“The Shimba On The Hills” ; 7 counties and 2 countries

For the 2nd time again it was here! There comes a time when you give back to the society and not just by words but actions just to say “Thank You” to the society.

Have you ever found a passion to do something and you mark it out in your calendar as days pass into weeks that turn to months then the month of December comes knocking making your mind get to know that going beyond your limits is not a choice but your sacrificial lamb!

My brother and fellow “fake Asian” has given me a new meaning to the way on how i conclude my years thanks to the now annual Charity event dubbed “C2C” that is an acronym of “City to Coast” an event that I have home to identify with and take it up as a way of marking my end of year. It all begun when my brother took his favourite toy for an adventure from the City of Nairobi to the historical Coastal town of Mombasa passing through beautiful countryside of this beautiful country from one county to the other and days later he found himself at the gate of Child Of Mercy Orphanage Centre.

The stories he heard from the children at the orphanage and the managers touched him so much and he looked for a better way to put a smile on the little angels he met and spent time with and what better way than getting friends to sacrifice their time, comfort, strong muscles, Money and take up their toys just to stretch a little bit to get from the Comfortably made environment in the City and head out to recreate the memories all the way to the Coast of Kenya.

For a second time we were ready and now with a group of 10 sacrificial soldiers who were willingly ready to set aside time, work and also comfort. The names included:

  1. Rakesh Okuku (the leader of it all and a brother)

2. Geoffrey (the marshal)

3. George Simei (the fast and furious guy)

4. George (our team doctor and “wa mastretches”

5. Gikonyo (the never giving up champion when his bike refuse, he opted to jogging)

6. Ken (The ever silent guy)

7. Raymond (The leader of the “Team Ferrari”)

8. Rechol (the commander Team never give up)

9. Victor (The dreadlocked speed marchant)

10. Nyawira ( Her excellency who doesn’t recognize the word “IMPOSSIBLE”)

11. Luqman (the man that little minusspeeddefines him)

12 The supportive team on MV Tom and Jerry included Captain Alladin and the ever green Suzuki Maruti Captain Leornard.

The day came and no point of return was in offer !!!! 700 plus kilometers had to be covered and The City was defined on this day as our starting point and the Coast was now our real Finish Point. I thought that it being my second time to head to Mombasa by a bike (not pikipiki, but Baiskeli) that I would not have any fear or a shiver in my bones never did I Know that still I would get scared. To my surprise i got a shiver when i saw there were additional of days from the traditional 4 and above all more adventures as we were to get through another country as we adventured to our final destination of Coast of town.

Just like the last cycle for charity (which was my first ever longest cycling adventure dubbed Capital To Coast Charity Ride ) in the morning I got those butterflies in the stomach and mental games of “impossibility” and blindness of my “comfort zones” took control of me as the journey was no longer like the first time where we only did 4 days on our bikes but had risen to almost a week is sweating and tired muscles. But on seeing there were new ladies and they had heard of our first adventure an year ago, they had some respect for our daring spirit to cycle from the City of Nairobi to Mombasa. The presence of new members gave me morale to even show off my energy and encourage the new adventure members how it is done.

Briefing for day 1 was done and it sounded more like a walk over because we were to cycle from Nairobi to Machakos a distance of 66Kilometres which was more favourable compared to last year that we had to sweat over 100 kilometres. Few photos and last smiles we took them to mark the start of our dare to go across many beautiful counties and scenery for a week.

All was set and off we were in a group becoming show stoppers as we rubbed our bike tires against the mighty Mombasa road, once in a while we got cheers as we passed people. Rumbled along Mombasa road down to the great land of Machakos county where we were celebrating for it being a short journey on our very first day with more fun as we set up our camp at the Machakos People and that marked the end of our First day journey to Mombasa.

Next day we woke up before the full sunrise came up through the hills of Kiima Kimwe. Breakfast was served and a short briefing was given before we roared out on the tarmac with our destination set as Kathonzweni in Wote county that was meant to be about 92km. It all begun as an easy ride but later into the 30km all turned to the field of boys and men, uphills begun to stretch our muscles and bursting our lungs as we engaged the gears to the top but got rewarded with very amazing Downhills covered with the most breath taking views i have seen in all my travel within Machakos and Wote.

By the time the sun was on its readiness to set we were checking into Kathonzweni. As usual the nights on such long rides are made up of jokes and tells of personal experience during the day while few advices being thrown from one person to the other. As the night got on so did the number of awake cyclists as each one was overcome by sleep and surrendered to bed.

Our third day on the road came so cold as we enjoyed our breakfast getting ready for our great adventure awaiting. Simple usual morning bike checks and a pump here to there. Every was set and we got a relief news for the morning. We got to be informed that we would enjoy a morning bus ride to our starting point which was Emali town in readiness for the panoramic road to Loitoktok boarder town. As though it was a break from a hard work, everyone took a nap and slept off during our ride to Emali town.

On arrival at Emali town, bikes were brought down and we got ready for the Panoramic highway to the boarder town of Loitoktok. With briefing from the team leader, we were off with our target being about 105Km away hidden by the shadows of Africa’s roof top: Mt. Kilimanjaro. It was a great ride as we had less traffic on the road most of it was ours and bikes. Joy it was that after sweating and fun we finally had made it to Loitoktok all safe and sound besides the anti gravity downhills that were more of illuminations of dreams. This was a short night i think because of us getting too tired.

With the night coming to an end, our excitement hit us so high for this was an achievement having cycled through amazing destinations in amazing Kenya and this morning we were crossing over into Tanzania from Loitoktok targeting to mark the end of the day through the other crossing point boarder post on the other side of Africa’s roof the beautiful Mt. Kilimamnjaro.

We went through the immigration procedures then jumped on our two wheeled machines becoming an admiration of the Tanzanian people from Loitoktok, Marangu down the Kilimanjaro all the way to Holili town just past the windy road by the beautiful Lake Chala.

It is always proud for us to see how much we can do when we go beyond our comfort zones, Imagine one day cycling from one boarder post to another! At Holili we crossed over after a second immigration process in a day and headed out to the land of Elephants; the amazing and beautiful Lake Jipe.

The morning at our camp was amazing as we got to be welcomed by amazing Elephants that came to our campsite, and they also escorted us out as we roared and shifted our gears targeting to make it through the vast Tsavo West national park,

yes, we cycled across the Tsavo west national park on the newly constructed Taveta – Voi road, which led us through the towns of Maktau and the silent Wundanyi breaking us by stretching our muscles was the silent climbs of Taveta hills but after a long struggle we made it to the amazing town of Voi.

This night was filled with more joy and excitement since we could imagine the Indian ocean and the white sandy beaches since we were almost to the end of the cycling adventure to even meeting the little angels of Child of mercy orphanage centre whom since 2015 we have been supporting by sacrificing our comfort, energy to even time to make a change in the lives of the children at the orphanage.

On this final day we were woken up by the loud roars of lions that many thought they had invaded our campsite only for them to learn that a lion roar is so strong and can be heard over a long distance. After having a heavy breakfast for the day was not going to be easy for us as we were close to the coast so we expected change in the climate and even the altitude would play games on us. Our start of point was the growing town of Samburu (not the semi arid area of Samburu nation reserve but a town along Mombasa road after Mawungu town or the Mai mahiu and Salgaa of Mombasa road).

it was going to be a torturous 97km off road ride through small town centres like Kwa Mkamba through Kinango passing the Elephant home of Mwaluganje and we begun to have a division of friends on bikes to friendly bikes as the climb through Shimba hills was a no “Laughing matter” which for the first time I never ever saw a smile on any of my fellow cyclists.

Many wanted to give up, but when they begun to see new pedestrians on the road as they crossed from one side to the other (for your information the pedestrians were elephants) to a point they got warnings like (…..mtasubiri kidogo kuna ndovu hapo mbele!!” ( …..you have to wait since there elephants on the road) but lucky enough we got shielded from the elephants and made it to the tarmac in Kwale town a short of 37km to our overnight camp.

As soon as everyone saw the tarmac, they all turned to speed merchants making the distance between kwale and Diani (about 37k) look so short which I don’t even know why, may because we had finally made it to the coast.

We got to the Diani campsite and cottages only for it to get so exciting when one of us said it was his first time in his life to set foot in the Kenyan coast, amazingly for him he made all the way on his bicycle and cycling from Nairobi to Mombasa above all the beautiful white sandy beach of Diani.

It was so amazing for our archivement, both personally and as a team since we had made it all the way from Nairobi to the Kenyan coast.

We rested and enjoyed our comfortable night since we knew it marked the end of our time riding our bikes.

the next day we enjoyed our morning with a swim and walking along the beautiful white sandy beach of Diani until the hours of lunch.

We later drove off to Likoni making our grand entrance at the Child Of Mercy Children Orphanage and got an amazing warm welcome that made us forget all the tiresome uphills and the torturous distances we covered just to get here.

why did I have to write such a long blog telling of such an amazing adventure? Many may be asking, but its never about my friends and I riding our bikes enjoying the beautiful destinations that we made to, I have writing about this because it is our way of sacrificing our time and comfort just to make a change to orphans at the Child of Mercy Orphanage Centre, its been now 2 years of creating impact and changing the lives of the little angels at the orphanage, and we are not stopping but we want to see their lives change to even having them living a better life.

This year we are on it again, being on the road from Nairobi to Mombasa raising funds for the children at the Child Of Mercy Children Orphanage and your support will be highly appreciated as we sacrifice comfort to our time just to make a change in a child’s life.

Someone once said “You have not lived until when you do something for someone who can never repay you”. For any support you wish to give to this initiative details are providing below in the poster, God bless you all and lets keep enjoying adventures

Your support will be of great honour to this great cause in case you need to offer any other support you can get in touch with the lead adventurer

Rakesh Okuku +254717681649

You can contribute any amount from 100 to what you can

Go to Mpesa
Select Lipa na Mpesa
Then Paybill
Enter Business No – 261092
Followed by Amount, PIN and confirm transaction

Now to the next #ChinkuTravels adventures as i look for more #HiddenKenyanGems


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