Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Series 3 Landie

Got back from yet another R&R on the coast of Kenya with Simba. The vacation was lovely but once again beset with adventure. We were going to drive the 6-8 hours down to the coast from Nairobi in a borrowed series 3 Land Rover (this thing is literally 65 years old which we named Nuks. As you can see, there is no roof or windows except for the canvas tarp, no 5th gear, it is painted matte black, and is just a BEAST. When we finally got out of Nairobi and passed the 50km of crappy roads on the detour from the still-under-construction-main road, and finally hit the smooth tarmac, something in the engine went BANG. We pulled over - the water pump had broken, causing the fan to come un-welded from the pump and slash the coils of the radiator. Fun times! The water had leaked out all over the road and there was no way we were going to be able to fix this thing without a new radiator coil, new water pump, and a welding machine which is a 2 day job. Here is a pic of the tow truck owner looking at the engine.

Simba tried to flag down a truck to give him a lift back to the transit town so he could sort out a tow truck, but after about 5 trucks, no one stopped for him. I tried next figuring they would stop for a white chick, and lo and behold, the first truck I waved down slammed on its brakes for me! I read my book "A Passage to India" by E.M. Forester (LOVELY book - apparently there is a Merchant Ivory movie based on the book, and I'm going to try to see it over the holidays) in the front seat of the Landie while Simba went to the town to sort out a tow truck, and 45 mins later another Land Rover pickup which had been converted into a tow truck came to rescue us. This vehicle was almost as old as our was! Here is a pic of us being towed back to Nairobi.

Eager to get to the coast, we decided to still try to drive down, so Simba called the father of his assistant in Juba (who is also from Nairobi) who owns a rental car business, and he managed to deliver a car to Simba's house and we were off once again, made it to the coast, and spent a week relaxing. We stayed in a cottage with gorgeous sunrise views of the Indian Ocean and a kitchen which allowed us to cook prawns, calamari, and fish bought fresh from local fisherman in the mornings. One morning we cleaned and marinated a fish and put it in the fridge while we went down to the beach. When we got back, we found that the several families of Evil Ninja Cats who hover around the place scrounging for food (as can be seen in the front of the following pic) had BROKEN IN to the cottage, OPENED the fridge, and ATE ALL THE FISH!!! NOOOOO!!!! Other than that Diani Beach was fantastic and I could absolutely live in this place. If only I had even an spark of a chance of having a job that would be satisfying for more than a few months and good for my career... anyway I am back in Sudantastic Juba and will be once again working my butt off until the holidays.


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