And that’s it! I have shown you the whole of Lorengippi. Unless there’s a big market place hidden somewhere, you have seen everything. I stop. I want to see if I can find a place to eat lunch here… Yeah, I know, I know…
A curious group gathers around me. As usual, they are hesitant to approach me untill I remove my helmet and reveal that I’m just an unkempt vagabond.
I ask if there’s place to eat. A hotel.
“What does Lorengippi mean?” I ask.
“It means ‘the water is red’ ” they tell me.
Dejavu. When I was in Illeret, I was told “Illeret” means “the lugga of blood.”
I turn around and go to look for the hotel.
The problem is that I’m looking for a big-ish building, brick walls and iron sheet roofing, maybe. But when I finally find it, it’s nothing like my imagination. In fact, I rode right past it on my way in.
I say proper prayers before I dig in. I have to.
After eating, I decide to take a nap under some acacia trees before carrying onwards to Lodwar. I bring a piece of canvas from my bike and spread it down under a tree. I take off my gear, lay down and fall asleep for some minutes.
It’s time to leave now. I pack up my stuff. I know that the road ahead promises lots of sandy patches, but I hope I won’t be too overwhelmed by it. I’m still terrible at sand riding, and even worse when tired.
The sand begins…
I meet a car, which would be the only car I meet till Loregum. We pass each other then he stops, so I stop too. He reverses, and we talk a bit before going our ways.
I’m starting to have trouble. The road has unpredictable sandy patches, it’s been a long day, I’m tired. My pace is now slow.
I stop to take a short break and rehydrate.
I decide to take a short break, check my maps, and communicate with my people. It’s sandy everywhere, so I just stop on the road.
Out of nowhere a man appears, yelling and pointing at me. He seems really angry at me. He is angry because I have stopped my motorcycle on the road. I’m blocking traffic he says.
I tell him that my motorcycle is overheating, and I have stopped to let it cool a bit.
“Weka kando!” he says, with such authority. I’m beginning to wonder who he might be. Looks like someone who once tasted authority over people. Kinda like gate guards. He is ordering me to put my motorcycle on the side of the road, so he can fine me, or punish me somehow.
“This bike is heavy and now has little power because of overheating. I can’t push it to one side into the sand. Unless you help me, maybe?”
“Okay I will help you!”
I slowly put my phone in my pocket, put on my glove, start the bike, and zoom off, praying I don’t fall in the sand here.
A minute or two later, I come to this.
It’s Lorugum’s River Turkwel crossing point, and the bloody longest sandy lugga I have ever seen in my life!! I pause at the bank to take in the sheer sight. I have no choice, I have to cross here. I rarely jump into riding situations I consider risky, just for the sake of it. If it’s not on my path to my destination, if I don’t have to, to get to my destination, I avoid it. But this is right on my path. Sink or swim, this is it!
I dip into the river. The sand is fine. Deep and fine. I make a mistake. I think that following the car tracks will destabilise me, so I make my own way across the sand. Big mistake. Somewhere in the middle, I start sinking till the belly of the bike touches the sand, and my rear tyre is spinning useless, sinking me deeper. I use a technique I saw on Youtube to come out of such. (See it here.) I correct my mistake and make my way back to the car tracks. Vehicles compact sand a bit, and I have better chances there.
While I’m muscling and swearing my way across, I notice a biker with a pillion about a hundred metres to my left, who seem to be having a better time crossing the sand. I’m glad to see them. If i get completely stuck I’m sure they will come to my aid.
I’m a bit surprised that I get across before the other bikers. I look behind, and they are still way out there in the river.
The other biker’s pillion has gotten off the bike, and is dragging along a sheep. The rider is still deep in the sand, muscling his bike across.
They tell me that I chose the wrong path across the river. That the way they used is better. But I doubt it. It might be better till half way, but he struggled too much on the last stretch, yet he has a light bike with no luggage. We chat a bit as they tell me the condition of the road ahead, then they zoom off. I take one last photo of the mega-lugga, and proceed with my journey too.
The road is just lugga after lugga. Sand, sand, sand.
After a long while I meet this guy. It’s just natural to stop and talk, because you go for long distances without seeing anyone. He tells me that I’m about done with the most sandy sections of the road.
We say bye to each other, and just at the moment we lose sight of each other, this happens:
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