but it was now time to move on.
About 20 minutes after leaving the park Andrew noticed a few warning lights had appeared on the dashboard, although the car seemed to still be running fine. In the middle of nowhere he came up with the brilliant idea of doing an experiment stopping the car and restarting it. Unfortunately only half of the experiment worked the car stopped no problem, but then wouldnt restart.
Andrew head-butted the steering wheel for a while and then we all got out of the car, the girls had a potty stop, we opened the bonnet, consulted a couple of Haynes manuals, talked to the gathering crowd of locals, scratched our heads and wondered what to do next. A couple of passing vehicles stopped and we tried jump-leads but with no luck. A taxi then pulled up and 5 young men got out. After some discussion it was decided that a couple of the taxi passengers would wait at the car with Andrew while Jane and I took the girls in the taxi to the nearest town, Isiolo. The taxi would then collect a mechanic and take him back to the car.
So, let me describe the taxi journey..
Break-neck speed across very rough roads with the two girls on our laps, one friendly, chatty young man in a flowery shirt sitting beside us in the back seat, the driver a wiry character with long slim fingers and fingernails and a front seat passenger who turned round often and tried to make pleasant small talk. Bob Marley blasting out of the car stereo, the driver smoking, texting and beating out the rhythm on the steering wheel. The car veering off the main road to take a short cut. Keziah and Naomi sitting absolutely silently. Jane and I laughing nervously and glancing at each other real life or opening scene of a dodgy thriller?
Despite our fertile imaginations we made it to Isiolo safely and in very good time. We went to the Bodem Hotel and booked in for the night. Meanwhile Andrew diagnosed and fixed the fault a broken electrical connection in the starter circuit. He met the taxi and mechanic on his way into Isiolo. We were all very relieved to have the car going again, but decided just to stay in Isiolo for the night rather than continuing on to Nanyuki as we had originally planned.