Matope

Saturday there was a bazaar at Petr’s school, and Cammy was going to take the boys.  After a couple of weeks teaching classes, I had a morning to myself.  So I talked Caleb, a friend who is a mechanic at the hangar, into going on a motorcycle ride with me.  I really wanted to get back out to where we had attempted to go on the last ride.  We missed the turn last time because the road out there was so nice.  In fact the junction is on this long straight stretch, fun to get some speed, so we missed the turn again, but my GPS was there to help us out.

It had rained quite a bit the night before, and from this point on, it was all dirt road.  However, dirt is not dirt when it is wet.  The mud around here is special.  It sticks to everything.  You find when walking that you will pick up a good 5 to 10 pounds of mud on your feet.  It is also very slick.  Caleb was riding on street tires and he found out that last fact all too suddenly.  No one was hurt, just a broken mirror.

The picture here is where we decided we would turn back.  It was so steep and slick, I knew if we went down there we were committed to going out another way.  I went down with my bike to see how bad it was, and it probably took me 20 minutes to get it back up 20 meters.  The mud was throwing steam off the engine.  I got another picture after I got my bike up.

Everywhere you stop in Kenya, kids show up.  These kids did not speak much Swahili.  You should have seen there faces when I greeted them in Kikuyu, and the shock of us removing our helmets, “Gai!”  I asked some of the men in the area about the road ahead.  Kenyan’s are very optimistic.  They were sure we could make it, it was “just there.”  However, when I asked about the road ahead, I got the response, “matope, matope sana!” – “Muddy, very muddy!”  Eventually we had to move on, but the celebrity aspect of being treated like an astronaut is tempting to the ego.

In the end we grabbed a few new roads for OSM.  Caleb got off to his softball games, and I got home before Cammy and the boys.  Not a bad day.  It was a lot like life, good day, but not what was expected.

When I got home, I went and found a friend Peter, who often washes my bike.  He was a car washer near Kenyatta Market, but with his desire, some prompting and a little financial help, he has become a shoe salesman.  He still washes my bike, because I pay him well, about $4 for 2 hours of cleaning.  That day it was 3 hours, he asked, “Where is this mud from?!”

1 thought on “Matope

  1. I like the sticker on the back of your motorcycle! Looking forward to eating there with you this summer.

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